Jersey City Summit survey: Real estate thought leaders say N.J. desperately needs incentives — but don’t think they are coming soon

By Tom Bergeron
Jersey City | Nov 18, 2019 at 1:19 pm

The state of New Jersey is being hurt tremendously by not having any incentives — and the state is not likely to have them anytime soon.

That was the opinion of real estate and economic development leaders during an unofficial ROI-NJ poll at the Jersey City Summit for real estate investment Monday in Jersey City.

The event, which has become a must-attend affair with a who’s who of the real estate community, ran all day, with panels on all the major real estate issues, including mixed-use + retail, multifamily, affordable housing and amenities, among other topics.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop did a fireside chat with Nevins McCann of Connell Foley. Gov. Phil Murphy is scheduled to speak later Monday afternoon.

Organizers expected more than 900 to attend.

The gathering presented an opportunity for ROI-NJ to get opinions on some of the biggest issues of the sector. Here are the results (questions were either yes/no or used a scale of 1-4, with four having the most impact):

  • Is the state hurt by not having a new set of incentives on the books?

An overwhelming 90% of those responded said “yes” with a 4.

  • Will Murphy’s package of incentives be passed by March 1?

“No” was the choice, by a 2-1 margin.

  • For those answering ‘No’ to question 2, will Murphy’s package of incentives be passed by June 1?

“No” was the choice, by a 3-1 margin.

The most divided answer came with Question 4:

  • Are caps a killer for incentives, reducing their impact and effectiveness?

This question had a mixed response, with approximately 45% saying that would have little impact (1-2) and 55% saying that would have a big impact (3-4).

Respondents were offered the chance to speak without attribution in response to any of the questions. Here are a few of their thoughts:

  • “If you think anyone is coming to Newark without an incentive, you’re crazy. Doubly crazy when you talk about Camden.”
  • “Without tax incentives, the spot we’re standing on now (the Hyatt Regency) would be vacant.”
  • “Caps are just one part of why his incentive proposals have not gotten any traction, and a small one at that.”
  • “How incredible is it that Gov. Murphy cannot get one member of his own party to sponsor his tax incentive legislation?”
  • “If we get any tax incentives passed, they will be a watered-down version of what the governor wants for no other reason than the Legislative leaders want to make a point.”

One person may have summed up the feelings of many people.

“What is the end game of all of this?” they said. “What is the plan? No one in this room can answer that question.”

Read more from ROI-NJ: