Messaging from Trenton over the last several months, “airing dirty laundry” and delayed payments and responses to companies involved in the state’s incentive programs are scaring away legitimate businesses from setting roots in New Jersey. Businesses need certainty and clarity. Why don’t we pivot the conversation to one about how to make robust investments in our people and infrastructure without any further distractions and political roadblocks?
Industrial real estate is still surging as commercial real estate’s hottest property type, and that’s no more evident than right here in New Jersey, providing a chance to showcase the innovation and creativity that’s taking place in the industry.
Legislation was enacted last November that requires NJ Transit to establish an office of real estate economic development and transit-oriented development to assess all its properties and annually recommend how best to increase NJT’s non-fare revenues. The goal is to enable NJT to have more funds to invest in its operations, maintenance and capital projects in order to improve performance for bus, rail and light rail passengers.
April 22 is Earth Day, always a great time to reflect on what we as citizens can do to make the planet a little greener: reducing waste, conserving energy, reusing or donating products and recycling.
Commercial real estate developers and their professionals are a tough breed of entrepreneurs who thrive on thinking outside the box. My recent observation of presentations to the judges for NAIOP’s Deal of the Year awards (to be announced at the May 16 Gala), confirmed the latent creativity and tireless work ethic in this business — a business that is, in reality, all about hospitality and human resources as developers and brokers focus on creating amenity-rich spaces to compete for tenants and the modern workforce.
Gov. Phil Murphy will give his budget message to the Legislature on Tuesday, March 5. As the voice of the commercial real estate development industry in New Jersey, NAIOP’s attention will be focused on the messaging that emanates from Trenton. Given the headlines over the last several months, we are rightly concerned about the state’s fiscal health and its ability to withstand a recession, which is all but certain by 2020.
A newly elected Congress returns in January with Republicans enjoying a slightly expanded majority in the Senate and Democrats taking charge of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010. I believe that the shift of power in the House to a Democratic majority has opened some opportunities for those of us in New Jersey commercial real estate.
The influx of “big data” can be overwhelming and complex — coming with privacy concerns and other challenges — but it provides a great opportunity to help developers and landlords improve operational efficiencies and attract and retain tenants.
Business as usual is just not possible anymore. New Jersey’s underperforming economy, bloated public sector spending and rising cost of living, along with Congress’s decision to reduce the state and local tax deduction, are forcing our collective hands to do better. There is no better place to start than at home in our local municipalities and school districts, where consolidations and sharing of services can produce both real financial savings and better outcomes. Simultaneously, state and county governments need to do likewise. Taxpaying businesses and residents deserve accountability, and this may require audits of how and where every dollar of taxpayer money is being spent.
With the incredible growth of this sector in recent years, could logistics help make New Jersey cliff-proof? I think so, but only if we take steps to address serious workforce challenges, especially those related to affordability and accessible transportation. With the increasing likelihood of a recession in 2020, we need to act now. The importance of the port region to New Jersey’s economy cannot be overstated, and continued investment is critical. We also need to solve the “last mile” conundrum that presents transportation and lifestyle challenges.