When the financial tornado on Wall Street first hopped across the river to roil the economy here, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy sounded a bit like someone hit by flying debris — stunned, and still patting himself down to check for missing parts or grievous wounds.
[ClickPress, Thu Apr 09 2009] “It’s scary,” he said. “And it’s going to be challenging.” Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. had filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch had agreed to a takeover, and for this city on the Hudson River known as “Wall Street West,” that could mean, according to the mayor’s quick calculation, a loss of about 2,000 jobs at just two offices located within a couple of blocks of each other.
The mayor instantly predicted that the damage to his city, tied more than any other in New Jersey to Wall Street, by virtue of proximity and PATH train, was not over.
In the next instant, however, he began pointing to why he believed that the city’s real estate markets, both commercial and residential, would survive and even thrive. “The good news is we still have all our greatest assets — the biggest collection of very reasonably priced A-1 office space, located right next to the cultural and commercial financial center of the world, abundant and varied options on types of housing; four PATH stops, four ferry stops and light rail.”
Over the last week, even as disorientation seemed to become daily reality in the financial world, various major players in Jersey City real estate, like brokers, developers, and analysts, said that they could find some strong reasons to agree, at least cautiously, with the mayor’s optimism.
“No matter what happens,” said Joe Panepinto Jr., a locally based developer, “Jersey City is going to be saved by the cost differential.” The economic challenges will make that even more imperative. “If you’re a big company, and things are hurting, the first thing you do is look at cutting labor costs,” said Mr. Panepinto, who is a principal with his father in Panepinto Properties. That will hurt Jersey City, he said. But the next thing an executive considers to save money is cutting real estate costs, and that, he predicted, “will lessen the effect of job loss.”
Mr. Panepinto, along with other developers and the financial-services firm Cushman & Wakefield, said that prime office space in Jersey City often costs less than half of what comparable space in Manhattan does. Ken McCarthy, Cushman’s director of research, said that the average cost of first-class office space on Jersey City’s waterfront is $33.13 per square foot, while in Manhattan; it is $84.18 per square foot. For residential real estate, the difference is roughly the same.
For the full article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/realestate/21njzo.html?fta=y
Panepinto Properties is a real estate development company founded in 1977 by Joseph Panepinto. Since then, the company has distinguished itself as a pioneer in outstanding commercial, residential and mixed-use urban developments throughout Jersey City. Panepinto Properties’ impressive portfolio includes (completed and to be built) 3 million square feet of office space, more than 3,000 units of luxury rental housing and more than 130,000 square feet of retail space.
For more information go to:
Harborside Plaza Ten
3 Second Street, Suite 1203
Jersey City, NJ 07311