The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, working with state and local governments, and private-sector developers, is gearing up to meet the growing demand for warehousing and distribution services that will be needed to accommodate a projected growth the next decade.
With 21 percent of the total U.S. retail sales market within 250 miles of the port's docks, warehousing and distribution services are critical to maintaining the area's competitiveness.
And even though Logistics Today and Expansion Management magazines have both praised the New York/New Jersey area for its logistical capabilities, it will take more than port infrastructure, an extensive highway and rail network, cost-effective skilled labor and location to support its reputation. To this end, along the New Jersey Turnpike corridor alone, there is 7.8 million square feet warehousing and distribution facilities under construction, according to a CB Richard Ellis Inc. report.
"We're working with partners in the public and private sectors to ensure there will be sufficient warehouse and distribution capability for future needs," said Peter Zantal, General Manager, Port Commerce Strategic Analysis & Industry Relations.
The Portfields Initiative, which is a joint effort by the Port Authority and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, is promoting development of warehousing and distribution sites on brownfield sites. Replacing old structures that are too small for today's technologies, the new facilities will be vast modern warehouses with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and security systems.
ProLogis is one of the private sector participants in the initiative. The company's Elizabeth Seaport Business Park and Port Reading Business Park total more than 400 acres of Portfields property, according to Glenn Stock, First Vice President, ProLogis. When fully developed, they will include 4 million square feet of warehouse distribution space.
"The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was a major stakeholder in each redevelopment project," Stock said. He credited the agency with helping to showcase the economic, environment and social benefits-such a job creation-associated with the projects.
Another private sector participant is AMB Property Corporation, which had approximately 12.7 million square feet of operating and development facilities in northern New Jersey as of March 31, 2008.
In April, 2008 AMB announced its plans to develop an 878,000 square foot, cross-dock distribution center in the second half of 2008. The facility will be built to LEED specifications that apply to the most efficient of green buildings. The center is on a site that is part of a former landfill along Routes 1 and 9 in Jersey City.
And then in May, AMB announced it preleased an aggregated 183,000 square feet at two brownfield developments and one redevelopment project in northern New Jersey. The three development projects, are close to Port Newark/Elizabeth, including Target Logistics, an international logistics provider and freight forwarder.
"Port Newark/Elizabeth and Newark Liberty International Airport are essential links in the global supply chain," said Gene Reilly, AMB's president, the Americas, in a release. "The locations of our facilities make them attractive to customers requiring rapid access to major modes of transportation and the dense population base in the northeastern U.S."
Expansion throughout the Tri-State region included 120,000 square feet that delivered in the final quarter of 2007, with 606,076 still under construction in Long Island, according to the Costar Industrial Report. In Northern New Jersey 3,786,736 square feet delivered during the same period, with 7,073,335 square feet still under construction. There was a total of 320,910 square feet that delivered in Westchester County/Southern Connecticut, with 576,959 square feet still under construction.