Mack-Cali unveils reimagined Harborside campus (SLIDESHOW)

Saying it is perfectly positioned to appeal to professionals concerned with safety and wellness in their post-pandemic return to the office, Mack-Cali Realty Corp. unveiled the latest phase of the transformation of its Harborside campus in Jersey City on Monday morning.

Mack-Cali previewed the fully renovated and repositioned Harborside 1, a 422,590-square-foot, nine-story first-class office building with an attractive new façade, reimagined lobby and significant infrastructure upgrades — including a private terrace on the fourth floor, which offers expansive views of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline.

Calling it a major milestone for the reimagination of the 4.3 million-square-foot office campus, Mack-Cali also revealed new public open spaces and announced its robust summer lineup of programming, including the first New Jersey location for the largest weekly open-air food market in the country, Smorgasburg.

Anchoring the five-building campus will be Harborside 1, which company officials say will have direct indoor access to an activated marketplace offering retail designed specifically to support and cater to professionals — including dining with connectivity to a waterfront boardwalk that offers panoramic New York City views.

Harborside 1 will maintain its stature as a headquarters-quality asset with extensive infrastructure, company officials said. And, due to the ongoing improvements, they anticipate that the building will achieve LEED Gold certification. They also noted that Harborside can accommodate approximately 3.5 million square feet of additional residential and office development for future uses.

To complement the campus repositioning, Mack-Cali launched a new brand identity and website for Harborside, kicking off what it says will be an aggressive new marketing campaign to reach the tenants and brokers.

Mahbod Nia, in his biggest announcement since taking over as CEO in March, said the campus will be a model for the future.

“Harborside’s premier office spaces, top-tier amenities and abundant recreational areas, coupled with its waterfront access, close proximity to public transit and ample on-site parking, make it an ideal destination for workers, visitors and locals alike,” he said. “With these latest improvements, Harborside is well-positioned to be the workplace solution for the future as office life across the tri-state area is reinvigorated.”

Mack-Cali, one of the country’s leading real estate investment trusts, is headquartered in Jersey City. The company, which is selling off its vast suburban holdings, has made waterfront and transit-oriented markets its top priority in the state.

In addition to five Class A commercial buildings, Harborside will offer more than 71,000 square feet of retail, indoor and outdoor dining options, fitness and wellness programming, a day care center and ample on-site parking. The neighborhood’s residential portfolio offers more than 3,000 residential units within walking distance. Located adjacent to the Harborside Atrium, the popular District Kitchen food hall contains a carefully curated selection of food and beverage from local restaurateurs. The Hyatt Regency Jersey City, a five-star, 351-key, full-service hotel located on the Harborside pier serves as both a neighborhood and business amenity.

In what company officials are calling “an extraordinary win for Jersey City,” Smorgasburg is launching its first-ever New Jersey location this spring, bringing its food festival to Harborside. Smorgasburg traditionally attracts tens of thousands of visitors each weekend to its other locations.

In addition, Mack-Cali will introduce Ziggy, what it is calling a one-of-a-kind art installation designed by Hou de Sousa and located at the Atrium at Harborside. Ziggy will be a kaleidoscopic beacon that strings together gateways, apertures and benches.

Mary Ann Tighe, CEO of CBRE‘s New York Tri-State Region and project consultant, underscores Harborside’s focus on three areas critical to companies recommitting to the office: wellness, flexibility and scalability.

“The repositioning of Harborside is designed to meet this moment,” she said. “The virtually column-free, large floors accommodate a broad range of uses, from tech and media companies to financial and professional service firms. And the waterfront-facing, light-filled spaces are connected to a campus that provides expansion opportunities and a broad array of amenities, immediate access to transit in all forms, and a wide variety of residential options — all at compelling economics.”

Mack-Cali officials said the pandemic has accelerated the merger between technology and real estate to create a seamless, accessible lifestyle that transpires in a variety of locations. With renewed emphasis on flexibility in the workplace — from desks and conference rooms to cafes and lounges to outdoor parks and boardwalks to food delivery and exclusive tenant perks — Mack-Cali officials feel Harborside will provide a fully amenitized campus environment that provides owners and operators space to infuse their offices with services and a diversity of physical settings in the same way hotels and destinations once did, which better supports overall employee wellbeing.

Edward Guiltinan, the company’s senior vice president of leasing, said the repositioning of Harborside aligns well with the return to work.

“In addition to providing first-class office space, we are fortunate to be able to offer wide-ranging amenities and outdoor space for our tenants to enjoy,” he said.

Mack-Cali has tapped CBRE to focus on an elevated retail experience throughout the Harborside campus.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said he was grateful for the announcement.

“The waterfront is one of Jersey City’s many unique assets, and I’m confident Mack-Cali’s reimagined Harborside will not only be a valuable addition to our growing business community, but, now, with all its additional activations and programming, the local neighborhood will also benefit greatly,” he said. “We appreciate Mack-Cali’s ongoing commitment to creating a best-in-class, mixed-use environment for all of our residents and visitors.”