Spotlight: New Jersey
new Jersey may Be living up To iTs green-friendly nickname. solar insTalla-
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In fact, the state’s Clean Energy Program requires that all electricity suppliers in the state garner more
than 22 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020; at least 2 percent of that must be solar. As part of that initiative, suppliers can buy solar renewable-energy certificates to offset what they
produce in house, leading to an increasing market for solar installations — anywhere from commercial
buildings’ rooftops to landfills.
This past April, the largest rooftop solar farm in the country was completed atop a distribution center in
Edison, but that record may not stand for long. Two other projects are in the works that could beat the
17-acre solar farm’s record, according to The Star-Ledger.
Warehouse and industrial space are not the only properties interested in joining the booming solar market
in New Jersey. Stafford Park, a large mixed-use development in coastal Stafford, will include a 6.5-mega-
watt solar farm along with its 650,000 square feet of retail space, 328 apartment units and 349 houses.
New Jersey Office Market
NEW JERSEy OFFICE VACANCy AND RENTAL RATES
New Jersey office properties have
been stagnating with high vacancy
rates and declining rents since the
recession. Statewide, vacancy rates
were at 25. 8 percent this past second quarter, down from 26. 4 percent
in second-quarter 2010, according
to data from Jones Lang LaSalle. Average rental rates also declined to
$23.72 per square foot this past second quarter, the lowest price in the
past five years. Rates have been hovering around $23 since the fourth quarter of ’09.
Source: Jones Lang La Salle
A recent bright spot in the market was the sale of two waterfront office towers in Jersey City this past
April for $310 million. That price, which comes out to about $375 per square foot, is the highest paid per
square foot in state history, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
Atlantic City gaming Industry
The recent recession hit Atlantic City’s tourist-driven economy hard. The unemployment rate in the city
was 18.3 percent this past May, and the casinos’ operating profits decreased by almost 28 percent from
2009 to ’ 10, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
The state has stepped in to help revitalize the struggling area, however. This past January, the state assembly ended several casino regulations and instituted a tourism district in the city, overseen by the
Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). In addition, the CRDA has pledged $1 million to
help demolish abandoned or dilapidated buildings.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate
mirrors the dismal national numbers. This past May, the state’s unemployment rate was 9. 4 percent.
Unemployment in the state’s three
largest cities, however, indicates further difficulties. Paterson has been
hit the worst, with unemployment
reaching 16. 4 percent in May 2010;
it inched down to 15. 6 percent this
past May. Newark and Jersey City
are suffering similar problems, with
unemployment rates of 15. 4 percent
and 11 percent, respectively.
Source: U. S. Department of Labor
Jennifer E. Garrett is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide. Reach her at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.
The troubled mega-mall and entertainment complex
known as “Xanadu” is getting a $200 million tax
break as part of a deal to finish the development at
the Meadowlands. The $2 billion complex was slated
to open in 2007 with shops, a movie theater, a bowling alley and restaurants. The Triple Five Group has
taken over the project, renamed the American Dream
Meadowlands, and plans to open in the fall of 2013.
Panasonic Corp. of North America is moving its
headquarters from Secaucus, N.J., to Newark. By
2013, about 1,000 Panasonic employees will move
to 250,000 square feet at Two Riverfront Center,
where the company has a 15-year lease. Panasonic
received a $102.4 million subsidy from the New
Jersey Economic Development Authority under the
agreement that the company would create about
200 new jobs over a 10-year period.
The 98,500-square-foot Siemens AG office building
was vacant in 2009 when it was purchased by the
Hampshire Companies. Since then, the building has
been redeveloped and expanded to 110,000 square
feet. Opening this past May, the four-story Centra
building is gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified and houses a conference center, fitness center and café.
“Investors are starting to look outside the core
markets, particularly for multifamily and stabilized
retail properties. We’re starting to see more activity in secondary markets, with the expectation
that that will translate into the tertiary markets.”
sources: Atlantic City Weekly, Commercial Property Executive, Cushman & Wakefield, Hotels
magazine, Jones Lang LaSalle, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey Department of
Labor and Workforce Development, NJ.com, Real Estate Forum, The Record, The Star-Ledger,
U. S. Department of Labor; Atlantic City photo courtesy of gary718/ Shutterstock.com