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“Walkable Urban Places reshaping New Jersey”
March 30th, 2017

George Washington University study released at CIANJ roundtable

New Jersey is at the forefront of a dynamic new trend – Walkable Urban Places – that is reshaping real estate development across the nation, according to a study done by George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis.

Walkable Urban Places, known as a WalkUPs, are emerging as highly desirable communities, featuring mixed-use real estate development, innovative new rental offerings and multiple transportation options.

New Jersey has some of the largest and most vibrant concentrations of walkable communities in the tristate area, the George Washington University researchers found. A full list of the communities and their economic impact on the region will be released on April 6 at the Real Property Roundtable organized by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.

More than 100 leaders in the real estate industry are expected to attend the roundtable at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Newark. CIANJ is a statewide business advocacy group, representing more than 900 corporate members from every industry sector. It is dedicated to improving New Jersey’s business climate.

CIANJ President Anthony Russo said local officials and state lawmakers were also invited to encourage their support for policy changes needs to foster more walkable urbanization. Michael Rodriguez, one of the study’s authors, said struggling suburban office parks, regional job centers and malls can be converted into WalkUPs, but it requires coordination among government officials, property owners and adjacent property owners.



To emphasize the impact walkable communities are having on the real estate market, Rodriguez said his study calculated a unique value of $265 per square foot in walkable centers in Northern New Jersey, as compared to the $176 per square foot value of traditional office parks and regional centers.

During the roundtable, there will be an in-depth presentation of the George Washington University study, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Richard Abramson, a partner at the Hackensack law firm, Cole Schotz and vice chairman of the CIANJ. The panelists will include: Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, Todd Hay, regional vice president and office director at the engineering firm, Pennoni; Gregory James, director of capital markets at NAI James E. Hanson; Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37th District), Raymond Ocasio, executive director of La Casa de Don Pedro in Newark; Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29th District) and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35th District).

The study will be made available at the event.


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