The Parking Advisors team has provided parking investment advisory services across metro-Jersey City. We have consulted on projects in the Jersey City downtown area, including the Harborside submarket.
Jersey City’s Leading Parking Consultants
Parking Advisors is a national parking consulting firm that has conducted extensive work in Jersey City.
Jersey City’s office demand has evolved over the past few years substantially. Investors have penetrated the market with the belief that Jersey City is going to be one of the places to live and work in the near future. The evolution of Jersey City is evident when you see the updated skyline across the river from Manhattan. Jersey City boasts 21 million square feet of office inventory and will continue to increase in the next 10 years. Office tenants choose to office in Jersey City over New York City for a multitude of reason; some include:
- Rent discount compared to Manhattan
- More retail and food amenities were built in the submarket with the intention of having a large population
- New Jersey provides incentives for office tenants
- Grow NJ offers owners/tenants of a qualified business facility that satisfies certain minimum capital investments and creates/retains a minimum number of full-time jobs, a per employee tax credit that can be applied toward the employer’s Corporate Business Tax obligation annually for up to ten years. The purpose of the program is to attract new businesses to the State.
New York Waterway & Public Transportation
As a result of the growing economy and population, transportation access has become an important focus for officials in Jersey City. The city has invested significant capital to upgrade the public transit network to unify New Jersey. However, since public transit does not adequately serve every suburb, driving a vehicle is still the main way that residents get around. According to Forbes, Jersey City is one of America’s “Top Public Transportation Cities.”
Jersey City has four main public transit modes:
- New York Waterway Ferry – New York Waterway, a privately owned ferry service company, operates from Hoboken, Weehawken, and Jersey City, and provides access to several locations along the west side of Manhattan including Midtown, the World Financial Center in downtown Manhattan, and Pier 11/Wall Street. The Hoboken and Jersey City ferry terminals are conveniently located adjacent to NJ Transit, Light Rail, and PATH stations. There are four ferry stops in Jersey City: Newport, Liberty Harbor, Liberty Landing Marina, and Paulus Hook. In addition, busses service these terminals during rush hour every 15 to 30 minutes. Once in New York, free private shuttle busses are provided throughout downtown and midtown Manhattan as a continuation of the ferry service. There are New Jersey residents that drive to the site of the ferry each day to make their way into work in New York City for the day. These people are parking nearby and received a discounted ferry pass for having to pay for both parking and ferry access.
- Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) – The PATH system provides subway and train lines to New York City with service to Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. On the New Jersey side of the river, PATH stations are located in Hoboken, Jersey City (Exchange Place, Newport, Grove Street, and Journal Square), Harrison, and Newark. Furthermore, the PATH connects with Amtrak’s northeast corridor (Boston to Washington) in both Newark’s and Manhattan’s Penn Station. It offers the convenience of 24/7 rail transportation for access to New York City’s employers, cultural amenities, attractions, and nightlife. The Jersey City locations offer non-stop access to Wall Street in under 5 minutes; a tremendous selling point that cannot be replicated without being located in Manhattan itself.
- Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) – The light rail is a 21-mile system that operates 24/7 along the Hudson River from Bayonne to Weehawken and North Bergen. The rail has 33 stations that transports people from the dense residential communities along the waterfront to the Newport and Exchange Place economic hubs with connections to PATH.
- New Jersey Transit Trains – The rail service operates five commuter train lines from Hoboken Terminal. These direct lines provide service to most of the major cities throughout northern New Jersey, including Newark Penn Station, Secaucus Junction Transfer Station, and more, as well as several points in Rockland County, New York. There is direct access into Hoboken and New York’s Penn station at all train stops. All main lines feed into Hoboken, and several connect farther into New York’s Penn Station. Rail transportation to central and southern New Jersey is available by transferring in Secaucus/Newark, with service to Princeton, Trenton, Atlantic City, and points along the New Jersey shore.
It is critical to understand the importance of alternative modes of transportation available in a city and the affect that they have on a parking asset. Jersey City is a large commuter city and there are parking discounts in Jersey City as well as tax-exempt monthly parking for residents. If there are alternative ways of accessing a city or building, that will have an impact on parking performance. Parking Advisors specializes in ways to market our client’s assets in the best and simplest ways to obtain new parkers and retain the parkers that were already parking in the garage.
Residential Development & Parking
- Jersey City has added over 22,000 new residents since 2010, establishing the submarket as the fastest growing metropolis in the state of New Jersey and the second largest city after Newark. Additionally, Jersey City’s residential base will continue to expand, as it is projected to increase by more than 10,000 residents over the next five years. In order to accommodate this unprecedented growth, Jersey City is undergoing the biggest residential construction boom in its history. At this time, there are approximately 41,000 existing residential units across 315 buildings in Jersey City. Between 2015 and 2017, 17 new residential developments totaling 6,413 units were delivered. Jersey City is becoming a vibrant live/work/play environment which will drive demand for office product and benefit employees who want to walk to work.
- Jersey City currently has nearly 7,500 residential units under construction and an additional 20,000 approved and planned.
- The impact of the sudden growth throughout the city is:
- As a result of the area being more populated, investors and landlords are implementing more retail and restaurants to better serve the residents
- Jersey City’s population increase can also be attributed to the attractiveness for office tenants. Jersey City maintains lower cost of living, rent, gas, etc. compared to Manhattan.
- Due to the city becoming more vibrant, there is more 24/7 parking demand.
- Single home residents do not pay tax on their monthly parking. However, there is tax on reserved spaces. This is important to know because there are tenants that buy monthly parking to then commute to New York City for the workday via the ferry.
Union Wages & Burden
- Most, if not all parking employees are members of a union. Jersey City’s parking union is the Local 272.
- The union contracts have strict salary and benefit/burden increases, along with increased time off with seniority.
- For example, minimum wage in New Jersey is currently at $12.00 per hour and is scheduled to go up $1.00 per hour every January 1stuntil it reaches $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2024. Accordingly, wages alone require budgeting of approximately 8.33% annual increase ($12.00 per hour to $13.00 per hour in 2022). The welfare price is $2.68/hour, with an anticipated increase of $0.10 per hour.
- Union wages increased $0.35 on March 8, 2021. Welfare contributions increased from $2.58 per hour to $2.68 per hour on March 1, 2021.
- Parking Advisors believes it is important to analyze wage rates and burden costs when doing an analysis in order to understand how contracts will affect long term value of the asset.