NJ Multi-Family Insiders: Interests May be Rising, But a Backlog of Product Still Remains, “So We’re Game On”

NEWARK, NJ — The first round-table discussion at CapRE’s 2018 New Jersey Apartment Summit was a broad discussion of the New Jersey multi-family arena. Moderated by David Wolfe, Managing Partner at Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C. the panel featured the insight of numerous local insiders about the state and future of the New Jersey multi-family arena. Below, we highlight a brief snippet in which Wolfe asked two of his most active panelists in the suburban markets what they had to say about the state of the industry.

Moderator David Wolfe, Managing Partner, Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C.: Mark, being part of a multi-generational family of investors, with the ability to be patient when necessary, what is your point of view on this market?

Marc Pantirer, Vice President, BNE Real Estate Group: We’re building in Jersey City. We’re currently in the first phase of a three-phase, 650-unit project. And really, everybody seems to acknowledge that Jersey City has been strong like it used to be strong. Though we aren’t currently interested in being a seller, that certainly helps us to realize a lot of good value. We would hope that you have a good tax attorney, so you’re not hit too hard [by the recent Jersey City revaluation]. But we’re still bullish in Jersey City. We know that [others like] KRE have been very successful there. That’s something that we’re going to continue with.

In some of the more Suburban markets, we’re going to continue to focus on finding land that is near or at access to transit, that’s downtown. Though we may not see the same leasing velocity that we might see on the Gold Coast, we continue to be active in many of those markets as well. And we are also building in Harrison, where we are in the second of a three-phase, also 600-unit, apartment building. And Maurice at Hornrock, maybe I’ll let you take it from there. Are you feeling bullish as well?

Wolfe: Yes, and specially as someone who re-purposes existing office buildings, are you able to arbitrage the weakness in the office market to take advantage of a strike in the multi-family market?

Maurice Hornblass, Co-Founding Partner, Hornrock Properties

Maurice Hornblass, Co-Founding Partner, Hornrock Properties: You know, in New Jersey, the 565 municipalities out there, they all have their own rules and their own regulations. All of them have politicians who have different directions. So it has been very difficult to get approvals, historically. And so you’ve had a huge backlog of multi-family being built in New Jersey. So our outlook is that, yes, interest rates are going up a little bit, but we haven’t seen any product in a long time.

So we are focused on finding Class A dirt to bring Class A product. And so we’re still very bullish. We think that the absorption will be there for a long time. Especially in these Class a suburban markets. Obviously, were in Harrison, with Mark, we think it’s a great area to be in as well. So we’re game on.

For more coverage of this panel, check out earlier CapRE Insider Reports: