With its North American headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, Unilever has a long history of being an integral member of the municipality’s community. In 2013, the corporation began exploring options to create a more cohesive workplace for its North American business. The goals included building a complex that would enhance connectivity and productivity, embody the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), and retain and attract top talent for the future. At its Sylvan Avenue site, a redevelopment project known as Project Unity would consolidate five North American offices and several of Unilever’s operating groups into a single $120-million, state-of-the-art workplace with space for 1,600 employees.
Unilever set out to make this vision a reality with support from a $38-million New Jersey Economic Development Authority grant through the Grow New Jersey Assistance program. The 10-year term grant would retain 1,600 at risk jobs and create nearly 400 constructions jobs.
The five buildings were connected with an open, sunlit indoor central atrium to encourage greater collaboration between teams and individuals; the buildings were retrofitted and updated with state-of-the-art technology; and a highly efficient complex was created that meets or exceeds many standards consistent with Unilever’s SLP, which includes doubling the corporation’s business while halving its environmental footprint. The renovation achieved a 41% reduction in square footage while housing more employees.
The renovation meets LEED Platinum energy and resource-efficient “green building” standards, WELL health and well-being building standards, and demonstrates Unilever’s commitment to sustainability. The project halved the site’s potable water and energy demands and carbon dioxide emissions. Unilever also offers shuttle service to New York City, Hoboken and Jersey City, resulting in a 40% decrease in individual cars traveling to the site.
The new complex already is achieving Unilever’s goals of creating an environment that fits modern ways of working, offering state-of-the-art technology and providing employee amenities that make working in this complex attractive to top talent.
OVG Real Estate
New York, NY
Real Estate Partners
New York, NY
Director of Operations
M&E Engineers, Inc.