It was a busy spring, surprisingly so, and I know many of you would agree. I’ve seen it firsthand in the lease and sale announcements that have continued to hit my inbox these last three months, with many of them offering praise to the parties involved for getting the deal done in the midst of “challenging economic times” or “uncertain market conditions.”
I know full well that much of the industry is still hurting. We won’t lose sight of that. But we will take the opportunity to highlight some of the positive things that are happening in spite of the pandemic. In this month’s cover story, we detail how Jersey City has made a deliberate effort to keep its pipeline flowing since the start of the coronavirus crisis, which is welcome news to developers that are still bullish on its booming residential market. And it comes as other towns and cities across the state have hit the brakes on large-scale projects during the pandemic, making Jersey City all the more noteworthy in its approach.
Our June issue also revisits a familiar topic in New Jersey’s commercial real estate sector — the demand for lab and research space. As experts tell us, that market has begun to tighten, thanks to continued interest from smaller, younger life sciences companies that continue to take space at legacy research campuses. That has fueled rent growth in recent years and is now pushing some developers to consider new lab and research projects in places like Nutley, Bridgewater and Jersey City.
Elsewhere, we bring you an interview with Ralph Zucker, who has spent more than a decade transforming Holmdel’s iconic Bell Labs into the vibrant, mixed-use campus now known as Bell Works. The project was nearing the peak of its success, with a population that included 4,000 office workers and hundreds of other daily visitors, when the COVID-19 outbreak forced the statewide shutdown. In a candid discussion, Zucker recounts how his team has handled the crisis and the steps they’re taking to reopen once the storm has passed.
I’ve heard from enough of you to know that our market has maintained some of its momentum despite everything the industry has faced these last three months. We’re now seeing the state take major steps toward reopening, so I’m eager to see where we go from here and how the market responds. Will there be the typical summer slowdown, or will it be an unusually busy July and August as the industry reacts to some pent-up demand? We’ll find out soon enough and we will be here to cover it all, in print and online. Until then, please continue to stay safe and stay in touch.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the issue!