“Cities that will have more traction going forward are those on a main rail line,” says Jim Barrood, president and CEO of the New Jersey Tech Council. “Mass transit is critical, especially for the younger generation.”
Noting such cities as Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark, New Brunswick and Princeton, Barrood says, “they all have young, smart populations who are either commuting to, working in or living in those cities.”
High-tech infrastructure is yet another factor, notably fiber loops and high bandwidth. And the real estate community, which provides the workplaces for growing high-tech companies, is taking note.
“As connectivity remains a top priority for New Jersey companies, owners of recently developed and newly constructed properties often seek Wired Certification,” says Matthew McDonough, managing director at Transwestern. “It is a designation provided by WiredScore that identifies commercial buildings with the fastest and most reliable Internet connections.”
While the so-called Hudson Gold Coast and other cities have been getting the most ink, the city seen by many as the rising star as a tech hub is the state’s largest city, Newark.
“With billions of dollars in real estate development under construction and in the pipeline, Newark is undergoing a resurgence,” says Aisha Glover, senior vice president, manufacturing, business development and technology, Newark Community Economic Development Corp.
“The city of 280,000 people is the largest in New Jersey and sits at the heart of one of the wealthiest regions in the country,” Glover said. “With enviable assets that most urban centers can only wish for, Newark boasts an international airport that handles 35 million passengers a year and two train stations that provide 24-hour access to Midtown and Lower Manhattan on the busiest passenger rail line in America. It’s also home to the third busiest port in the country, feeding a transportation and tech-driven logistics industry in a heavily utilized industrial corridor. Seven major highways, including three interstates, expand the reach of businesses located in the city to 1.7 million residents in the region.”
Glover adds that Newark is home to corporate giants like Panasonic, PSE&G, Audible.com, Verizon and Prudential and has also become “fertile ground” for small businesses and start-ups like Websignia, Expresser App, Blast Chat and Phone.com.
Moreover, she notes Newark is a college town with more than 50,000 faculty, students and staff across five institutions of higher learning that rank among the country’s leading technical and engineering programs.
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