2012 could prove to be a very historic year for Rockland. The landscape will be experiencing generational changes that will mold the future of the county for the next century or more.
From a commercial real estate perspective, nothing changed Rockland more than the building of the TZ Bridge over half a century ago, and I believe the new TZ Bridge will do much the same. The new Bridge (with or without Mass Transit) will be an essential economic driver (no pun intended) that will affect property values, future commercial & residential development and our quality of life.
Just a short hop up the road, the Nanuet Mall, another life altering development thrust onto the scene in 1969 is being demolished this year; only to rise from the ashes to alter the retail & commercial landscape once again in a major way.
Unfortunately, within a mile of the Nanuet Mall's rebirth, Rocklanders are witnessing the death of Pfizer's presence in the Nanuet/Pearl River area. The Pearl River & Nanuet school districts along with the Towns of Orangetown & Clarkstown will suffer that loss dramatically. Higher property taxes will result if that stable ratable is allowed to disappear. Our leaders need to be proactive in their efforts to replace Pfizer should it decide to leave the scene entirely.
And finally, in North Rockland, a major public works development is being proposed by Suez Water to build a desalinization plant on the shores of the majestic Hudson River.
With just a few major projects touched upon in this blog (certainly not all of them), it's easy to see that property values will fluctuate, jobs will be created and lost and the character of Rockland will be changed once again. Will it all bring positive change and needed economic development, or will Rockland be unable to handle the unintended consequences that projects like this bring forward?
One thing is for sure, real estate opportunities will abound from these developments. How will 2012 be remembered? Boom or Bust?