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,
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.
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.
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corporate business district along Interstate 287 that, in recent years, has grappled with millions of square feet of outdated and mostly vacant office space.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.
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.
We’re excited to kick off another year of Real Estate NJ and The Briefing, our must-read daily email blast with all of the latest deals, developments and people news in New Jersey commercial real estate. This year, we are coming to you with an expanded version of the newsletter, including an industry events calendar and additional stories you may have missed, along with other features that you’ll see in the months ahead.
I’ve spent a decade watching Devco tackle some of the state’s largest, most ambitious redevelopment projects with complex capital stacks and broad coalitions of stakeholders. It’s a topic that we feature in this month’s cover story, which follows a year in which the organization broke ground on more than $1.5 billion worth of development. That makes it all the more timely for us to highlight an operation that is seemingly unlike any other developer in New Jersey.
Commercial real estate truly is a people business, which explains why our stories highlighting new hires, promotions and other personnel moves are among the most popular. We’re fortunate to see a steady diet of these updates from all corners of the industry, including the types of announcements that have come from DMR Architects just about every year since we launched Real Estate NJ — five hires here, three new additions there — all to support a growing pipeline and portfolio that includes everything from apartments and hospitals to government buildings.
The debate over New Jersey’s corporate incentive programs has been well-chronicled in recent years, but regardless of where you fall on the issue, there’s no denying their influence on the state’s commercial real estate market. That influence was all but gone for two years after Grow New Jersey and other subsidy programs were allowed to expire in summer 2019, with no immediate replacements in sight until Gov. Phil Murphy and lawmakers agreed on new incentives late last year. The state is now putting those offerings to work, starting with the jobs-based Emerge program that will fill the void left by Grow New Jersey.