There’s a new industrial opportunity on the rise in Jersey City, offering unparalleled access across the region and to a large swath of the U.S. population.
Across the street from its own headquarters, logistics company NRS recently began construction of a modern 490,429-square-foot industrial development located at 1075 Secaucus Road—just about 3 miles from the Lincoln Tunnel.
As the third-generation leader of family-owned NRS, CEO Francis Walsh has a keen insight into the area and the industry: In its logistics work, the company operates across a combination of owned and leased spaces, adding up to around 3.5 million square feet nationwide, with about 40% of that belonging to NRS.
Work on 1075 Secaucus Road officially got under way in April of this year with March Construction handling the job. Tilt walls went up last week and delivery is set for the second quarter of 2024. According to Colliers’ Q2 industrial report, the project was the largest groundbreaking in the sector during the period.
Walsh said the one-time Brownfield site was used by its former owners to take in fill from Hudson River dredging. NRS has been sitting on the nearly 40-acre property since 2007. Previously used as a container storage site, Walsh said he saw the plot as an opportunity for both the future of his family and its business, as well as for customers.
As for the span of time between its acquisition and the current development, Walsh said the vision of previous leadership was different from his own.
“They treated it like a credit card with a very high limit. They just knew they could always take it out at some time in the future, where I like to prepare the future generation with my vision, which I was taught by my father who grew the company up until 2009,” Walsh said.
“You can do so much more with the warehouse than you can with the parking lot,” he told NJBIZ. “So it’s just a value-added service for our customers now where we could get speed to market much quicker.”
Overall, the development’s location makes it a stand-out opportunity, but its newness is also a defining feature. For one thing, 1075 Secaucus Road will feature 40-foot ceiling heights, much higher than older warehouses.
“That’s big for our customers,” Walsh said. “That’s typically 11% more than you can fit in a warehouse than a predated warehouse.”
The property can be occupied by one tenant or split for two. JLL is handling leasing.
Designed to be more of a distribution center than just a warehouse where product flows in and out, Walsh said the building offers a number of possibilities.
New Jersey is within a day’s drive of 33% of the U.S. population. In addition to immediate access to Exit 16E of the New Jersey Turnpike, the 1075 Secaucus Road offers proximity to Routes 1 & 9 and direct connections to Port Newark/Elizabeth and Port New York New Jersey.
A wealth of work
Beyond offering access for the delivery of goods, the region also offers the ability to deliver services with a robust logistics workforce.
Walsh mentioned Jersey City, West New York and Kearny as some of the bigger area localities where his workers come from. At NRS, which was started and has operated in the area since 1954, he says, they’ve “never experienced any type of lack of workforce.”
According to JLL, the total area labor supply draws from more than 835,000 people within a 5-mile radius to nearly 5.5 million people within 15 miles.
And, Walsh said, there’s infrastructure in place to help make getting to work easier. “[W]ith the Secaucus area, it’s a very dense warehouse population workforce and the community has built mass transit around that as well as Jersey City,” he said. “So they make it very fluid and easy for any type of worker to get to and from work very easily on all three shifts.”
He described the area as “very pro-warehouse.” Unlike others in the state that have experienced proliferation – and pull-back – on industrial developments, here “it’s encouraged.”
And progress is moving along, according to Walsh, who suggested that success as a testament to the whole NRS team. “Weather permitting, we’ve been on time,” he said. “We’ve had very little delays with any type of materials. Our financing was seamless. I think our timing was perfect. Everything hit exactly when it should have.”
Looking ahead, that course seems steady.
As a logistics company, “We are always a good window forward looking for the economy,” Walsh said. “We still see a robust consumer demand and workforce is still extremely, extremely strong.”