Roy Raiter and Eyal Reggev want to transform the former Station House office building at 900 Haddon Avenue into a contemporary working environment with high-end amenities.
By Matt Skoufalos | January 2, 2023
For a pair of Bergen County real estate developers used to dealing in multibillion-dollar properties in Israel and Manhattan, investing in an unimproved, five-story office building in Camden County might have seemed like the least likely business decision to make.
But when Roy Raiter and Eyal Reggev toured the former Station House office building at 900 Haddon Avenue in Collingswood last year, the pair found more than a solid business opportunity: they found an asset worth holding onto.
“We fell in love with the town, the people, the community, the food,” Reggev said. “Just the due diligence period was enough for us to eat in every restaurant.”
In June 2022, Raiter and Reggev acquired the property — the largest office building in the borough — from its owners of the last 15 years in an off-market deal. They immediately set to work making repairs.
“It was completely neglected,” Reggev said. “They lost a lot of tenants during COVID; because of that, the building became kind of stale. We liked it because of the location in Collingswood.”
A 30-year PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement approved by the Borough of Collingswood in late December will afford the duo some financial flexibility to offset the cost of their renovations while they also work to land new tenants.
In the six months that they’ve owned it, Reggev and Raiter have replaced 160 windows in the building, overhauled the mechanicals, including plumbing, electric, HVAC, and elevators; and are wholly renovating the building entrance, with a new shiplap wood lobby. They’ve done that work with local architects, engineers, and contractors, and also plan to fit out a first-floor eatery with street access and outdoor café seating.
“The intention is to make it a local hub for every company in the area taking advantage of the fact that it’s a Class A building with Class-A-level service,” Reggev said. “It was becoming stale over the years, so we renovated everything in the entire building, from the lobby to the main entrance, the common corridors, the bathrooms, the elevators, everything.”
“Every dollar here is our decisions,” he said. “Everything you see around you was decided by us personally, from the paintings to the furniture. It’s another home for us.”
The 93,000-square-feet, five-story building dates back to 1974, and is a twin of the Sentry Office Plaza in Haddon Township, an identical-construction building less than a mile away down Haddon Avenue.
Currently, 900 Haddon is about 50-percent occupied, including a 17,000-square-feet fifth floor that has been unoccupied for the past 17 years.
Its new owners are hoping to recruit by offering traditional offices as well as fully furnished private spaces.
(Furnished suites start at $600 per month; traditional offices vary in size, starting from $19.50 per square-foot.)
They dubbed their concept Colls Suites. Rents include all utilities, high-speed Wi-Fi, and cleaning services. Shared amenities include a kitchen, conference room, and lounge. Tenants hold their own keys, and can access their space any time of day or night. Even pets are welcome, “unless it’s an alligator or a donkey,” Reggev joked.
“Here, you pay a fixed number, [and] you don’t need to commit [long-term],” he said. “It’s the regular office, but we take the headache out. You’ll get an office that is fully furnished, and serviced in terms of cleaning and Internet. You can come in on the weekend; you can come at night; it’s your space.”
Raiter and Reggev believe the model of Colls Suites will be ideal for local small businesspeople and remote workers who need a professional, private space to host meetings, sign contracts, or just work outside of their homes. Current tenants include professionals from a variety of disciplines: architecture, therapy, financial planning, functional medicine, marketing, animation, photography, law, accounting, and nonprofit groups.
“For business needs today, you need to have an address,” Raiter said. “You want to exist in Google. This is the perfect-size, cost-effective solution for a small or medium-sized business that wants to grow with the building.
“It’s the perfect combination between having your own private space and some kind of community feel that you go somewhere, you don’t just go to an office,” he said.
“We want to bring a local businessperson who wants to grow with us, and we will find the flexibility of the environment for them.”
900 Haddon is commuter-friendly, with some 200 parking spaces onsite, the Collingswood PATCO station on the other side of its rear parking lot, and an NJ TRANSIT bus stop out front.
Reggev and Raiter also want to support multi-modal transit as part of other improvements to reduce the carbon footprint of the building, including LED lighting, digitally controlled individual HVAC units, and a planned solar roof.
“That’s only stuff you do when you think long-term,” Reggev said.
“We already spent tons of money to renovate everything; if you’re a short-term investor you don’t do that.”
“We want to make this property a gift that keeps on giving to the local community,” Reggev said. “I need it to be perfect; I need the building to be well-done, and for years. We wanted to make something that we could keep long-term.
“This property stays with us,” he said. “That’s why we invest so much energy in it.”
For more information about the project, visit 900haddon.com.
Please support NJ Pen with a subscription. Get e-mails, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or try our Direct Dispatch text alerts.