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    occupancy and velocity from late last summer to mid-January — the time of the ULI program — especially in the firm’s higher-end buildings in Hoboken, as renters return to the market.
And while first-half activity would hinge largely on other factors — such as the vaccine rollout — he expected to see demand continue to grow from the 22- to 30-year-olds that account for so much of the luxury multifamily renter pool.
“They obviously modified their lifestyles, but you’re talking about the lowest-risk group there is,” Cocoziello said, adding that the Advance is
room to run,” said Cruz, who leads JLL’s investment sales group in New Jersey. “And those metrics don’t seem to be frightening too many people because of the upside.”
Cruz, who led the ULI panel discussion,
also said it was important to not lose sight of the office and retail sector. His Morristown- based team
is “spending a lot of time on well-
leased, well-located” office and retail properties with credit tenants on long-term leases — “and those are trading and they’re trading at aggressive cap rates.”
Essentially, the asset classes do still provide upside in the near term to investors.
“There is a little bit of a negative connotation these days with retail and office, but there are some real bright spots in those product types,” Cruz said.
Rockwood Capital’s Charlie Leonard agreed that buyers who “really focus
on the right markets” — those that will adapt to post-COVID work trends — could find worthwhile deals in the New Jersey office sector.
“I think there are some interesting plays and there’s still some really good credit tenants that are out there and willing to sign leases,” said Leonard, a director with the firm. “Net-effective rents are not horrible relative to what you’re seeing in Manhattan, so I think you might see a little bit of a shift where people start to poke their heads into the office side and a little bit more into New Jersey and select markets, more so than we’ve seen.” RE
 Jose Cruz
                         Lowenstein Sandler Real Estate
When it really matters |
 Alexander Cocoziello
proceeding with a new 400-unit development in Harrison. “So we’re making that bet that, in the second half of this year and really the first half of 2022, that
pent up demand comes back and it comes back in a big way.”
Beitz said Carmel Partners spent part of 2020 managing its expenses and getting many of its buildings “back
to stabilization.” But there will be assets that were not able to recover, she said, creating additional value for would-be investors.
“For most of our deals, I firmly believe that we’re past the bottom,” Beitz said. “I do think that in the market we’re going to be looking at deals that are stuck at the bottom or deals that maybe have some pain that’s coming — and those are deals that are probably going to make the most sense for us.”
Other product types come with different challenges for investors. Cocoziello, whose firm has several large industrial projects under construction in the state, pointed
to the “extraordinary” competition from investors and lenders seeking opportunities in the asset class. That bodes well for anyone who can pin down a deal in a market like northern New Jersey.
To that end, JLL Senior Managing Director Jose Cruz said the firm recently brokered the sale of a suburban New York industrial building at roughly $400 per square foot, in a sign of continued growth in the sector and demand “across buyer pools.”
“That industrial market has a lot of

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