As for rentals, shore-area agents and developers reported them to be very brisk compared with last year.
The Pier Village shoreline complex in Long Branch suffered a “setback” last year in terms of vacancy rates, said Greg Russo, a principal at Ironstate Development in Hoboken, the owner. “Starting in January, though,” he said, “we saw a noticeable and strong uptick in traffic, absorption and occupancy rate. Now, it is back to what it was previous to the setback, with vacancy running 5 to 6 percent.”
He said that would soon mean the end of the current offer of a month’s free rent with a 13-month lease.
Ironstate is planning to break ground next spring on 80 to 100 condominiums at Pier Village, as part of an extensive third phase of the mixed-use project that includes hotels, rentals, condos and retail.
“We are probably getting back into condos earlier than most developers,” Mr. Russo said. “But we are pretty bullish, and prepared to get out in front of everybody while construction costs are still low.”
Ironstate is also a partner with K. Hovnanian in a scaled-down condo project at what is known as Beachfront North in Long Branch, for which construction is starting now. Seventeen large single-family homes and town homes will be built on 20 lots in a neighborhood that the city had sought to seize for redevelopment during the boom years, invoking eminent domain. The court fight was settled last year, and developers stopped trying to assemble enough land for the 160-unit project they had originally planned.