Editor's note: The Garden State Blooms

Jun.June 05, 2017 01:00 PM

The pace of life rarely slows in New Jersey, where an increasingly crowded market means that both commercial and residential players are always looking for a competitive edge.

As one of the top developers in the state, Mack-Cali often serves as a bellwether for what’s coming next. So when the firm announced a leadership switch-up this spring, The Real Deal took stock of what the company has accomplished under the tenure of former CEO and now Vice Chairman Mitch Rudin (page 20).

Amping up its Gold Coast presence while selling off many suburban office holdings over the last few years has paid off handsomely for Mack-Cali. But inland office parks are not dead, as is evidenced by our look at the office leasing market (page 18), which revealed that some businesses — either priced out of the coast or looking for a larger land grab — are embracing suburban sprawl.

When it comes to residential development, our ranking of the top players (page 26) shows that entrenched local firms — including Mack-Cali — and national players are competing for increasingly hard-to-get private and public funds to continue building on the waterfront.

And our ranking of the top brokerages in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris and Passaic counties (page 10) finds that high demand and a decided scarcity of single-family homes have brokerages using all manner of tech tools to land big sales. The tight inventory situation also continues to fuel the teardown trend (page 42).

As the coastal city that could, Newark has been touted for years as being on the rise, but we investigated whether or not it has truly arrived (page 30). The short answer: A Whole Foods certainly helps. And while Brick City was on our minds, we profiled U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s accomplishments in the real estate realm — and heard all about his parents’ first date (page 46).

But what’s a commuter city without the commuters? It’s been a tumultuous spring for straphangers, and with Amtrak’s major maintenance of tracks in Penn Station planned for this summer, we checked in on how some of New Jersey’s infrastructure projects are coming along (page 16) and how they’ll impact the real estate market.

Following the fracas over Nicole Kushner Meyer’s pitch for investment in Jersey City’s One Journal Square to potential EB-5 investors in China (page 14), we also examined which foreign investors are putting their money into the Garden State.

There’s plenty more in our annual New Jersey Market Report, including a look at whether the hotel market can sustain its higher room rates (page 38), and a retail check-in, in light of rampant store closures. We also dropped in — just in time for summer — for a by-the-numbers look at what’s happening on the Jersey Shore (page 44).

Enjoy the issue.

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