Real Estate NJ set out to identify the biggest public policy issues for commercial real estate, as New Jersey begins a new legislative session and a new administration under Gov. Phil Murphy.
Here are the issues identified by Michael McGuinness, CEO of NAIOP New Jersey.
NAIOP New Jersey’s priorities are public policies that do everything possible to attract and retain jobs and investments in the Garden State:
Investing in and deploying critical resources to our transportation system
- Transportation Trust Fund capital project master plan to target highest and best uses (transit-oriented development) and last-mile connectivity.
- Complete the Gateway project.
- Freight rail should be a greater priority, given its import to logistics and distribution.
- NJ Transit must monetize its (real estate/air rights) assets to highest and best uses.
- Increase the state Department of Transportation’s 263,000-pound rail car standard to 286,000 pounds.
Modifying incentives and PILOT agreements to reflect market and workforce needs
- Revise and modernize incentives (such as Grow New Jersey and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth grant) to enhance program flexibility, reduce minimum project size, limit the size of rewards, reduce benefit of retained jobs and rebalance program priorities to reflect today’s market conditions and needs (e.g., workforce behavior, employment conditions).
- Ensure the continued economic benefits of the local PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreements that are critical to redevelopment and affordable housing.
Capturing and retaining skilled and talented workforce
- Reduce the costs and time of development and reduce property taxes to improve housing affordability.
- Reform liquor license laws in support of live/work/play redevelopment that attracts young professionals.
- Fast-track and facilitate the training and hiring of skilled individuals to support growing industries.
- Develop a student loan modification/forgiveness program to encourage graduates with in-demand skills to stay in New Jersey.