You wouldn’t know it by the last four months, but major news stories are always prone to ebbs and flows. The federal Opportunity Zone program is a case in point when it comes to commercial real estate publications. The investment vehicle has been all the rage at various points since it was created in late 2017, only to take a step back as buzz died down.
It was a busy spring, surprisingly so, and I know many of you would agree. I’ve seen it firsthand in the lease and sale announcements that have continued to hit my inbox these last three months, with many of them offering praise to the parties involved for getting the deal done in the midst of “challenging economic times” or “uncertain market conditions.” I know full well that much of the industry is still hurting. We won’t lose sight of that. But we will take the opportunity to highlight some of the positive things that are happening in spite of the pandemic.
Last month I alluded to how quickly things can change during a situation such as a pandemic, especially one that has so dramatically impacted our economy. That is certainly still the case in New Jersey, but the good news is that (as of now), things may be changing for the better.
Our world here in New Jersey has changed over the past two weeks and, for many of us, most dramatically over the past few days alone. We’re only just beginning to learn what it will be like to do our jobs and conduct business in the era of social distancing, and what this all means for the state’s commercial real estate sector will start to become clearer in the months ahead.
As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, a project aims to revive what should be prime real estate in East Brunswick, one that hugs a highway with daily traffic of 100,000 vehicles.
We learned last September that a developer has proposed building a 135,000-square-foot studio complex in Jersey City, with the very purpose of capturing the production companies that it says are coming here because of the film tax credit incentive. As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, other developers and property owners are making a similar bet, amid surging demand from the film and television industry.
As we wind down the year, we’re excited to bring you a recap of our top stories of 2019, including our most-read items and a few editor’s picks. You can catch up on our daily “best of” emails below. We will also keep you updated in the event of any breaking news.
As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, developers are preparing to add millions of square feet of new space to New Jersey’s exceedingly tight industrial market. Yet experts say demand will continue to outpace supply as those projects come online in 2020 and 2021, thanks to the continued upside of e-commerce and the chronic lack of developable land in the state.
In our July issue, we detail the efforts of New Jersey’s largest brokerage and service firms to support diversity and inclusion among their employees. This is nothing new for industry giants like CBRE, JLL and Cushman & Wakefield, but it’s become increasingly clear that these efforts are critical to recruitment, retention and overall employee culture. It’s why you’ll find these firms taking pains to promote and cultivate networking groups tied to gender, racial, lifestyle and other forms of diversity. That only stands to grow in our own local market and globally.
Newark’s dedicated blue-chip employers and anchor institutions have virtually all expanded or made commitments to grow, leading to billions of dollars’ worth of new commercial development. It’s a major reason why developers believe the time is right to, once and for all, bring new market-rate apartments to Newark’s central business district.