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News release


dressbarn, Ascena Retail Group Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Company Headquarters

National specialty retailer of apparel for women, ‘tween’ girls officially opens new 195,000-SF HQ at 933 MacArthur Boulevard in Mahwah, NJ; striving for LEED Gold certification

MAHWAH, NJ, April 25, 2014 — Ascena Retail Group Inc. and dressbarn held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to launch their new 195,000-square-foot North American headquarters at 933 MacArthur Boulevard in Mahwah, N.J. The project was the first headquarters property in the state of New Jersey to receive incentives under the Economic Development Authority’s Legacy Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.

Dressbarn moved into the larger premises on the site in February 2014, and Ascena relocated into the newly constructed adjacent building earlier this month. The ribbon-cutting ceremony included New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Mahwah Mayor William Laforet, Ascena Retail Group President & CEO David Jaffe, and dressbarn President Jeff Gerstel.

The project entailed the complete renovation of the original 145,000-square-foot office building at the site along with the construction of a new 50,000-square-foot office building adjacent to the existing facility, with both structures connected by an enclosed walkway. The North American headquarters for the national specialty retailers of apparel for women and “tween” girls features a new glass curtain wall system, a glass atrium slicing through the existing building, a full-service café, a fitness center and a roof-top garden.

“Ascena Retail Group and dressbarn are genuinely thrilled at the tremendous reception our company and associates have received here in New Jersey,” said Jaffe. “Our new headquarters facility in Mahwah creates a unique campus-like environment for our associates. The space provides a bright, airy, natural setting that was designed to foster a sustainable workplace environment.”

“The long-term investment that Ascena Retail Group and dressbarn have made in New Jersey demonstrates the effectiveness of the Christie Administration’s economic policies,” said Guadagno. “Ascena Retail Group had a choice and they chose New Jersey. The company’s new headquarters facility brought hundreds of new jobs to Mahwah and surrounding communities. This efforts shows that by working collaboratively with New Jersey’s business and community leaders, we can create jobs and further grow our economy.”

JLL was selected as project manager for the renovation and expansion of the facility in 2013, and to provide the energy and sustainability services to assist Ascena Retail Group and dressbarn in reaching Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The firm is striving to achieve LEED Gold certification for the project, as the headquarters facility was required to maintain at least LEED Silver certification to be eligible for incentives under the Legacy Grow New Jersey Assistance Program.

“dressbarn and Ascena made a serious commitment to pursue green initiatives and innovation at our new corporate facility,” said Jeff Ross, Vice President of Operations, with dressbarn. “Because we value our associates so highly, we sought to attain the highest level of sustainability we could effectively achieve to create a workplace that offers a healthy, inspiring and collaborative atmosphere.”

The JLL team overseeing the project management assignment was led by Scott Lesh, senior vice president, and included Erik Egger, senior project manager; Susan Pady, project manager; and Eric Brown, assistant project manager. The group handling LEED certification was led by Dana Schneider, senior vice president, and included Jasmine Davis, project manager.

“It is truly impressive how dressbarn and Ascena have invested so significantly in their people by creating a unique environment that changes how they are going to work,” said Lesh. “The positive feedback we’ve received from associates has been glowing — everyone is raving about the space and the new workplace design.”

Sustainable landscaping and lifestyle features incorporated into the facility include zero use of potable water in landscaping, with no irrigation; the use of native and adaptive plants; a vanpool/carpool program with preferred parking; a wellness program with a community garden, an on-site gym offering nutrition and exercise classes; extensive organic composting program, including biodegradable cutlery and plates; and organic food collection in cafeteria and coffee stations.

Passive sustainable design features included a large lobby with atrium skylights and daylighting controls; daylighting in open office areas; sustainable finish materials; and building construction waste diversion of more than 90 percent.

Other companies involved in the project included architect Gensler; general contractor Structure Tone Inc.; civil engineering firm Bohler Engineering, engineering, design and commissioning firm Syska Hennessy Group; and structural engineering design firm Gilsanz Murray Steficek.

The new facility was the first headquarters building in the state of New Jersey to receive economic incentives from the Economic Development Authority as part of its Legacy Grow New Jersey Assistance Program. In order to be eligible for the tax credit, a company must make a minimum capital investment of $20 million, and create or retain at least 100 full-time employee positions that provide associate health benefits under a group health plan; the jobs must be in an industry identified by the EDA as desirable for the state; the award of the credit must be a material factor in creating or retaining the minimum number of associates; and the project must be located in a Qualified Incentive Area.

JLL is a leader in the northern/central New Jersey commercial real estate market, with more than 500 professionals and support staff providing agency leasing, tenant representation, industrial services, strategic consulting, project and development services, property management and investment sales/capital markets services to New Jersey's leading corporate tenants, investors and landlords. The firm, which assists clients from three full-service offices in Parsippany, Iselin (Metropark) and East Rutherford, also acts as local service provider for JLL global and national corporate clients in need of real estate assistance in New Jersey.

About Ascena Retail Group Inc.
Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NYSE: ASNA) is a leading specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes, and accessories for missy and plus-size women, under the Lane Bryant, Cacique, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines brands; and for tween girls and boys, under the Justice and Brothers brands. Ascena Retail Group, Inc. operates through its subsidiaries approximately 3,800 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

About JLL
JLL (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual revenue of $4 billion, JLL operates in 75 countries worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 3 billion square feet and completed $99 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2013. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $47.6 billion of real estate assets under management. For further information, visit