South Jersey In High Gear
South Jersey's got a locational advantage between NYC and Philly, but there's more to its competitiveness than that. That's why we're excited to host our upcoming 4th annual Bisnow Future of South Jersey at the Westin Mount Laurel at 7:30am on July 22.
Conifer VP of development Sam Leone, who will be a speaker, tells us that in the multifamily sector South Jersey properties need to—and often do— focus on providing a high-quality and energy-efficient product, solid amenities and strong customer service. "Customer service is sometimes overlooked, but really, if a tenant's in a community that has friendly staff and the property is well maintained, why would they leave?"
For age-restricted properties, amenities are even more important. The age-restricted market in South Jersey is strong and prospective tenants are looking for amenities that support an active lifestyle, but which also allow them to age in place. "In South Jersey, it's possible to be the only competitive rental community within several miles, or in other locations seniors have dozens of choices within a few miles," Sam says. "Neither is necessarily good or bad, but that needs to be carefully considered in the marketing plan." Pictured: Conifer's Springside School Apartments, its redevelopment of a historic 1910s school into 55-plus apartments.
The South Jersey office market is also smoking. WCRE managing principal Jason Wolf says that “the tone in our region continues to be optimistic, shored up by increasing demand and a lending climate that remains favorable.” In Q2 several large renewals and new leases were completed, planned relocations and developments were announced, and GROW NJ drew yet more interest in Camden, he adds. The overall commercial market has seen the market transition from humming along to stepping on the gas.
According to WCRE's most recent report on South Jersey office, Q2 posted more than 1M SF of new leases and renewals executed, more than triple the total that closed in Q2 '14. New tenant leases consisted of about 289k SF, while renewals and expansions made up 749k SF. Also, there's a pipeline of about 250k SF of significant pending lease deals expected to close in the near-term. Overall vacancy in the market continues to drop, and is now down to 12.9%, an improvement of more than half a point over the previous quarter. Join us for the 4th annual Bisnow Future of South Jersey at the Westin Mount Laurel at 7:30am on July 22. Sign up here.