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WSJ’s Laura Raskin Covers the Transformation of Centra at Metropark from Ugly to Uplifting

Transforming an Ugly Duckling, by LAURA RASKIN, The Wall Street Journal

Suburban corporate office parks are typically wastelands of concrete surrounded by asphalt, and Metropark, in Iselin, N.J., fits this norm.

But in tackling a $16 million rehabilitation of a decrepit, vacant 1980s-era office building here, architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates took a small stand against swaths of corporate anonymity. The result: an ugly duckling transformed into a structure that's both humane and uplifting.

Hampshire Real Estate Companies purchased the building from Siemens USA in 2009. The idea at the time was to develop several speculative office buildings on the 19-acre site.

But first, what to do with the eyesore? The one building on the site was an 80,000-square-foot, four-story building that looked like a layer cake of glass and concrete, molded into an awkward "L." Hampshire hired Kohn Pederson Fox to come up with a plan.

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