Waterfront development in NY and NJ is NACORE topic.
The speakers included: Joseph V. Scimone, director of acquisitions for Crown Properties, Inc.; Emanuel Stern, president and chief operating officer, Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc.; Alfred L. Faiella, Deputy Mayor of the City of Newark and executive director of Newark Economic Development Corporation; Louise M. Matthews, director, real estate for Colgate-Palmolive Company; and S. Lawrence Davis, partner, Emmes & Company LLC.
Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, a leading advocate for the revitalization of American cities, described the waterfront as New York City's economic lifeline, historically and today, and a means for enhancing the city's image and tourist product.
"Despite the continuing decline of manufacturing and the fact that goods movement has shifted largely from ship and rail to truck, the city's zoning map continues to reflect past history, with most manufacturing zones, particularly those outside of Manhattan, still located along the waterfront," noted Ferrer.
In New Jersey, waterfront development is taking several forms. Joseph Scimone of Crown Properties led the acquisition of 300 Boulevard East in Weehawken, NJ. The waterfront property, built in 1987 and vacant until 1997, has attracted its first major tenant, marking the turnaround of this prime commercial office building. With all the amenities of the entire Lincoln Harbor area and large well laid-out floorplates, it provides an excellent choice to cost conscious tenants that want an "A" location profile.
The combination of a strong rebound for office space along the New Jersey waterfront and Crown's aggressive approach has turned the 311,950 square-foot building around completely. Both the interior and exterior of the property were redesigned.
"Very competitive rents both to downtown New York City and even to other waterfront properties in New Jersey have made 300 Boulevard East an excellent low cost provider of prime space," said Scimone.
Hartz Mountain Industries, in joint venture with Garden State Development (GSD), is developing a 200-room hotel in Jersey City. Emanuel Stern discussed other properties in Hudson and Union counties that are being developed.
In Newark, a "renaissance" continues. Alfred L. Faiella, Deputy Mayor of the City of Newark, heads the Economic Development Corporation and smooths the way for businesses. Faiella oversees city policy toward the emerging downtown, revival of neighborhood commercial corridors, and replacement of Newark's aging housing stock.
The great new downtown Gateway towers are stunning examples of the state's largest office complex. Across Raymond Boulevard is the pink and blue Legal Center. The new PSE&G tower is being closed in by the march of new buildings up Raymond Boulevard.
Newark Center incorporates both Seton Hall Law School and a commercial structure, and One Penn Center adds a stunning southern anchor to the complex.
Newark Airport has become one of the nation's busiest and most important air centers. A $375 million Monorail now links the terminals to the parking lots, while plans are proposed to link the monorail with the downtown areas of Elizabeth and Newark. Culturally, the city is expanding. The Newark Public Library has greatly improved its facilities and opened a Information Technology Center for public training and use.
On the residential front, there is tremendous growth in private housing. Vast numbers of upscale private townhouses and condos are being built throughout the city.
In Jersey City, Colgate-Palmolive is currently involved in the disposition of the company's surplus property there, said Louise M. Matthews. A master plan calls for the transformation of a former manufacturing facility into seven million square feet of mixed use development.