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Real Estate Bisnow
The largest commercial real estate publication in the United States.
January 12, 2012 

From leases signed to shovels in the ground (to the place where the Giants are practicing for their Superbowl return), Northern NJ is a pretty happening place right now. So we’ve put together some of the top names to talk about opportunities at Bisnow’s Northern NJ State of the Market event next Wednesday at the Newark Club. Here’s a sneak peek from our illustrious panel. Sign up here!
Onyx Equities' Jon Schultz
There’s a continuation of the push in the distressed assets market, and as a receiver, Onyx Equities has been involved in many workouts and restructurings as fiduciary between the borrower and lenders. “There’s still uncertainty as to where the market sits,” co-founder and managing principal Jonathan Schultz tells us, with tens of billions worth of securitized properties nationwide. Are top market deals coming to roost? Time will tell, but this year may shape up to be a good investment sales market in Northern NJ, he says. Last year, the majority of sales were in Jersey City (he's traveling right now, so we teleported him via Photoshop). But we’re still waiting for influx elsewhere, as workouts have been holding properties up.
Russo Development prez & COO Ed Russo
Even though the Northern NJ industrial market has stabilized, we don’t see enough demand yet to warrant spec development, says Russo Development prez & COO Ed Russo. Many tenants are finding existing buildings that suit their needs, including Donna Karan, which just inked a 197k SF lease at Russo's 400 Commerce Blvd, Carlstadt. New buildings remain considerably more expensive than existing buildings, and there's still plenty of good space available in the market with the Northern NJ vacancy rate at 10.3%. Several tenants, however, have recently leased built-to-suit facilities, like Macy’s (for which Russo delivered a 70k SF parade studio in Moonachie last fall) but only because there were no existing buildings that fit their needs. There’s still plenty of work in one hot segment: data centers.
Heller Industrial Parks president Jeff Milanaik (with Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough)
After a slide in consumer spending and warehousing needs, Heller Industrial Parks has also seen industrial start to even out, says president Jeff Milanaik (with Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough recently). Jeff's firm owns over 16M SF of industrial assets nationwide, with 12.5M SF situated in Northern NJ. While industrial is stabilizing, Heller (through subsidiary Heller Urban Renewal) has been focusing 90% of its efforts on Harrison Station, where it's demolishing 750k SF of blighted industrial buildings on Frank E Rodgers Blvd in favor of six new residential mid-rise towers and 30k SF of ground-floor retail. It just received site approval for 747 units late December and plans to start vertical construction after demolition and abatement is done by the end of the year.

Roseland Property Co partner Carl Goldberg (left, with West New York Mayor Felix Roque at a recent groundbreaking)

And there’s been explosive growth in high-end multifamily projects in Northern NJ, thanks to renters-by-choice with high disposable incomes, says Roseland Property Co partner Carl Goldberg (left, with West New York Mayor Felix Roque at a recent groundbreaking). These residents, who pay as much as $9,500/month in rent, would've purchased multi-million dollar homes but instead want housing with luxurious amenities and proximity to transit. “They want more liquidity and flexibility,” he says. Roseland, for one, is developing RiverTrace, a 316-unit luxury rental building within the Port Imperial master-planned community.
Marcus & Millichap's Michael Fasano
It’s not only luxury—overall multifamily vacancy rates are pushing below pre-recession levels, says Marcus & Millichap VP and regional manager Michael Fasano. This, coupled with historically low debt availability, has made the multifamily the most sought-after asset in the marketplace. With the increased transaction activity across the sector, it has led to owners strategically selling off management-intense assets and exchanging for single-tenant net-leased assets. Want to hear more? Joining them will be Matrix Development Group prez & CEO Joseph Taylor and moderator Christopher Caslin, a member at sponsor Cole Schotz. Great schmoozing too! Sign up here.

Assemblyman Alex DeCroce
Our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of longtime Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, 75, who died at the State House Monday night. “I lost a dear friend, colleague, and mentor,” said Gov. Chris Christie in a statement, crediting the GOP leader for giving Christie his start in elective politics. Read his obituary here.
We can’t get you on Oprah like Chris Christie, but send your story ideas to amanda@bisnow.com and you just might see yourself in front of 8,000 Jersey CRE folks.
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