BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The KRE Group, one of the largest privately held real estate companies in New Jersey, announced today that a successful 2015 campaign to provide tenants with key upgrades and new amenities across its entire 6 million RSF portfolio has brought the company’s commercial vacancy rate to just 1%.
After beginning 2015 with a vacancy rate of approximately 5%, the company was able to attract new tenants throughout the year and extend the leases of several existing tenants. The current 1% figure compares extremely favorably to the overall Northern and Central New Jersey commercial vacancy rate figure of approximately 24% for office space and 7% for industrial space, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL), the Fortune 500 real estate services firm.
KRE has managed to remain an industry leader by focusing on upgrading facilities and improving tenant experiences at its dozens of office and industrial properties throughout New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. Renovating lobbies, bathrooms and common corridors; upgrading lighting, providing new food service options, expanding parking capabilities and installing backup power generation at specific facilities are among the many improvements KRE made in 2015 and will continue to focus on in 2016.
“We strive every year to improve our service platform,” said Jonathan Kushner, President of The KRE Group. “That commitment to proactively addressing tenant needs and creating value for them and their business partners is a major contributor to our standout occupancy rate. Our tenants stay with us for an average of over 10 years, and we are consistently able to fill vacancies quickly through the help of tenant referrals and recommendations.”
Major lease transactions for KRE’s commercial and industrial properties in 2015 include:
- A wholesale automobile parts and services company extended its lease for a 150,000 square-foot space at 100 Wade Avenue in South Plainfield, NJ. The industrial property features immediate access to Route 287 and is just minutes to the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
- A national office supplies and services company extended its lease for 100,000 square-feet of commercial space at 21 Commerce Drive in Cranbury, NJ. The property features direct access to the Exit 8A entrance of the New Jersey Turnpike.
- A manufacturer and distributor of baby furniture leased 93,000 square feet of space at 701 Cottontail Lane in Somerset, NJ. The industrial property is situated on a tree-lined street with easy access to Route 287.
- A plastics company extended its lease for 75,000 square-feet of industrial space at 53 Brunswick Avenue in Edison, NJ. The multi-tenant industrial building features direct access to Route 287.
- A medical care company expanded its footprint by more than 40% and extended its lease for an additional 10 years at 175 Morristown Road in Basking Ridge, NJ. The property is just minutes from the restaurants, shops and services of downtown Bernardsville. It is also just two miles from the Bernardsville Train Station and offers easy access to Route 287.
- Five new tenants leased space at 285 Davidson Avenue in Somerset, NJ. The building offers tenants underground executive parking, on-site food service, access to six major hotels, conference centers, restaurants and daycare just a half-mile from Route 287 and minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
The improvements KRE made at its office and industrial properties are the result of responding to tenant needs and closely monitoring the ever-evolving commercial real estate marketplace. Providing on-site food service and incorporating environmentally-friendly features, such as LED lighting, were among the improvements KRE focused on portfolio wide, but the most important improvement for many tenants was increased parking.
“Tenants are utilizing office space at a much higher density, often favoring an open concept/idea-sharing environment over a more formal private office environment,” said Justin Gingeleskie, Director of Leasing for The KRE Group. “This puts a much heavier demand on parking requirements, often resulting in buildings with parking ratios of 3.5 or 4.0 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet becoming obsolete. We have worked with several municipalities to both restripe for more efficiency and increase the size of the parking lot to get ratios of 5.0, or in some cases up to 7.0, spaces per 1,000 square feet.”
KRE is widely known for its hands-on property management and for fostering a sense of community among its tenants. KRE tenants often form mutually beneficial business relationships with each other.
“We believe paying rent doesn’t just give you physical use of an asset,” Mr. Gingeleskie said. “It should be your key to access a community of tenants in which we all strive to work together to make each other more successful.”
About Kushner Real Estate Group
Headquartered in Bridgewater, NJ, KRE Group is one of the largest privately held diversified real estate companies in New Jersey. It owns and manages more than 6,000,000 square feet of office, warehouse and retail space. It also has a multi-family portfolio which exceeds 9,000 existing apartments, with an additional 7,000 in various stages of approval and construction. For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.thekregroup.com.