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WOODBRIDGE, NJ-As the economy improves, companies grow. As companies grow, they hire more employees and as that happens they require more space. While it is an easy concept to understand the wait can be frustrating. In order to be on the top of companies’ lists for that space, the state needs to shift focus to improving its infrastructure–particularly in the urban areas.

At RealShare New Jersey, a conference series produced by Real Estate Media Inc., parent company of GlobeSt.com, real estate insiders all agreed that an important piece of the equation, especially in drawing companies to the urban markets, is upgrading the infrastructure. And in a move to that end, Gov. James McGreevey, introduced to the conference by Jonathan Schein, president and CEO of Real Estate Media, announced that the state is aiming to invest $2.5 billion for road construction.

Is it enough? The state plan includes urban centers, but it is difficult and challenging to bring more business into urban centers, contended Steve Pozycki, chairman and CEO of SJP Properties. Sitting on the Inside the Real Estate Mind hot seat with Michael Desiato, editor-in-chief of Real Estate Media, Pozycki explained that developing new real estate ventures in urban areas can be tough because these areas do not want to see high-density development. In addition, the infrastructures in the urban centers need to be upgraded or they will continue to be the same old urban centers “which won’t come back.”

But it can happen. “Hoboken is the poster child for urban centers in New Jersey,” he said. One reason–the city benefited from a transportation system in place, he added.

And Pozycki is optimistic for improvements to the transportation infrastructure in the long run. “It is a very difficult time right now for the state,” Pozycki said, “and the cost of infrastructure for the urban areas will not be minimal. I hoped it would move more quickly, but unfortunately it comes down to dollars.”

Once improved infrastructures are in place, quality of life will follow. And where there is an increased quality of life there are jobs. “Jobs go to rich markets,” Pozycki said.

In an earlier Town Hall session at RealShare New Jersey, moderated by Eric Peterson, editor of Real Estate New Jersey, Emanual Stern expressed a similar point. He stressed there are substantial challenges to renovating central business districts. One challenge, he agreed, is upgrading the infrastructure to make the area more attractive to companies. “At the end of the day it is a lifestyle decision,” he added.

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