What will fill empty NJ office space? See the creative ideas at the Jersey Shore

November 13, 2023

What do you do when large tenants aren’t there to lease office space in your big empty office building?

Do something else with it. Maybe you can turn it into a medical building or demolish it to build a warehouse, convert it a mixed-use space with retail on the ground floor, or build housing instead.

“We are seeing the aging of what was once the greatest office building boom in the history of New Jersey,” said economist James Hughes, dean emeritus of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. By 1990, 80% of the inventory of office space in the Garden State was built during that 10-year period.

White-collar work grew, fueling the need for large office spaces. But innovation in information technology, such as the development of more powerful computer chips and desktop computers, the internet and the smartphone, began to herald a change, Hughes said.

“We didn’t have to have legions of clerks doing all sorts of work,” Hughes said. “All of that was automated.”

The COVID-19 pandemic, which darkened office buildings in 2020, changed it all. Employees worked from home. Meetings were held over Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

“We had five years’ advancement in five weeks that has changed the nature of work forever,” Hughes said. And it led to lots of excess office space. “We could say it is overbuilt and underdemolished,” he said.

Asbury Park Press, November 13, 2023

Recent Posts

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Deanna Moran Named MA Chief Coastal Resilience Officer

Deanna Moran, AICP (MPP/MCRP '16) was named the Chief Coastal Resilience Officer by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to address climate change impacts along Massachusetts’ coastline. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced Deanna...

Voorhees Transportation Center seeks new Executive Director

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) seeks a new Executive Director who will oversee the center’s research program, technical services and other initiatives, including external relations, communications, business development, and fundraising. The Executive...

How the heat will continue to affect your commute

Clinton J. Andrews, director of the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University, joins Drive Time with Michael Wallace to discuss how the heat affects transit infrastructure in and around the city.    WCBS AM-NY, July 11, 2024

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins


Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]