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Jersey City Online Bret Schundler On the Waterfront

Originally appeared in the Real Estate New York magazine in the December/January 1999 issue

The Waterfront

The Colgate Clock Continues To Signify Prosperity


Comment on the status of commercial office, residential, hotel, and/or industrial real estate investment, development and overall activity in Jersey City.

In Jersey City, we continually strive to improve our quality of life, which has undoubtedly contributed to the exciting business climate of Jersey City. A recent survey by Experian, an Anaheim, California-based real estate information firm that tracks values in all major markets in the country using courthouse real estate recordation data which is publicly available, found that Jersey City was third among metropolitan areas in the country in home-resale price increases in 1997. Specifically, Jersey City had a 19.9 percent increase in property values for home resales. This means that, on an annualized percentage-rate basis, Jersey City's real estate sales price gains were far beyond the national rate of inflation in the cost of all goods and services.

Currently, occupancy of Class A office buildings is at an impressive 95%, while two thousand new residential units and 370,000 square feet of new retail are completed or under construction along Jersey City's five miles of Hudson River waterfront. Some of our waterfront developments include: Newport, a mixed development projected at as many as 9,000 residential units and 10 million square feet of office space; Hudson Exchange, which includes a retail center as well as residential Avalon REIT development; Exchange Place, Jersey City's financial district; and Portside, twin towers of housing with rents ranging from $900 to $2,850. In addition, plans were recently unveiled for the American Financial Exchange in Downtown Jersey City, a complex which will boast 1.8 million square feet of space, and a 420,00 square foot building being erected by Hartz Industries.

Beyond this staggering office space and residential development, there are plans underway to construct at least two additional hotels in Jersey City, following the recent completion of the 200 room Doubletree Suites Hotel.

Along with commercial office, residential, and hotel development, Jersey City continues to pursue industrial development opportunities as well. With 240,000 square feet built and partially occupied, the Claremont Industrial Center will ultimately comprise 450,000 square feet of industrical space. Liberty Industrial Park, another industrial site, is home to the Daily News Printing Plant and Ritter-Sysco Food Services. Combined, these two companies have invested over $200 million in Jersey City. Located on the southern-most portion of the waterfront, the Port Jersey/Greenville Yards development will create as many as 2,000 jobs as home to an imported automobile facility, a light industrial park, and a Tropicana distribution center.

Exchange Place And North

What is the single most important factor impacting/governing real estate fortunes in Jersey City?

There is no one factor which alone governs the real estate market in Jersey City. While a prime location across New York City greatly benefits our market, Jersey City also offers numerous incentives which assist its booming development. For example, there is no payroll tax, city sales tax, city income tax, corporate tax, personal property tax, tax on unincorporated businesses, or tax on commercial rent in Jersey City. Plus, in Jersey City's Urban Enterprise Zones, the state sales tax is only 3 percent. Lower taxes make for a more conducive business environment and strengthen the fiscal health of the City by freeing up investment dollars to help local businesses grow.

Exchange Place & Owen Grundy Park, Looking Northwest

Do local economic conditions outweigh municipal incentives when it comes to attracting and/or retaining residents, business tenants, merchants and investors/developers, or must both be considered simultaneously?

Both local economic conditions and municipal incentives must be taken into account when it comes to attracting and/or retaining residents, business tenants, merchants and investors/developers to Jersey City.

Comment on the real estate outlook for Jersey City in the near and long term.

Jersey City is fast-becoming a miniature Silicon Valley, capitalizing on the regional brainpower and the economic benefits that we can offer small firms.

The combination of the economic renaissance in Jersey City and Mayor Bret Schundler's pro-growth policies have brought fiscal stability to Jersey City, and made our City a wise and economical location, whether for a large corporation, a small entrepreneur, or an individual looking for a home.


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