Abramsohn is vice president and regional director of Rockefeller Group, handling development in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania. He’s been with the company since 2005 and is currently responsible for project analysis, due diligence, financial/investment analysis, site selection, entitlements and project management for real estate acquisitions and development projects over approximately 4 million square feet of investment grade commercial assets within the region. In October, Rockefeller Group sold its newly constructed 400,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Middlesex to CBRE Investment Management. The new development is adjacent to the 228-acre Rockefeller Group Logistics Center the company completed in Piscataway in 2019.
Jeff Babikian, executive vice president of CBRE, has become one of the most active and respected brokers in the Tri-State area. His approach has led to long-term relationships and a career representing Fortune 500 corporations to nonprofit institutions, as well as emerging growth companies in all facets of the commercial real estate process, on a local and national level. In 2019, Babikian was named to the advisory board of the Rutgers Center for Real Estate. He is consistently ranked as a top broker in the Saddle Brook office and has won numerous industry awards In recent years, Babikian has been a recipient and multiple-time nominee for NAIOP’s Transaction of the Year Award.
Wasseem Boraie and Sam Boraie
Construction is underway for the largest tower in history of Newark: a 33-story, 550,000-square-foot building right by Penn Station. “This one is the game changer for City,” one insider said on the project, led by brothers Wasseem and Sam Boraie of New Brunswick-based Boraie Development. The brothers, along with their father Omar, who founded and chairs the business, built Newark’s first market-rate high rise in 50 years at 50 Rector Park in 2019. The family-owned development company has a long history of urban revitalization all over the state, including in Atlantic City and Jersey City, along with its base of operations in New Brunswick, where Boraie Development helped change skyline.
Bronsnick was named executive managing director and managing principal of the New Jersey market for Cushman & Wakefield in June, following nearly 10 years at SJP Properties, where he was most recently president of SJP’s New Jersey operations. There, he played a prominent role in marketing the company’s portfolio in New Jersey and spearheaded leasing efforts. At Cushman & Wakefield, Bronsnick runs the firm’s New Jersey business, which handles 700 sales and leasing transactions annually totaling more than 40 million square feet of place. Bronsnick was named to NJBIZ’s Vanguard series in 2018, highlighting him as an up-and-comer in the world of commercial real estate. That honor has aged well.
Cocoziello’s outfit, Advance Realty, has had 20 million square feet owned and in development, 3,300 residential units owned and in development, and 8 million square feet in industrial pipeline since he founded it in 1979. Cocoziello is no stranger to awards, last year nabbing the leadership excellence award from Monmouth University’s Kislak Real Estate Institute and for several years securing spots on NJBIZ’s power lists. Last fall, Advance opened the 450,000-square-foot Shops at Ledgewood Commons at the site of the former Ledgewood Mall on Route 10 in Roxbury and several retailers have since come on board. The firm also bolstered its group of retailers at Paramus Crossings, a shopping center in one of the state’s busiest retail corridors.
Jose Cruz, Jon Mikula and Frank Recine
Cruz is a senior managing director and co-office head in the New Jersey office of JLL Capital Markets, Americas. He joined JLL as part of the HFF acquisition and is a member of the firm’s leadership committee. He specializes in investment advisory throughout New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and also oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm’s New Jersey office. Cruz started at HFF in March 2010. Before that, he was the executive director of Cushman & Wakefield’s New York area investment sales group, where he spent more than 17 years. He began his real estate career as a real estate analyst at PaineWebber, UBS, Inc. Miluka is a senior managing director in the New Jersey office of JLL Capital Markets, Americas. He is primarily responsible for arranging debt and equity placement transactions as well as being responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm’s New Jersey office. Miluka started at HFF in May 2000. Mikula’s work complements that of Cruz. His skill as a mortgage broker has gotten him named one, if not the nicest and best, brokers in New Jersey. Completing the trio from JLL, Frank Recine is an executive managing director in the brokerage services division of JLL. He has a background in transaction structures, lease negotiations and consulting services. He is highly valued as a tenant, landlord and corporate services representative throughout the United States. Recine joined JLL from Newmark Knight Frank where he became the youngest principal during his tenure with the firm.
