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.
You may have heard by now about the rush for life sciences space in the wake of last year’s COVID-19 outbreak, which could still continue even after the virus is under control. New Jersey, of course, should stand to benefit with a deep pool of intellectual talent that rose to the occasion in the nation’s fight against the pandemic. That’s the good news, but tapping into that demand remains somewhat complicated.
With a new year upon us, we’re excited to bring you a look back at our top stories of 2020, including our most-read items and a few editor’s picks. You can catch up on our daily “best of” emails here.
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.