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NJ commercial vacancy rates even lower than reported.

The commercial real estate market has never been stronger. While published reports put the vacancy rate for commercial and industrial space in New Jersey at eight to nine percent, Steve Bussel, president of Bussel Realty in Edison, NJ, says the actual rate is lower.

"The majority of that is space is in transition," Bussel said. "We track all available buildings in Northern and Central New Jersey, and the actual amount of vacant space right now is probably less than three percent."

The strong real estate market is the result of the best and longest economic boom in post-war history, and the shortage of open land in Northern and Central New Jersey. While many buildings in the region are being upgraded. the availability of industrial space gets even tighter.

"This is the strongest market I've seen since I started in this business in 1973," Bussel said. "With so little space available, it is virtually impossible to find large distribution and warehousing space. There are several requirements out there now for large warehouses, and virtually no existing buildings to accommodate them. All the large users are going to have to wait for new product to be developed."

There also is a tremendous demand for flex-space, fueled by high-tech and Internet companies and the numerous communications and pharmaceutical companies located in New Jersey.

"Exit 8A on the New Jersey Turnpike is the hot spot for new construction now," Bussel said. "All the major players are there, doing build-to-suit and spec construction, but even that's already getting built out. Land is getting harder and harder to find."

"The next hot spot will be exit 7A, where land prices are still reasonable, and it's a mid-point between New York City and Philadelphia," he added.

Bussell Realty recently was named the exclusive agent to market approximately 300,000 square feet of the former 793,000 square-foot Rickel corporate headquarters and distribution facility in South Plainfield, NJ, where only 108,000 square feet of warehouse space and 45,000 square feet of office space is still available.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 26, 2000
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