Davis has been the driving force behind the Rutgers Center for Real Estate’s growth into one of the nation’s premier institutions of higher learning for those seeking to enter the field. After starting virtually from scratch six years ago, the center now enrolls hundreds of students, while courses such as law, finance and capital markets are full or nearly so on a consistent basis. Additionally, the executive committee and advisory boards count some of the most respected members of the commercial real estate world among its membership. Davis is widely published on issues related to the U.S. housing markets and has developed price indexes for land in residential use. He is regularly interviewed by NPR Marketplace, Bloomberg Radio, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times on house prices and housing markets and is a frequent lecturer at universities and central banks around the world. His insight and that of the center could be widely sought by New Jersey’s CRE market, as the industry charts a rebound that could take years following the pandemic.
Dell’Aquila is the CEO of JDA Group, the Hoboken-based developer responsible for its hometown’s co-working space Mission 50. Formerly known as the Hoboken Business Center, the building at 50 Harrison St. that has serving local businesses in its roots. Now it provides a funky and modern, flexible space. JDA has a keen focus on its hometown and is also responsible for developing The Lexington, a 50-unit apartment complex that the company says is fully occupied. In September, the zoning board approved JDA’s ambitious The Boundary project, a more than 500,000-square-foot mixed-use development along the Jersey City border that includes residential, retail, office space and a rooftop park.
Steven Denholtz and Stephen Cassidy
As chief executive officer of Denholtz Properties, Steven Denholtz is responsible for the strategic direction of the company as well as its capital structure, supervision of all development opportunities, and spearheading of business development. Under his stewardship, the company has grown to more than 60 employees and doubled the square footage it owns and manages. Steven and Stephen have continued to lead Denholtz in its work to help stimulate downtown buildout by pursuing wide-ranging development and redevelopment projects across Red Bank, headlined by their The Rail @ Red Bank project. The city is now one of the hottest markets in the state and a destination for businesses and consumers. In addition, Denholtz Properties is pursuing an ambitious development project at Fort Monmouth that will help give the property a second life. The former military installation is shaping up as a major site in the Shore region.
As the president and CEO of Branchburg-based Larken Associates, Gardner represents the second generation of his family to run the development firm founded by his father Lawrence in 1965. The elder Gardner now provides strategic direction as chairman, but David oversees all the company’s activities, including acquisitions and dispositions, portfolio and asset management, fundraising and placement, business planning and development. Larken has a deep and far-reaching commercial and residential portfolio across New Jersey. The firm’s commercial portfolio includes 3 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, and self-storage buildings that are home to 800 tenants in two states. Gardner has been deeply involved with all facets of the development work as well as acquisitions on the commercial side. He is also widely known for his charitable work, organizing regular trips to Guatemala with From Houses to Homes, a nonprofit organization providing sustainable housing, along with access to health care and education.
Goldberg is the founder and managing member of Canoe Brook Associates, a family-owned real estate consulting and development firm in Roseland. He was also a founding partner of Roseland Property Co. Since the establishment of Roseland, Goldberg has been involved in the development of communities throughout the Northeast with a special emphasis on urban waterfront development. He directed Roseland’s production of more than 1,500 homes annually and oversaw Roseland’s flagship endeavor, Port Imperial. Goldberg has a long history of political and industry-wide activism in New Jersey, with relationships with leaders throughout the state. In addition, he has been at the forefront of transit-oriented development, a movement many experts see as critical to smart, sustainable economic development.
Hammer’s real estate practice spans nearly five decades, representing purchasers and sellers of office buildings, shopping centers, industrial facilities, apartment complexes and vacant land in investment real estate transactions and tax appeals. While he’s led numerous sales, purchases and refinancing deals in New Jersey in the last year, the influence he exerts from Brach Eichler’s Roseland office reaches far beyond Jersey’s borders. He led a portfolio sale of 10 complexes throughout the state of Maryland in nine separate transactions totaling more than $700 million and involving over 5,000 apartments; represented the purchaser in two separate Michigan transactions worth approximately $200 million; and represented a buyer in Alabama in a purchase of almost 500 apartments for approximately $70 million; all in 2021 alone. He’s also been busy with transactions in Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Connecticut.
