Guest Columns

From one professional to another, our guest columnists offer their opinions and their take on the latest trends and issues facing the commercial real estate sector.

The domino effect: Without rental assistance, who’s left holding the bag?

When COVID-19 hit the United States, most Americans never imagined the impact it would have on daily life. As the virus spread, states like New Jersey started to implement policies to promote social distancing and to help those impacted by the economic fallout of the crisis, including policies such as an eviction moratorium. While such a policy addresses one specific immediate-term problem, it does not address the systemic need for rent revenue that supports an entire multifamily ecosystem, which is a critical component of New Jersey’s economy and significantly supports the State and municipalities through taxes. Without rental assistance and an understanding that rent is still due, multifamily jobs will be lost, private-sector financial obligations may not be met, utilities will not be paid and municipalities might see shortfalls due to the inability to pay property taxes. That is why we need a rental assistance program immediately.

Addressing affordable housing: Government leaders must adapt

After multiple Supreme Court decisions over 50 years, the creation of the Council on Affordable Housing and its subsequent power stripping by the Supreme Court in 2015, over 60,000 units of affordable housing have been created. So, does that mean that the battle over affordable housing in New Jersey is over? Nothing could be further from the truth.

How to read an insurance certificate

By Paul V. Profeta We all have work done on our buildings. Many of us require that the Contractor provide proof of insurance in order to protect us from any liability that could occur due to their negligence or imperfections…

Rent control is not a solution to our affordable housing crisis

Among the many issues facing our nation, the availability of affordable housing, or lack thereof, is a problem that lawmakers have been trying to address for decades. Federal programs that either support the development of affordable housing or provide assistance to renters through vouchers have been woefully underfunded, and state and local elected officials are looking for solutions. Unfortunately, some have turned to rent control as an answer. But the reality is that rent control will not only fail to solve our affordable housing crisis, it will actually make it worse. 

The next chapter in affordable housing in New Jersey

Since 2015, more than 280 towns in New Jersey have signed settlement agreements for their affordable housing obligations, while a judge has determined the statewide need to be about 155,000 units and experts project that about 50,000 of those will be created by 2025. Frankly, the court process is way too far down the road to try and move it back to the Council on Affordable Housing or another state agency. But that is not to say there are not some issues worth discussing as we move forward.

The changing landscape of stormwater management: New rule will require innovative techniques

On Dec. 3, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection published amendments to the state’s Stormwater Management Rule (NJAC 7.8) that, when adopted, will change fundamentally the way stormwater management systems are designed in New Jersey. The key amendment will replace the existing requirement, which asks developers to incorporate so-called non-structural strategies “to the maximum extent practicable,” with a firm requirement to use a technique known as green infrastructure in new development.

Remediation is now everyone’s business

Throughout the state, New Jersey is cleaning contaminated sites and turning them into productive, attractive new uses that are safe for the population and the environment. The state’s LSRPs are proud to be part of this success.

BCONE: Vision, team approach turned Perth Amboy development to gold

In the brownfield redevelopment universe, industrial projects have no equal thanks to the compound-complex nature of these mega-efforts, which are marked by X factors and uncertainty at every turn. Think of a conductor tasked with guiding a multi-chair symphony orchestra through intricate movements of a complex score — compared to a more simplistic coordination helming a small chamber ensemble. There’s a compelling difference, and thus welcome to the world of the industrial brownfield redevelopment, where multiple stakeholders are tasked with a multitude of boxes to check before any ribbon cutting can commence.

Health care sector as a major driver in the real estate market

Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge — Courtesy: NK Architects By Ben P. Lee, AIA Since the great recession of 2008, the health care sector has emerged as a reliable investment for real estate developers and the capital market.…

Long-term issues need long-term solutions

When the drafters of the federal and New Jersey constitutions established the length of terms for elected leaders from two to six years, they probably thought those were the right lengths to enable those leaders to focus on both short- and long-term issues. Unfortunately, most of the focus has been on the short term with little planning for the longer-term issues. Long-term has come to mean getting past the next election.