If your business is growing and you’re looking to expand – congratulations! Now, selecting the best place for your extended office, store or headquarters can be a bit of a challenge.
Which place would be most conducive to business? You need a place that’s close enough to important cities and has a decent sized population (especially in the case of a shop). You also need to be able to find staff and transport options that ensure they can easily get to work. And of course, you need a place where your business will flourish and continue to grow.
However, that’s not all. What about the legislature, the local laws? Are they favorable to your business? What about infrastructure, real estate rates and living space? If you’re planning on opening an office in a different state (or even city), these are all factors you need to carefully sort through.
Luckily for you, we know the perfect place that ticks all the right boxes – Bergen County! Commercial real estate in NJ is an excellent investment, and in this article we’ll tell you why.
From the Bergen County website: “Bergen County offers many extraordinary attributes including highway access, quality of life, educated workforce, diverse housing stock and a supportive business environment for owners and employees to do business.”
Now let’s explore those points in depth.
Excellent quality of life attracting new customers
According to the Bergen County website: “Bergen County ranks high in quality of life indicators. We’re home to nearly 9,000 acres of assorted cultural and recreational opportunities. The Bergen County Parks System features a nationally accredited zoo, five golf courses, 21 parks, two horseback riding areas, and an environmental center in addition to 38 museums and historic sites.”
While parks and museums may not seem very important while choosing where to set up shop, they actually matter quite a bit. They’re recreational options that attract people – residents and tourists alike – which spells good news for your business.
In an online poll, Bergen County was voted as being the fourth best county in New Jersey for living in. Reasons included the “diverse and friendly” atmosphere, proximity to NYC, cleanliness and safety, nightlife, natural beauty, and local businesses.
But that’s just a poll. What about solid data? We have some, and it echoes the sentiment. Money magazine’s annual list of the “Best Places to Live in America” included four NJ cities – of which two were from Bergen County. North Arlington was number 8, with its location and attractions playing an important part. Next up was Saddle Brook, at number 24. So there’s no doubt that purchasing commercial real estate in NJ is a good idea.
Additionally, New Jersey is an excellent place for people with kids. According to Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count in 2017, NJ ranked eighth in the country for the quality of life it affords its children. The report evaluated factors such as education, health, and alcohol and drug abuse.
The state performed extraordinarily well education-wise, ranking second best in the country and outperforming the national average in all four categories covered – which were preschool enrollment, high school education, and test scores in reading and math. While 17% of high school students across the nation didn’t graduate on time, in NJ that number was down to 10%.
Transportation infrastructure which supports business access
Bergen County is pretty close to New York City, with a mere 22 miles between them – which is half an hour’s journey by car. The transportation infrastructure is robust, so NYC is easily accessible from the county. As we’re sure you can imagine, that’s a major plus for businesses.
In addition, there’s harbor access as well in case waterway shipments are necessary for your business.
We’ll let the New Jersey website sum up: “Take advantage of New Jersey’s winning combination: a convenient location, unmatched transportation assets, plus the State’s free professional export assistance.
As the gateway for exporting around the world, New Jersey boasts five strategically placed Foreign Trade Zones, two international airports and ports at both ends of the State, including Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the third busiest port in North America.
No wonder the State’s export business is $37+ billion and growing! Perfectly located and boasting a highly educated talent pool and a high quality of life, New Jersey is primed for international trade and investments.”
Another point in favor of commercial real estate in NJ – and that’s just two out of four!
Five colleges which provide a young, educated labor force
As mentioned previously, New Jersey has a lot going for it – of which labor force is one. If you want to set up your business somewhere new, you need to make sure you can find staff easily.
Study after study has proved that there is a direct correlation between education and productivity. The better your staff is educated, the higher their productivity levels. As a business owner, productivity and profit are your main goals, so you need to make sure that you don’t open your office in a place where the percentage of educated people is low.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) demonstrated this in a 2013 report Statistics from US states were analyzed, and their findings unambiguously prove the positive correlation between education and productivity. The data was collected over 33 years, and condensed into a graph that’s easy to understand.
Bergen County is excellent in this respect. It has five colleges and three occupational trade schools. In addition, 44% of the population has at least a college degree – which is 10% over the national average. So when you get commercial real estate in NJ, you get that little perk too – you can find young, educated and skilled recruits easily.
As nj.gov says, “New Jersey’s labor market growth is stronger than ever, fueled by an abundance of talent in sought-after industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, green and sustainable technologies, and information technology.”
Plenty of housing opportunities for you and your staff
As written on the Bergen Resource Net website “The Fair Housing Council is here to ensure that all who seek housing have an equal opportunity to rent, purchase, finance or insure the property they choose.
Fair housing is the law of the land. Fair housing means that you may freely choose a place of residence without regard to your race, religion, color, sex, national origin or because you are disabled or have children in your family. It is your right to be treated in an equal and non-discriminatory manner.”
According to the website, the council has handled thousands of complaints so far, with 800 new clients every year and roughly 3,000 ongoing cases annually. If you suspect that housing discrimination has occurred, you are encouraged to contact the council. Doing so is easy, and the council will take the issue up and deliver a speedy resolution.
In addition to this, there’s the Housing Authority of Bergen County which provides support and a place to report issues online. Their tagline is “Committed to creating and preserving affordable housing” – and it’s clear from their website that they take this seriously.
Furthermore, the state of New Jersey has legislature that promotes affordable housing opportunities. So getting hold of residential or commercial real estate in NJ is easy – with the state’s laws being fair. After your move, you and your staff should have no trouble finding a place to live.
Where in New Jersey is best?
NerdWallet crunched the numbers, compiling data from 231 places in NJ. The data, according to them, is from the US Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners. Their findings shed light on which cities are best for business owners looking to open shop.
Bergen County did well, with two cities in their list of 10.
The first, Paramus, came in at number 6. The city, which has a population of 26,000, is a “land of enormous malls and shopping centers that has made it one of the top retail ZIP codes in the U.S.” The average annual income reported by businesses in Paramus was $3 million.
Next up is Hackensack, which appeared at the 10th spot. Interestingly, Paramus and Hackensack were the two cities on the list with the largest population, with Hackensack coming out on top with 43,500 folks. On average, Hackensack businesses reported $2 million as their annual income.
For commercial real estate in NJ, if you’re looking for places in other counties, East Hanover, Redbank and Hanover (in that order) are good too. Although we think Bergen County is ideal due to a number of factors (some of which have been mentioned above), these places were among the top 3 according to NerdWallet, with average annual income per business being $9 million, $6.75 million and $4.86 million respectively.
If you’re interested in commercial real estate in NJ, get in touch with us. The Blau & Berg Company specializes in industrial sales and leasing. Each assignment is handled individually with sound brokerage, negotiating expertise and local market knowledge. Experts in all facets of industrial buildings and land parcels, and backed by 80 years of strategic experience, the team facilitates site selection, acquisitions, dispositions, portfolio sales and asset repositioning assignments.