With some office workers returning to work in New Jersey, landlords have taken steps to keep them safe and healthy in their buildings. Those steps involve not only physical upgrades and new on-site technology, but the use of apps and digital platforms aimed at keeping employees informed, engaged and connected.
Hartz Mountain Industries has built nearly 1,400 apartments along the Weehawken waterfront, having pivoted from a plan that once called for 2.5 million square feet of commercial space.
Connell Real Estate & Development Co., the developer and longtime owner of Connell Corporate Park in Berkeley Heights, is in the midst of a sweeping, $400 million improvement and expansion of the 185-acre property, one that will create new apartments, restaurants, entertainment and urban-style park space by 2023.
Like other landlords, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises has spent months with its buildings mostly empty as businesses cope with the effects of the pandemic. But the family-owned firm has weathered the crisis and helped its tenants do the same thanks to its own financial strength and ability to act quickly, which stem from a patient, low-leverage approach that goes back 75 years.
The race to attract quality labor has led industrial developers and users to focus increasingly on wellness-oriented design and features, but that shift has become all the more important in recent months as occupiers look to keep employees safe from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened to stall many development projects nationwide, including those under the federal Opportunity Zone program, but experts say those investments could gain new momentum after a series of recent steps by regulators.
While local officials across New Jersey have hit the brakes on large-scale projects, Jersey City has made a deliberate effort to keep its pipeline flowing since the start of the health and economic crisis, as many developers remain bullish on its booming residential market.
The Walsh Company has enjoyed a fast start since it was relaunched last fall, with new assignments including roles as a general contractor, project manager and client representative. But Ed Walsh has also set his sights on an altogether new business: a lighting platform that he says provides users with greater control, efficiency and transparency than traditional fixtures.
New Jersey shopping centers that once buzzed with a steady hum of activity have been quiet since late March, with most retail businesses shut down to contain the spread of COVID-19. Retail landlords are now scrambling to figure out how to deal with tenants who say they can’t pay rent because their revenue streams have stopped cold — even though property owners still have their own financial obligations.
Led by Onyx Equities, the redesign of Newark’s Gateway Center will transform the complex’s streetscape and busy pedestrian concourse, but the project is equally tied to improving the buildings’ long-neglected mechanical infrastructure.