Dear NAIOP Members and Prospective Members:
Every dollar you invest with NAIOP NJ supports the promotion and protection of the commercial real estate industry. In recent months, NAIOP achieved the following on your behalf:
- Stormwater Utilities: Governor Murphy has signed S-1073/A-2694, to allow government entities (towns, counties, regional authorities) to create "stormwater utilities" that may impose fees on parking lots and other impervious surfaces to fund improvements to stormwater management systems. Primarily a residential issue, poorly maintained stormwater systems are recognized as the largest source of contamination of state waters. New Jersey joins 40 other states in using this approach. Because many industrial facilities and office campuses already manage their own stormwater systems, and have invested substantial costs to do so, NAIOP worked with sponsor Senator Bob Smith on amendments that would give partial credit for stormwater systems that are already paid for and installed. The law is permissive, not a mandate.
- Public Access: Legislation (S-1074) to protect the public's right to access the beaches and waterfronts in New Jersey has been signed, establishing as law the public trust doctrine that the State's tidal waters and adjacent shorelines belong to the public to be used for navigation, commerce, and recreation, including bathing, swimming, and fishing. During the stakeholder process, NAIOP raised safety and other concerns about requiring public access on certain industrial properties. The new law allows for discretion in determining public access between the property owner and the Department of Environmental Protection. A change in footprint will not automatically trigger public access requirements (or payment of a fee in lieu of public access); it does require DEP to consider the change before making a determination
- Defeated a proposed doubling of the 1% Realty Transfer Tax ("mansion tax") in the FY 2019 budget battle.
- On November 1, 2018, Gov. Murphy signed legislation (now P.L.2018,c.135) to require NJ Transit to establish an Office of Real Estate Economic Development and Transit-Oriented Development.
- Economic Recovery Zones: On August 17, 2018, Governor Murphy signed legislation (now P.L.2018,c.97), that expands ERG funding to the bond market and amends the Long Term Tax Exemption Law to permit PILOTs to remain in effect for a longer period of time.
- Sewer & Water Connection Fees: On August 10, 2018, Governor Murphy has signed a measure (now P.L.2018, c.74) that provides credits for existing sewer connections and extends the current 50% credit for connection fees for non-for-profit developers to all developers.
- Performance Bond Reform: Signed by Governor Chris Christie in January 2018, this law will limit developer performance bonding costs for publicly dedicated improvements and inspection fees. The changes represent both a fairer performance bonding process and substantial savings for commercial developers.
- Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) Reform: Signed into law in January, 2018, this measure reformulates the allocation process to allow both Brownfield Development Area (BDA) towns and non-BDA towns to participate in the funding of preliminary investigation and remediation. Currently, the HDSRF program is oversubscribed with only 26 towns able to take advantage of grants. The new law will correct much of this disparity.
- Bayonne Bridge Raising: The "raise the roadway" Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project was completed and certified by the US Coast Guard on June 8, approximately seven months ahead of revised schedule, according to the Council on Port Performance (of which NAIOP NJ CEO Mike McGuinness is a member). Back in 2009, NAIOP NJ was the first and most vocal in calling for a solution to the Bayonne Bridge air draft issue. With the Panama Canal expansion then projected for completion in 2014, the new massive container ships would be unable to navigate under the historic bridge. A unique solution was reached: building a new higher roadway while keeping the existing roadway open to traffic, and preserving the bridge's iconic arch.
- Grow NJ Performance Update: Since the enactment of the NJ Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 (EO 13, championed by NAIOP NJ), 228 active projects have been approved under the Grow NJ Program for a total award amount of more than $4.3 billion, according to the latest program report from the NJ Economic Development Authority. Based on EDA’s net benefit analysis, NJ would realize over $13.4 billion in new revenues over a 10-year period... a rate of return to NJ of over three to one! This assistance will support the creation of more than 28,609 estimated new jobs and the retention of more than 28,426 existing jobs at risk of leaving New Jersey. Grow NJ is a powerful job creation and retention incentive program that strengthens New Jersey's competitive edge in the increasingly global marketplace. Read more at NJ EDA.
- New Waterfront Commission Regulations: In response to specific concerns raised by NAIOP and the commercial real estate industry, the Waterfront Commission of NY Harbor approved regulations to clarify and limit its jurisdiction, and initiate a less burdensome and more practical approach to the policing of the warehouse industry. The Commission will now allow the industry to use a "self-certification" process whereby companies can certify compliance with the Commission's hiring practice requirements (by filing on an annual basis with a flat annual fee or, in certain circumstances, filing a Petition for Waiver of Ineligibility). This in turn exempts the commercial real estate industry from the Commission's audits, assessments, application and disclosure requirements. On March 28, 2016, the Commission published its new jurisdictional maps, which can be reviewed here.
- Reduced "Big Box" Fees: Effective May 16, 2016, the NJ Department of Community Affairs adopted new rules to adjust the calculation of municipal inspection fees for large-volume warehouse and distribution centers (Class 1 buildings) by capping the height at 20 feet in an effort to bring fees in line with the associated work.
In addition to our advocacy efforts, NAIOP:
- Hosts dozens of events each year. giving you opportunities to make new connections, hear from industry leaders, learn about public policies that impact your business and earn continuing education credits.
- Engages with Local Officials via the Public Policy Symposium, League of Municipalities programs, special project tours, the Collegiate Case Study Competition and special recognition to enhance prospects for commercial real estate development.
- Partners with the Community Food Bank of NJ to feed the hungry and with Habitat for Humanity to build housing in Newark & Jersey City.
Our staff and volunteers work together every day on behalf of every member, and that is reflected in our current record-high membership: 850 members and counting. If you are not yet a member, what are you waiting for?
Gene Preston, Dermody PropertiesJoin Now