Retail, Residential Most Likely Development Prospects for Jersey City Site

Retail and residential are the two property types most likely to be developed on a 100-acre brownfield site on the west side of Jersey City, N.J., according to one prominent New Jersey real estate executive. The parcel, which is chromium contaminated, will be developed as the result of an agreement reached earlier this month between Jersey City and Honeywell International.The city sued Honeywell in 2005, and the court ruled that Honeywell must clean up the site, according to the Jersey Journal. Over the next five years, residential and retail development are the most likely property types to be developed in the area, said David Stifelman, senior director of Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey. “In the next five years or so, I don’t see that area becoming a viable office market.” he said. But longer term, office properties may have a future at the site. Since part of the site is on the Hackensack River, residential development is likely.“People always want to live near the water,” he said, noting that office development can sometimes follow residential development. Stifelman pointed out that 25-years ago, no one could have predicted the amount of office development in Jersey City. The Hudson Waterfront submarket, which consists of Jersey City, Weehawken and Hoboken, had a Class A vacancy rate of 10.1 percent as of the fourth quarter of 2007, with an overall vacancy of 9.6 percent, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Joe McMahon, vice president of the Staubach Co., agrees that office development is not likely, saying there is almost no office space in the area now. “Office users like to be near other office buildings,” he said. He does see potential for retail development, however, primarily because part of the site is on the busy Route 440. “If Target or Wal-Mart plans to build 55 stores in the Northeast, this is an area they could choose,” he said.