“We have noticed two major trends in the northern New Jersey area,” Kimmerle says.
He notes that access to private outdoor space is becoming a major force in new office construction and renovations, “and tenants of all sizes want more than the traditional outdoor adjoining plaza and/or café.” Kimmerle says firms seek “bigger spaces that can host all of their staff” and provide amenities.
Challenges to make this happen include “zoning and planning impediments as well as a need for additional construction and weatherization elements,” he notes. “That being said, we believe this trend will continue to grow as tenants look to differentiate themselves from competitors.”
A second trend is the continued interest in refitting outdated buildings into office, senior living and multifamily uses. “The search for below-market properties to adapt has stretched its wings beyond the typical 1910s to 1950s industrial building conversion,” Kimmerle says, with developers showing interest in converting 1960s and 1970s concrete office buildings.
“Asbestos is still a real problem in a lot of these buildings,” he notes, with ”some or all of the building systems” possibly needing full replacement.
Firm in Focus
EW Howell Construction Group
245 Newtown Road, Ste. 600 Plainview, N.Y.
President: Howard Rowland
What’s new: EW Howell is building Benchmark Senior Living’s second assisted living community in New York state, located in the Long Island community of Woodbury. The $22-million, 74,000-sq-ft Orchard Estate of Woodbury is set to finish in June. Situated between Terrehans Lane and Manetto Hill Road, it will have access to the Long Island Expressway and Northern State Parkway. The project is on the site of a former retail building in a residential neighborhood. EW Howell took steps to mitigate the impact that construction would have on nearby residents, especially during excavation and steel erection. The building is composed of structural steel and concrete with cold formed framing. Once completed, the complex will offer 102 beds for both assisted living and memory care residents.