Gloucester County Emerges as the Jewel in South Jersey’s Crown

Gloucester County Emerges as the Jewel in South Jersey’s Crown

By: Sara Warden

2 min read January 2020 — In a roundtable published in Forbes this week, the magazine’s Real Estate Council made a definitive ranking of the 14 Up-and-Coming Real Estate Locations to Watch. Coming in at No. 13 was none other than South Jersey’s very own Gloucester County. “For the most inspired growing area, look to Gloucester County in South Jersey!” said panelist Nancy Kowalik, owner of Nancy Kowalik Real Estate Group. 


But why is this county gentrifying so quickly? According to Kowalik, it’s because Gloucester County has everything. “Located close to the city and the shore, we have green spaces, room to breathe, wineries, a quaint Downtown and bike paths,” she said. “It’s all here, and that’s why world-class Rowan University is growing. A new 1,000-bed, state-of-the-art hospital is opening, too.”

The hospital to which she is referring is the Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill, 465,000-square-foot development over 100 acres with 210 private rooms, a maternity center and 62-room emergency department. The project, the county’s first new hospital in almost 45 years, was built with raised funds of $23 million, a campaign that took just seven months to reach its target.

“This is a tremendous day for South Jersey, Gloucester County and our health system,” John DiAngelo, Inspira Health’s CEO and president, said at the hospital’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in December. “With this new hospital, our commitment to providing exceptional care for our community, in our community, reaches a new level. We are excited to bring the latest in healthcare to the people of Gloucester County and surrounding communities.”

As far as the university expansion, one of the main developments has been the $400 million, 26-acre Rowan Boulevard project. 

As well as the healthcare sector and academia, Gloucester County is also proving to be attractive for the private sector, and has become somewhat of a home to craft breweries. The most recent addition is Core3Brewery, a new player that joins the ranks of Human Village Brewing Co. in Pitman, Eight & Sand Beer Co. in Woodbury, Cross Keys Brewing Co. in Williamstown and Death of the Fox Brewing Company in Clarksboro. 

“We were really drawn to the way they are building up the area around the college and definitely see the positive direction the area is moving in,” Krystle Lockman, owner of Axe and Arrow Microrewery, told South Jersey Business Journal. “It’s great to be on the ground floor of this redevelopment project in an area we have so many ties to.”

And Core3’s owner, Lawrence Price, told South Jersey Business Journal that the ease of doing business in the county will only contribute to its continued growth. “[The borough] has been so supportive and helpful and business friendly. Everything they could do to help us, they did,” he said. “Mayor Tom Bianco has always been upfront with us and in the mix of things, stopping by at least once or twice a week to see how things are going and if there is anything he can do.”



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Miami BIDs Put Customer First, Profits Later

Miami BIDs Put Customer First, Profits Later

By Sara Warden

2 min read October 2019 — As commercial real estate evolves and retail stores move online, Miami’s authorities are addressing vacancy rates with an innovative business improvement district (BID) program that unites private business and local store owners to take back Main Street.

A BID is a legal mechanism that has successfully been put in place in Miracle Mile, Coconut Grove, Lincoln Road and Wynwood, and most recently was established in South Miami. The South Miami BID provides a budget of $200,000 annually to provide services to businesses and commercial properties that include “enhanced safety, marketing, advocacy, promotions, and maintenance,” which are provided by the City Commission in addition to basic services.

Lincoln Road is one BID that, rather than focusing on vacancy rates, is focusing on creating a community for the public to attract foot traffic to the area. “I look at Lincoln Road differently,” said Lyle Stern, a member of the Board of the Lincoln Road BID to RE: Miami Beach. “I’m trying to encourage all of us who live in Miami Beach to look at Lincoln Road differently.” He believes that vacancy rates are the concern of individual property owners and that by creating an attractive environment, people will come.

Despite a significant hole being created right in the middle of Lincoln Road by the collapse of shopping giant Forever 21, the BID is planning a $67 million makeover, with Miami Beach authorities contributing to the cost of construction. The private business owners in the area will foot the bill for the promotional events by increasing their own taxes.

The idea behind the BID is not directly to attract investment to a given area, but to nurture the area so that investment comes as an added bonus. The Wynwood BID has taken a look at what the public really wants, and one of its priorities was to re-open the beloved shuttered O Cinema. “O Cinema is a cultural icon in South Florida and a home for independent cinema,” said Albert Garcia, chairman of the Wynwood BID to the Miami Herald. “We were just as blindsided by the news of their closing as everyone else. As a long-time property owner in Wynwood as well as a member of the BID, it was important to me to see how we could keep O Cinema here.”

As the age of e-commerce dawns, BIDs are a way for traditional store owners to tune into the desires of the public, who now want more than just a traditional shopfront. Not only is investment being made in the community, but new business models are emerging that evolve with real demand.

“Nespresso has a very successful store on Lincoln Road,” Stern said to RE: Miami Beach. “As a company they’ve decided they don’t need cafés in the stores. They’re expensive and you have to maintain employees.” Instead, Lincoln Road’s Nespresso is downsizing from 4,500 square feet premises to 2,500 square feet, but staying on the same street, allowing it to maximize its value and provide its customers what they really want.


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