While New Jersey has seen its share of built-to-suit corporate headquarters projects in recent years, speculative construction continues to be elusive in the state’s office market.Those are the findings of new research by the brokerage firm JLL. Analysts said nearly 80 percent of the 3 million square of office space completed since 2010 have involved build-to-suits or anchor tenant-driven projects.
The firm cites the “transitional market conditions” as the reason for an empty speculative pipeline in northern and central New Jersey. Less than 100,000 square feet of spec construction has taken place annually since 2010, except for 2011, when developers in the Metropark submarket completed nearly 370,000 square feet of construction without first lining up tenants.
New Jersey is not alone. Published reports say only a handful of speculative projects are underway nationwide as developers and lenders continue to be leery after the downturn. The few markets that have those projects include San Francisco, where developers who took the risk are being rewarded by a fast-growing technology sector, according to the Wall Street Journal.
JLL notes about 852,000 square feet of new office construction is slated to come online this year, including a new SJP Properties building in Hoboken, which will be anchored by Pearson Education, and CommVault Systems Inc.’s new headquarters in Tinton Falls.
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