We are now more than six months into the pandemic that shut down much of New Jersey’s economy in early March. I thought it would be a good time to pause to look at where we are in terms of recovering from the staggering unemployment and economic losses caused by the health crisis. There is some surprisingly good news, but it must be taken with a strong dose of caution.
The state’s commercial real estate community gathered virtually on Wednesday as NAIOP New Jersey honored a group of transformative projects and industry leaders, including the family of a developer who helped found the chapter a half-century ago.
Nine of the state’s most impactful development projects will take center stage Wednesday night as NAIOP New Jersey hosts its annual commercial real estate awards gala.
Since mid-March, our national GDP has plunged and New Jersey’s unemployment rate is startling, as budgeted state and local revenues are hemorrhaging. COVID-19 has made matters far worse and the budgetary pains and economic slowdown will be significant and sustained under any scenario. Our state and local elected officials must now make difficult decisions that do not jeopardize our future.
Despite the ongoing adverse impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, some experts report that the macroeconomic trends are looking favorable nationally, and especially for New Jersey, but it’s going to be pretty slow going. Marked differences exist among the various sectors, not all of which have bottomed out yet.
Much of the workforce has been absent from offices/workplaces and transportation systems since mid-March. Has this absence “made hearts grow fonder” to return? Not entirely, according to some experts.
More than 1,000 industry professionals have registered for this week’s I.CON event, NAIOP’s flagship conference for the industrial sector, despite its move this year to a virtual format. And with an industry that appears to be as bullish as ever, organizers believe they can still deliver the kind of experience and value that attendees have to come to expect from the annual gathering.
With eyes on recovery, Gov. Phil Murphy has formed a “cabinet-level” advisory commission to focus on the macro issues, including resilience, infrastructure and messaging, and a Restart and Recovery Advisory Council with subcommittees to work out the details of how and when various sectors of the workforce will resume operations. Landlords and tenants will confront myriad issues as the stay-at-home restrictions are lifted and businesses reopen under a new set of protocols.
Industrial developers and companies seeking logistics space are unlikely to face lasting damage from the coronavirus pandemic, experts say, but the market is still poised for major changes amid disruptions to supply chains and consumer spending habits.