A growth in business including the life sciences sector makes New Jersey strong for business and its access to Newark and public transportation is a bonus, according to business leaders.
Barbara E. Kauffman, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Newark Regional Business Partnership, said that one real estate trend is the conversion of former office buildings to residential mixed use.
“[Start-up companies] are picking up on the growing demand of small technology firms that are incubating and growing,” Kauffman said. “Who knows? One could be the next Audible.”
I think in Newark the train has left the station: progress has already started
Tim Lizura, a senior vice president for real estate and special projects at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, said arts and culture are important to making Newark a constant environment for culture.
“How do we get people to live downtown [in Newark] so they are walking east,” Lizura said. “We are finally getting critical mass. …. There are a series of other amenities that need to be brought to the table. There is nothing more important than the Whole Foods supermarket moving to downtown.”
John Saraceno Jr., co-founder and managing principal at Onyx Equities, bought the Gateway complex of office buildings. “New Jersey has the people,” Saraceno said. “It is time to invest in infrastructure.”
“I think in Newark the train has left the station: progress has already started,” Saraceno added.
Heidi Learner, chief economist at Savills Studley, said New Jersey is ranked worst of America’s 50 states in terms of its onerous taxes especially its crippling property tax rates. New Jersey is also seeing many natives move to other states, Learner said. On the bright side, New Jersey is seeing many international people move to the Garden State, she said.
She noted that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law in February an expansion of the number of days that New Jersey employees can take off work and still be paid through the government.