Where is the commercial money going in New Jersey?

TRD ranks the Garden State’s top industrial, multifamily and development deals of 2023



The Garden State booked nearly $9 billion in sales of investment properties in 2023, and much of that volume was in a county you might not expect.

The Real Deal examined data for property sales of $100,000 or greater spanning commercial, industrial, multifamily and vacant development sites logged between Jan. 1, 2023 and Nov. 19, 2023, by the County Recorders of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties — totalling just under $9 billion — to see where commercial money is flowing.

The county with the biggest share of that volume was Middlesex. The county just across the river from Staten Island booked over $1.5 billion in volume across 413 transactions last year, beating out the counties directly across from Manhattan — Hudson and Bergen — on the Garden State’s Gold Coast.

East Brunswick Township contributed the most to the Middlesex County total, with $234 million in volume — the bulk of which came from a single transaction worth $166 million for a huge plot of vacant land nearby a string of existing logistics facilities along Edgeboro Road.

The total for East Brunswick — which has a population of less than 50,000 — was, in fact, the fourth highest for any N.J. municipality, behind only the state’s three largest cities, Jersey City, Newark and Paterson.

Hudson and Bergen counties ranked second and third for commercial property investments, with totals of $1.23 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively. The Jersey Shore county of Monmouth came in fourth with $1 billion, and Essex County rounded out the top five with $949 million.

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The list of N.J. municipalities with the most commercial investment last year was predictably topped by the state’s three most populous cities. Jersey City had $523 million in volume across 320 transactions, followed by Newark with $409 million across 223 deals and Paterson with $287 million across 160 transactions.

East Brunswick racked up its fourth-place total of $234 million on just 28 deals, but the borough of Kenilworth in Union County came in fifth with $214 million across just 10 transactions.

Most of Kenilworth’s total came from just one sale, but that was the biggest single commercial property deal of last year. Pharmaceutical giant Merck sold its 108-acre campus at 2000 Galloping Hill Road to a joint venture of Onyx Equities and Machine Investment Group in a lease-back deal worth $187.5 million.

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