Editor’s Note

Hear directly from Editor Joshua Burd as he brings you the highlights of this month’s issue of Real Estate NJ and his observations from recent interviews.

Taking the lead

Industrial space may well be the new darling of commercial real estate. Yet, as we’ve seen recently in New Jersey, it’s also now the biggest target for the type of fierce local opposition that was long reserved for apartment builders.

Sustained success

As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, the state’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program has made it both easier and more lucrative for commercial property owners in New Jersey to go green, allowing solar developers to lease their rooftops and sell power to nearby residents. The policy has been critical to the growth of Solar Landscape, a solar developer founded in 2012 that’s been integral to the program’s rollout. Based in Asbury Park, the 10-year-old firm has leased more than 20 million square feet of rooftop space in New Jersey, making it a key player in the commercial real estate market in just a few years.

Buzzworthy

As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, the large, high-profile office deal is alive and well in the pandemic’s aftermath, as blue-chip employers make major investments in their physical footprint. That’s evident by several outsized leases in New Jersey this year of 100,000 square feet or greater, and market experts say there are likely more to come, as corporations look to support their growth while creating a “commute-worthy” environment for its distributed workforce.

Bolstering the ranks

As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, Prologis’ growing team is supporting a portfolio that now spans 44 million square feet across 200 properties in New Jersey and New York. Growing that footprint will come in a number of ways, Harty said, including the types of creative, value-add projects that involve redeveloping former office campuses. That, in turn, requires additional development and construction personnel like the kind that Prologis has added in recent months. And it comes as the company also hires for what’s known as its Essentials platform, which provides services to tenants such as helping them source materials for their building fit-outs, in a bid to engage them “beyond the four walls and the real estate.”

Out of the shadows

In this month’s cover story we highlights the plan to restore and reactivate the property’s long-dormant and long-vacant ferry terminal. The master development team at LCOR envisions it as a unique destination for commuters, city residents and visitors — and as the centerpiece of the plan called Hoboken Connect — which became clearer after I recently toured the space with the firm’s Brian Barry. The building’s second floor, with its 21-foot ceiling heights and a large, column-less floorplate stretching nearly 500 feet, has all the makings of such a destination and the potential to achieve one of LCOR and NJ Transit’s top objectives: opening the terminal to the public while enhancing the commuter experience.

Shifting gears

Camden city officials are now focusing on quality-of-life improvements that they feel will help draw new residents, following decades of population declines and years of corporate and institutional projects spurred by lucrative, often-controversial tax breaks from the state,

In real time

I try to walk a fine line when reporting on legislation and public policy proposals that may or may not come to fruition. Among them is the push to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey, which always seemed somewhat imminent under Gov. Phil Murphy, but still took several years and a voter referendum to become reality.

No worse for wear

Complex, labor-intensive projects have been central to the growth of Prism Capital Partners’ multifamily housing platform. The firm since 2013 has developed nearly 1,000 units, with hundreds more under construction, thanks to its work at Edison Lofts and other industrial-to-residential conversions in northern New Jersey. Notably, it has balanced those projects with a growing pipeline of ground-up, midrise buildings in towns such as Woodbridge and Dunellen, which boast strong demographics and transit-served downtowns despite being lesser-known locations.

Firsthand experience

To say that this month’s cover story is near and dear to me is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it’s also true. After all, I did spend five years working on the vast stretch of sprawling, landscaped office parks that is Davidson Avenue in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, which plays a prominent role in our February issue. As many of you know, the area is part of a 500-acre corporate business district along Interstate 287 that, in recent years, has grappled with millions of square feet of outdated and mostly vacant office space. Township officials are now meeting that challenge head-on, thanks in large part to a zoning change in late 2020 that paved the way for developers to repurpose those sites as industrial space.

Jumping in

Call me provincial, but I’m always fascinated these days when I hear that an established investor, developer or retailer that operates nationally is only now finding its way into the New Jersey market. With our labor pool, our consumer base and the all-important draw of being a discount from New York City, one can’t help but wonder what took them so long in the first place — especially in an expansion that goes back more than a decade.