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Addressing the Growing Issue of Obsolete Office Parks

July 2nd, 2013 by

An aerial view of Merck's headquarters in Whitehouse Station. Merck will relocate those functions to its existing Summit facility.

An aerial view of Merck’s headquarters in Whitehouse Station. Merck will relocate to its existing Summit facility.

A conference July 12, presented by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Educational Foundation, will examine how best to re-purpose New Jersey’s aging suburban office facilities.

Most of these facilities were built at least 20 years ago, according to a December 2012 Rutgers Regional Report (pdf). Many are now obsolete and unattractive to potential tenants: They lack such critical infrastructure as high-speed broadband service and they are located far from transit, restaurants and other amenities increasingly valued by employees. Vacancy rates among such facilities in some areas of New Jersey are approaching 30 percent, and local municipalities are feeling the downturn as they begin to see the effect on their property tax bases.

Sessions at the conference will detail current office-market realities; explore some alternative futures for distressed suburban office stock; and discuss some of the implications of and concerns about these alternatives. Speakers include representatives of the commercial real estate development community; county and local elected officials; land-use attorneys and public policy experts.

A full agenda, list of speakers and registration details for the conference are available on the League of Municipalities Educational Foundation websiteNote: The conference has been approved for 4.5 AICP CM credits and 4 credits for finance officers, municipal clerks, tax assessors and CPAs.

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