The union of solar power and commercial real estate is nothing new, but a sustained, long-term marriage between the industries has yet to be realized. That could soon change in New Jersey, thanks to a landmark pilot program that could soon become permanent.
As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, the state’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program has made it both easier and more lucrative for commercial property owners in New Jersey to go green, allowing solar developers to lease their rooftops and sell power to nearby residents. The policy has been critical to the growth of Solar Landscape, a solar developer founded in 2012 that’s been integral to the program’s rollout. Based in Asbury Park, the 10-year-old firm has leased more than 20 million square feet of rooftop space in New Jersey, making it a key player in the commercial real estate market in just a few years.
And, with Community Solar now set to become a permanent program, there’s likely more opportunity to come for Solar Landscape and other firms in the space.
“We’ve got a lot on the sideline waiting to get into the next program, and we’re not the only ones,” CEO Shaun Keegan told us, adding that “there’s a ton of excitement around it with real estate owners,” who see the chance to shrink their carbon footprint while capturing new rental income.
Our latest edition also highlights the prospective growth of micro-apartments in New Jersey, as we feature one such project in downtown Newark. An affiliate of Manhattan-based Winchester Equities is renovating a historic bank building on Broad Street, with plans calling for 98 micro-studios measuring around 360 square feet and eight one-bedroom units ranging from 664 to 695 square feet. Indigo Residences, as the project will be known, will also have a movie screening room, Amazon lockers and other amenities, as ownership looks to make its mark with what is likely the city’s first micro-unit rental property.
Elsewhere in this issue, we detail the unlikely “explosion of Class A office space” in Lakewood, as a town official described it. In a state where new office construction has all but flatlined, developers in the township have built hundreds of thousands of square feet in recent years. The construction is an echo of the housing boom in a municipality that has seen its population grow by 125 percent since 2000, fueled by the Orthodox Jewish community.
You can find those stories and more in Real Estate NJ’s winter issue, which comes amid continued concerns about how an uncertain economy, inflation and other headwinds will impact commercial real estate. A panel of experts discussed those concerns and more during our recent program, Market Outlook: The State of Multifamily, in partnership with JLL. You can read all about it in this month’s issue and online at RE-NJ.com. Thanks to all who attended, supported and participated in the event.
Until next time, thanks for reading and enjoy the issue!