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Cushman & Wakefield EMD Fern Sees Continuing NJ Industrial Momentum

Charles Fern, executive managing director, Cushman & Wakefield, and rendering of 1075 KIng George Post Road, Edison, NJ Charles Fern, executive managing director, Cushman & Wakefield, and rendering of 1075 KIng George Post Road, Edison, NJ

ISELIN, NJ—Big-box leasing and high demand for new construction continue to define the New Jersey industrial market heading toward mid-year 2017, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s Charles Fern. An executive managing director and senior supply chain specialist based in Cushman’s Iselin office, Fern is seeing continued record demand following a high-volume 2016.

Among the state’s largest year-to-date industrial leases, Fern and colleague Jason Barton served as tenant representatives for a large footwear company in its 608,000-square-foot commitment at GLP US Management’s 1240-1248 Cranbury South River Road in Cranbury. “This property is located directly off Exit 8A of the N.J. Turnpike in the state’s most desirable location for big-box users,” Fern says. “First quarter transactions, completed by Fern’s team, saw leases totaling over 1.3 million square feet. Other notable lease transactions included 92,000 square feet with Federal Business Center in Edison, 82,000 square feet with TA in Woodbridge, 145,000 square feet with Teeway Transportation (Gary Casaletto, director was part of the team) and represented Green Point in the leasing of 10 acres in Newark.

The appetite for newer product remains strong as well, and the development community continues to launch industrial construction projects on spec – at a level not seen in 15 years. Much of the space is being leased prior to delivery, according to Fern. For example, Fern and Barton earlier this year were appointed leasing agents for Liberty Property Trust’s 182,000-square-foot industrial building then under construction at 1075 King George Post Road in Edison. The team recently consummated a full-building, build-to-suit lease with a large food distributor drawn by the property’s modern construction and Raritan Center location – just 1.5 miles from Exit 10 of the NJ Turnpike and I-287.

“During the first quarter, approximately 2.5 million square feet of new industrial product was delivered in Northern and Central New Jersey,” Fern says. “Of that, 65 percent is already leased.” Currently, 9.4 million square feet of industrial space is under development in the state, much of which should be completed within 12 months – marking the highest annual new construction total since 2000.

“Spurred largely by the e-commerce phenomenon, this current industrial expansion cycle is not anticipated to hit a downturn in the near future, barring any major geopolitical events,” says Fern, who completed 39 transactions totaling 4.4 million square feet in 2016.

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