On the corner of Hooper and Dayton Avenues, construction is again in full swing on three new office buildings known as “Dayton Terrace.”
With so many available office spaces being left vacant in , however, is there a value in adding more office space to the market?
“What we're finding is the office spaces that are being left vacant are antiquated in terms of what new leasers are looking for,” said Jody Alessandrine, executive director for the Toms River Business Improvement District. “In some instances, building something from the ground up is more cost efficient.”
According to Alessandrine, the market dictates that buyers want more office space, and the vacant buildings are often those that are older and missing some key features new buyers are looking for. In some cases, he said, it’s less expensive to start from the ground up than re-vamp an old space because the buyer can have more control over the layout of their space. So, these new or revamped buildings, such as Dayton Terrace and the renovated , are filling up faster, while the older ones are left behind.
Heather Moffitt, realtor and part owner of Dayton Terrace, said she agreed with Alessandrine. As of right now, the buildings are without tenants, she said, but based on her experience in selling other properties, Alessandrine is right.
“People want to go to new buildings,” she said, “They are going to get rented before something that’s older.”
One new item in particular, she noted, are elevators. Older spaces that lack them, even buildings with only two floors, often have a difficult time finding tenants on the higher floors, she said.
Dayton Terrace consists of three buildings with four 1,200 square foot suites available in each; however, one tenant could lease an entire floor or building if they wished. The spaces are most suited for lawyers, engineers, and other executive offices, Moffitt said. The asking price is $17.50 for a partial floor per square foot annually, or $16.50 per square foot for an entire building.
Moffitt said that the foundation for the buildings is being laid now, and construction should be completed by late spring or early summer.
Because the building is located on Hooper Avenue, a high traffic area, a major concern is parking and additional traffic on the main road. To avoid this, Moffitt said there is an additional entrance into the building on Hadley Avenue. She also said the buildings’ tenants would not circulate high traffic, such as a bank would. There are 90 available parking spaces at Dayton Terrace.
Rev. John Bambrick of , which is across the street from Dayton Terrace, said he had learned from the parish’s lawyer that the building’s previous owner had deeded into the property that the church could use the parking facilities on Sundays before it was sold. While the additional parking is a pleasant surprise for the church, Bambrick said traffic was one of his concerns for the new building.
“It’s already hard just to get out of our parking lot,” he said, “So the bigger issue will be the traffic on Hooper.”
However, Bambrick said he this addition would be beneficial to the Downtown, because it will mean more jobs in a slow economy.
Alessandrine agreed. “The more people who live here and work here, the more people who will be stimulating the economy of the Downtown,” he said.