Atlantic City, New Jersey, Multifamily Market

Anthony Graziano
Business Director
NAI Atlantic Coast Realty

Atlantic City, New Jersey’s multifamily market is poised for growth in the coming years, says Anthony M. Graziano, business director for NAI Atlantic Coast Realty of Toms River, New Jersey. The lack of conventional product and influx of potential residents has led the city to begin master planning wide-scale revisions across the city. “The retiring baby boomers are actively seeking new places to live in New Jersey and Atlantic City is researching ways to accommodate them,” says Graziano.

Along the beachfront, there is increased investor interest around the potential redevelopment of existing condominiums. Developers are looking to build ground-up projects on what vacant land is available as well. No major projects have gotten underway, but numerous investors are looking into potential developments and redevelopments along the city’s waterfront.

The major setbacks delaying any boom in residential development include the lack of viable sites, high density of existing properties and the difficulty of incorporating adequate parking. “Developers don’t want to develop a 10-story condo with only two or three parking spaces available around it,” Graziano says. “It just won’t work.”

The inability to pinpoint just how much demand exists is also a factor in the lack of widespread development. “The specific demand is not fleshed out,” notes Graziano. “We are not yet sure how much interest is out there.”

The majority of existing apartment and condominiums properties comprise what Graziano calls “unconventional” product. These properties typically total five to 25 units. Currently, there is a lack of conventional, mid- or high-rise Class A apartment communities. Apartment rental rates for Class B product range from $750 to $1,200. For Class A units, the rates are higher, between approximately $1,000 and $2,500.

The vacancy rate is less than 5 percent. It is not expected to increase in the near future, as a sizeable amount of demolition is occurring due to redevelopment throughout the city’s popular entertainment district and along the boardwalk. This will help offset any negative absorption that could occur in the near future.

Though activity is scarce, there is reason to believe that it will increase soon and evolve into a large-scale citywide redevelopment. Graziano notes that a number of proposed redevelopments and conversions are in various planning and permitting stages. Two submarkets to watch are the Chelsea neighborhood in the southwest end of the city and the Bayside district. There are numerous proposed redevelopments there.

The outlook for Atlantic City is very positive. There is much activity in the retail sector, as redevelopments and expansions of existing casinos and entertainment venues are underway. For the multifamily market, expect activity to pick up as the amount of demand is quantified and parcels of land are put together. As noted, numerous conversions are in the pipeline and various ground-up projects are in discussion along the beachfront.

©2005 France Publications, Inc. Duplication or reproduction of this article not permitted without authorization from France Publications, Inc. For information on reprints of this article contact Barbara Sherer at (630) 554-6054.

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