Nowhere is the size and scope of NAIOP New Jersey more apparent than the association’s annual commercial real estate awards gala in May. Dan Kennedy saw that firsthand this year, on a night in which the chapter paid tribute to longtime CEO Mike McGuinness.
The moment was not lost on Kennedy, who was on hand as McGuinness’ successor in waiting.
“I think the number one thing that I learned is that NAIOP members are active and they show up, and they care about not just the history of the organization, but the future of it,” Kennedy said. “That was something that I was really blown away by at the event, with how the people that I encountered were really focused on not just their individual roles in the commercial real estate industry, but how NAIOP is really a key part of their success.
“The feeling I got walking into the room was that NAIOP is the industry,” he added. “It’s not just an obligation for people to attend. It’s something that people want to be a part of.”
Kennedy himself is now a critical part of the industry after assuming the CEO role on Aug. 1. As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, the veteran planner and public policy expert has a full plate of advocacy issues ranging from flood hazard and stormwater regulations to infrastructure and stranded assets. Fortunately, he brings nearly two decades of experience that includes key roles in state government and six years with the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey. That experience will be key as he begins his tenure, with visions of bolstering what is already one of the commercial real estate association’s strongest and most-respected local chapters.
Our September issue also highlights Gilead Sciences’ new 96,000-square-foot East Coast hub in Parsippany, which has validated its decision to invest substantially and strategically in a new workspace at a time of uncertainty about how and when to return to the office. Located at Vision Real Estate Partners’ Latitude campus, the facility was designed with collaboration and comfort in mind, all to support the company’s mission of preventing and treating life-threatening diseases such as HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer.
Elsewhere in this edition, we preview a project that will bring nearly 500,000 square feet of new industrial space to Jersey City, in a rare ground-up development in the submarket that will create the largest high-end logistics facility within five miles of the Lincoln and Holland tunnels. We also detail how Audible, the Newark-based audiobook giant, has launched a new series of business attraction efforts in the city that could drive office and retail activity near its headquarters, including relocation assistance, capital for new leases and stipends for employees to live and shop locally — with a focus on the types of startups it has long supported.
You can find those stories and more in our September issue, as we say goodbye to summer and gear up for a busy fall. We had our share of major deals and buzzworthy projects to cover during July and August, but here’s hoping for all that fall tends to bring in terms of impactful news on New Jersey commercial real estate.
Until next time, thanks for reading and enjoy the issue!