EAST RUTHERFORD—Tenants signed nearly 23.4 million sq. ft. of new industrial leases in Northern and Central New Jersey in 2011, representing the highest volume since before the recession, according to year-end statistics for the U.S. industrial market released yesterday by commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

This resurgence in activity exceeds the state's 2010 industrial leasing total (12.8 million sq. ft.) by 83.2 percent. The lower 287 Corridor and exit 8A markets led the activity, each with more than 4.3 million sq. ft. of transactions.

THe largest industrial deal in 2011 involved Wakefern Food Corporation's 1.1 million-sq.-ft. commitment at 8001 Industrial Avenue in Carteret. Additionally, I/O Data Center executed a transaction at 3003 Woodbridge Avenue in Edison. That 831,427-sq.-ft. lease represents the data center provider's third location and the nation's largest data center. In Robbinsville, Kenco Logistics LLC signed on for 504,286 sq. ft. at 100 West Manor Way.

New Jersey's progress mirrors strong performance nationwide. In the 33 U.S. industrial markets tracked by Cushman & Wakefield, more than 306.3 million sq. ft. of new leases were completed in 2011, up 14 percent from 268.8 million square feet of new leases signed in 2010. Twenty-two of the U.S. industrial markets tracked reported an increase in new activity (with Northern and Central New Jersey among the markets with the most significant increases).

New industrial properties completed in 2011 totaled just 903,000 sq. ft. in northern and central New Jersey, with 1.9 million sq. ft. in projects currently underway.