30 Montgomery St. in Jersey City — Courtesy: Onyx Equities
By Joshua Burd
Cushman & Wakefield has added more than 9 million square feet in recent months to its property management portfolio in New Jersey, while bolstering the team that oversees the service line.
As of year-end, the firm said its asset services portfolio spanned 108 buildings totaling 19.5 million square feet in the Garden State. Its latest addition is 30 Montgomery St., a 315,000-square-foot, Class A office tower in Jersey City that C&W is now managing on behalf of Onyx Equities LLC and American Realty Advisors.
The real estate firm sees an opportunity to continue that growth, especially amid the recent flurry of investment sales in commercial properties. As a result, many of the new landlords in the state are institutional investors or smaller groups that are inexperienced in operating a property.
“You’ll have a lot of those types of buyers in the market these days,” said Nevins, who joined the firm last March after a 30-year career with firms such as Onyx and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. “So a lot of these people just don’t have the wherewithal or the desire to establish operating platforms, so they’ll look to third-party providers.”
As such, he said there is now “significant untapped regional potential” for what was previously an add-on offering to brokerage services. C&W has grown its asset services team by about 10 since hiring Nevins, including five new property managers, for a total of 25 today.
It’s now focused on growing a portfolio whose most recent additions also include suburban office and medical office projects. For instance, C&W now manages two buildings recently acquired by Rhodium Capital Advisors in Somerset and Morris counties.
The team also was named property manager for the 535,000-square-foot former Chubb Insurance headquarters property in Warren Township, which is owned by Somerset Associates, according to a news release. Another driver of its recent property management growth involves industrial buildings, including 7.8 million square feet in portfolio and project assignments throughout the state for existing and new clients.
“This relates directly to transactional volume,” Nevins said. “The New Jersey industrial sector is hot, bolstered by the expansion of e-commerce and a general surge in demand for distribution facilities.”
Industrial portfolios require less on-site management and have a simpler operating platform than office buildings, he said. That makes them far different from a property such as 30 Montgomery in Jersey City, which has 45 tenants across its 315,000 square feet and requires an on-site engineering team of three and a two-person management office.
But Nevins believes the firm is equipped to handle assignments of all sizes and types in New Jersey, setting it up for additional expansion in the year ahead.
“Our hope is to continue to grow in a similar fashion in 2018,” he said. “I would expect that it would be very similar, if not more significant, as we’re getting more of a foothold and establishing ourselves in the marketplace.”