The Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) research team on Tuesday released reboarding findings that show businesses are not going to immediately return to normal operations and they will be expected to continue social distancing based on the CDC guidelines for a phased reopening. Depending on the length of this new normal NKF believes the following long-standing office market trends in Northern New Jersey will be disrupted.
Common area amenities such as lounges, gyms and cafeterias may diminish especially if they end up being closed for an extended period of time. The preference for open concept office plans with high employee density is expected to reverse as companies look to practice social distancing. And suburban offices, which have lost some appeal in recent years, may see renewed interest as companies in urban areas look to spread out and avoid mass transit.
As the state-mandated social distancing measures have now been in effect in New Jersey for more than one month and the impacts on the economy and office market are becoming clearer. NKF finds that tenant activity has slowed dramatically and many businesses are compromised, though some office occupiers are faring better than others. Tenants in the life sciences, health care and tech sectors are best positioned and will be most likely to increase their space needs.