New Jersey Leads Northeast in Industrial Sales Volume

New Jersey’s industrial sector is experiencing significant growth, fueled by e-commerce demand and increased port activity. However, the market saw unprecedented demand for industrial space, leading developers to push the envelope by delivering modern last-mile distribution centers to fulfil needs.

Crow Holdings Development completed the redevelopment of a 207,000-square-foot facility in Elmwood Park in February. Image courtesy of Crow Holdings

Additionally, recent legislative changes in New Jersey—such as new bills granting state control over warehouse industry growth and measures to expedite construction permitting—are reshaping the industrial landscape.

The metro registered the largest sales volume in the Northeastern region in the first couple of months of the year, reaching $171 million, CommercialEdge data shows. New Jersey ranked as the fourth most expensive market, with assets trading at an average of $249 per square foot.

Less industrial space to come online

Bridge Point 999 is a 291,758-square-foot industrial development in South Brunswick, N.J.
Bridge Industrial’s 291,758-square-foot industrial development in South Brunswick will come online this quarter. Image courtesy of Mesa West Capital

In 2023, New Jersey saw the delivery of 56 facilities totaling more than 13 million square feet—2.3 percent of total stock. This figure was below the 3.1 percent national average. The metro’s industrial pipeline lagged behind peer markets, with Phoenix (8.6 percent), Dallas (6.6 percent) and the Inland Empire (4.0 percent) leading nationally.

As of the end of February, nine properties measuring almost 2.3 million square feet—or 0.4 percent of total stock—were completed. That’s some 450,000 fewer square feet of industrial space delivered than during the same interval in 2023, CommercialEdge data shows.

Earlier this year, Crow Holdings Development completed the redevelopment of a 207,000-square-foot industrial facility in Elmwood Park. Formerly a Marcal Paper warehouse that was destroyed by fire in 2019, the property sits on 12 acres close to Interstate 80.

Construction activity rises year-over-year

152 Ridge Road
In February, Invesco Real Estate paid $55 million for 152 Ridge Road, a 216,000-square-foot warehouse in South Brunswick Township. Image courtesy of JLL Capital Markets

New Jersey had approximately 7.5 million square feet underway across 35 projects in February, accounting for 1.3 percent of existing stock. This represents a considerable increase compared to 2023’s same period, when 1.4 million square feet were under construction. However, only 407,602 square feet of industrial space broke ground in the first two months of this year, constituting 0.1 percent of total stock.

Phoenix (10.9 percent of total stock), Dallas (2.4 percent) and Atlanta (2.1 percent) outpaced New Jersey, while Chicago (1.1 percent) and Indianapolis (1.0 percent) were at the opposite end, CommercialEdge data shows.

In January, Bridge Industrial secured $53.5 million in construction financing for Bridge Point 999. The 291,758-square-foot logistics building will rise in South Brunswick and is expected to come online this quarter.

New Jersey leads the region in sales volume

New Jersey claimed the largest sales volume across Northeastern markets through the first two months of 2024, amounting to $171 million. Assets traded on average for $249 per square foot, nearly double the $132 U.S. average.

Aerial view of the East Hanover industrial portfolio
Urban Edge Properties sold a 1.2 million-square-foot industrial portfolio in East Hanover for $217.5 million. Image courtesy of JLL Capital Markets

Nationally, only Los Angeles ($320 psf), the Bay Area ($274 psf) and Seattle ($256 psf) commanded higher sales prices per square foot, while Dallas ($165 psf), Chicago ($97 psf) and Atlanta ($118 psf) trailed.

At the end of February, Invesco Real Estate expanded its New Jersey footprint with the acquisition of 152 Ridge Road, a 216,000-square-foot facility in South Brunswick Township. This fully leased asset, occupied by Five Star Warehouse, traded for $55 million or $254.63 per square foot.

In 2023, the metro’s sales volume stood at $2.6 billion, for 12.9 million square feet of industrial space. In one of the largest deals in New Jersey of last year, an investment fund managed by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing and Saxum Real Estate acquired a 1.2 million-square-foot portfolio in East Hanover for $217.5 million.

The market sees more vacant industrial space

The metro’s vacancy rate benefits from robust demand for industrial space and constrained supply. As of February, 4.7 percent of industrial space was vacant, 30 basis point lower than the national average—but 210 basis points higher year-over-year. Among peer markets, Phoenix (3.2 percent), Indianapolis (3.1 percent) and Atlanta (4.5 percent) posted the lowest vacancy rates while the Inland Empire (6.0 percent) fared worse.

1500 John Galt Way in Florence, N.J.
At the beginning of the year, Sylvamo North America signed a full-building lease extension at 1500 John Galt way in Florence. Image courtesy of Colliers

At the beginning of the year, paper maker Sylvamo North America extended its lease at 1500 John Galt Way in Florence. The 431,720-square-foot building is part of Haines Center—an 800-acre, master-planned development comprising about 4.5 million square feet.

In February, the average asking rate in New Jersey stood at $10.38 per square foot, marking a 9.1 percent increase year-over-year. Notably, Orange County ($15.29 psf) commanded the highest asking rate, while Phoenix ($8.73 psf), Atlanta ($5.60 psf) and Dallas ($5.88 psf) were at the opposite end of the spectrum, according to CommercialEdge. The national average during the same period was $7.68.

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