Michael Sommer, executive vice president of development at Edison Properties, explains how New Jersey can compete in today's fiercely competitive office market, where changes in workplace culture and a nationwide shift toward urban markets is transforming how and where companies do business.
The days of dim lighting, cramped cubicles and wall-to-wall carpeting are increasingly relics in today’s market. Modern workers want to work in more expansive space, complete with loft-style ceilings, plenty of natural light and thoughtfully incorporated modern design. Workers are demanding more from their workplace – they expect an environment in which creative, operational, technological and social needs are met, and more and more employers are heeding their calls. New Jersey’s ability to meet those needs will further position its office market for success.
As rents in New York and Philadelphia skyscrapers become increasingly cost-prohibitive, New Jersey must be able to provide companies with big-city amenities and cultural opportunities —from quiet cafés with powerful Wi-Fi to nearby bars and well programmed public spaces.
As the state prepares to welcome a new administration next year, it should recognize the importance of the Grow NJ assistance program and other incentives to attracting new jobs. New Jersey is in a prime position to capitalize on the growing demand for a walkable, urban workplace, but it will require continuous focus from both state and local officials to guarantee success.