Industrial space may well be the new darling of commercial real estate. Yet, as we’ve seen recently in New Jersey, it’s also now the biggest target for the type of fierce local opposition that was long reserved for apartment builders.
Industry leaders are looking to stem the tide. As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, NAIOP New Jersey is doubling down on efforts to promote the value of industrial projects and not simply oppose public policy, but “help on the front end” when laws and regulations are being crafted. That’s according to Rockefeller Group’s Mark Shearer, who is set to become the commercial real estate association’s chapter president. The veteran developer spoke during a recent interview about growing anti-warehouse sentiment, among other topics, as he prepares to begin a two-year term at the helm of the organization’s volunteer leadership team.
Our January issue also features a profile on Blue Onyx Cos., a growing development firm focused on Paterson, East Orange and other underserved urban markets. The company has completed more than 120 transactions involving more than 1,000 apartments in the region, largely through value-add renovations of smaller multifamily properties, giving it key experience in cities that are seen as emerging markets. As CEO Levi Kelman tells us, it’s now set to tackle larger, more ambitious projects, with an eye toward larger-scale multifamily and mixed-use developments that still provide social impact and affordably priced homes.
Elsewhere in this edition, we bring you an interview with attorneys at Genova Burns LLC, home to one of the state’s most prominent real estate practices. The team is as busy and as integral to the industry as it was before the pandemic and before the Federal Reserve began to raise interest rates, but is increasingly helping clients play defense and guiding them through this period of uncertainty. The attorneys say interest rates have impacted everything from new development to investment sales. That’s not to mention the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the slow rollout of new state incentive and gap financing programs. The practice is navigating those challenges while also tapping into key growth areas in New Jersey commercial real estate, from film and television studio facilities to the legalization of adult use cannabis.
You can read those stories and more in our first issue of 2023, including the always popular Market Forecast. We’re lucky to once again have nearly two dozen owners, builders and service professionals taking part in this section, which is filled with insights on everything from interest rates to redevelopment. Thank you to our participants for helping us kick off another year, our seventh as a publication, and to everyone else for your continued support. We’re looking forward to another eventful year in New Jersey commercial real estate, as it grapples with questions about the economy and the pandemic’s looming impact. We’ll be there to cover it all. Until then, thanks for reading, enjoy the issue and best of luck in 2023!