For all the time we’ve spent highlighting New Jersey’s glut of sprawling, vacant corporate campuses, it’s easy to lose sight of just how many of them have been rescued in recent years by some of the state’s boldest and most inventive developers.
Those success stories are worth telling, which is why we often do at Real Estate NJ. But there are underlying trends or nuances in some of those projects that don’t get as much attention on a day-to-day basis. Like how a crop of innovative, lesser-known biotech and pharmaceutical firms are backfilling space at the former research campuses of Sanofi and Hoffmann-LaRoche, helping to stabilize those sites as their new owners pursue larger redevelopment plans.
It’s an encouraging sign that we highlight in this month’s cover story, which looks at the market for laboratory and research space in New Jersey. As experts tell us, the market is healthy and being fed by a pipeline of young life sciences firms such as Big Pharma spinoffs, venture capital-backed firms and cutting-edge biotech startups. The proof is in the response to the high-end lab space that came available when Sanofi and Roche moved out of Bridgewater and Nutley, respectively, and will soon be available at the massive Bristol-Myers Squibb complex in Hopewell.
Our long-term hope is not only that these next-generation firms will continue to need space in the Garden State, but that some of them will grow into the type of large employer that can make a meaningful impact on our real estate sector. Much like the Big Pharma firms of years past, which still see New Jersey as a headquarters location but no longer see it as an R&D hub.
Our March issue also includes an interview with Bill Colgan of CHA Partners, whose firm has built a niche in redeveloping shuttered hospitals in the state. As we detail in our story, “Filling the Void,” the Bloomfield-based firm is preparing to tackle its largest hospital project to date, one that also happens to be a decade in the making for city officials and residents of Plainfield.
We bring you those stories alongside other features such as a Q&A with Kim Brennan and David Simon, who have helped grow Colliers International’s presence in New Jersey over the past three years. We also bring you a look at the real estate strategy of the KIPP New Jersey charter school network, which has shown the savvy of a developer in growing its footprint in Newark.
You can find those stories and more in the pages that follow. I’m certainly not surprised, but the first two months of 2018 have flown by and we hope to see things heat up in the market as we march toward spring. I’m confident that will be the case, so we’ll have much more to bring you in print, online and in The Briefing, our daily must-read morning e-blast.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions, feedback and story ideas. Enjoy the issue!