A rendering of The District at 1515, a planned mixed-use project at the site of a defunct office building in Parsippany — Courtesy: Stanbery Development Co.
“Historically, we’ve really enjoyed the barriers to entry that New Jersey offers us.”
The statement by Mark Pottschmidt was dripping with irony. And it wasn’t lost on the attendees at New Jersey Future’s annual Redevelopment Forum, whose laughter roared through the small breakout room at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.
But the tongue-in-cheek statement by Pottschmidt, a co-founder of Stanbery Development Co., reflects a long-running reality in New Jersey. The state, notorious for its home rule form of government and its maze of regulations, can be tough to crack for developers. But those who do break through can benefit in a major way.
“The barriers to entry are high and the valuations are high,” said Pottschmidt, whose firm is based in Bexley, Ohio. “So compare it to a similar project in Ohio, where, if you have success, they just plow up the next cornfield and you’ve got competition.
“Here you’re somewhat protected once you get the asset in play.”
The developer and his team have firsthand experience with what it takes to make it in New Jersey. As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, Stanbery has spent more than four years navigating local politics and state regulations in its quest to redevelop a vacant office complex in Parsippany. But the firm is now on a path toward fulfilling its vision, which calls for a mixed-use, downtown-style development anchored by high-end restaurants and retail.
Known as The District at 1515, the project would represent a coup for Stanbery and a win for the state, helping to eliminate another “white elephant” from our aging suburban office market.
Our April issue also features a look at a state law that could benefit design and construction firms in New Jersey. The law, which took effect in mid-February, expands the use of so-called public-private partnerships in the state, allowing public entities and agencies to enter agreements with the private sector for building or infrastructure projects within their jurisdictions. We sat down with top executives at DMR Architects in Hasbrouck Heights, who see an opportunity to leverage their experience with public-sector work and fill their pipelines with new projects.
For our Personalities section, we showcase the leaders of Lee & Associates’ New Jersey office. It’s been 10 years since its principals joined forces to launch the office, allowing the broker-owned real estate services firm to re-establish a presence here. Since then, the office has grown from just four brokers and three employees to a team of 55, including 34 licensed agents, with a focus on multiple asset classes and a growing number of service lines.
It should come as no surprise that the year is flying by. To me, that is a sign that the industry continues to be active. We are glad to have the winter behind us and are looking forward to a busy spring. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who continues to read, share their news and support our efforts in print and online. As always, we look forward to your questions, feedback and story ideas. Thanks for reading and enjoy the issue!