William C. Hanson
As the leader of the largest New Jersey-based full-service independent commercial real estate firm, Hanson’s team has been deeply involved with the ongoing explosion of industrial activity across the northern and central regions of the state. His leadership has ensured that NAI James E. Hanson continues to be trusted by the wide range of companies looking to sell, buy or lease space in the region’s industrial market, and has ensured that numerous businesses have been able to find homes in New Jersey over the last year. In the last decade, his firm has completed more than $3 billion in transactions, covering millions of square feet. In November 2020, Hanson was elected chair of Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey after 25 years with the organization, and in the last year has helped guide the trade organization through the ongoing pandemic.
Matthew K. Harding
Harding is the chief executive officer of Levin Management Corp., which boasts a portfolio of 120 properties spanning 16 million square feet in six states including New Jersey, ranging from retail developments to residential and shopping centers, malls, warehousing and other mixed-use sites. LMC notched numerous wins during the pandemic – retail, gyms and warehouses across the state for example. This year, the North Plainfield-based CRE firm saw an explosion in dining tenants, confident that demand would rise as restrictions were loosened. “Despite the economic uncertainty and business-related disruptions facing our industry since March , there has been progress,” Harding said in January.
Jingoli is chief executive officer of JINGOLI, a construction company with experience in the energy, industrial, health care, gaming and educational sectors. He is also a partner in DCO Energy, one of the largest developers and operators of cogeneration and renewable energy projects in North America. Joe has more than three decades of expertise in construction, project management and energy development. He has a reputation throughout the construction and energy industries for his ability to use innovative strategies to bring projects to fruition. Jingoli is also passionate about giving back to the community. As part of the JINGOLI’s Competitive Edge community outreach program, the JINGOLI companies focus on mentoring youth, supporting small, minority and women-owned businesses, and hiring local workers within the communities they serve.
The Meadowlands region is home to perhaps the biggest commercial real estate story of the past two years — the completion, after a troubled histgory, of American Dream. The combination mega-mall and amusement park started to open in 2019, before the pandemic shut most stores and all indoor entertainment facilities. As CEO of the Meadowlands Chamber, Kirkos has been an indefatigable defender of the project and believes it will be a major driver of development in the area. Next up is the fate of the arena that once hosted NBA and NHL teams but now is being used for television productions. Kirkos is among the officials pushing for its conversion to a conference center, which would complement American Dream, offering a business function alongside the shopping and entertainment center. A proposal unveiled by the Meadowlands 2040 Foundation, an economic development affiliate of the Meadowlands Chamber, and prepared by Hunden Strategic Partners calls for 300,000 square feet of exhibit space, including a 100,000-square-foot ballroom and a 40,000-square foot arena that could seat between 2,000 and 5,000 spectators. There would be an additional 60,000-square-foot ballroom, and 100,000 square feet of meeting spaces, which could be broken down into as many as 75 meeting rooms. Kirkos told NJBIZ that the new facilities could compete with the 3.3 million-square-foot Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. “We have all the benefits of Manhattan without the cost,” he said.
When founding Accurate Builders, Klugmann set out to build a company that would become a standard-bearer for quality construction. Working methodically, he developed a strategic vision for consistently exceeding clients’ expectations. In addition to innate business acumen, his passion for excellence has been the key to Accurate Builders’ substantial growth in the multifamily sector throughout the region. Klugmann’s track record of delivering successful projects on time and within budget produced a level of trust among lending institutions and municipal officials which has contributed to Accurate Builders’ rise as an industry leader. Amid COVID-19 and the ensuing public health and economic recovery, projects sprang up across the state, ribbons were cut and ground was broken, many with involvement from Accurate Builders. Klugmann’s commitment to enhancing the quality of living and economic vitality of the communities in which the firm operates continues to drive the company.
As chief executive officer of Camden Community Partnership, a nonprofit community development organization, Kolluri has been at the center of efforts to revitalize Camden. Nearly $2 billion in tax incentives have been awarded to companies considering staying in or moving to the city, Observers in Camden and in Trenton contend that positive change is coming to Camden, evident by the gleaming waterfront which Kolluri played a major role in developing. “For 50 years, the city of Camden has never gotten the benefit,” Kolluri said in 2019 . “Anytime the country did well, economically, it somehow eluded Camden. When the country was going through periods of economic depression, we took it on the chin doubly.”
Richard LeFrak, Harrison LeFrak and Jamie Lefrak
The LeFrak family is legendary in the real estate industry. The LeFrak firm is one of the largest landlords in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. As CEO, Richard has responsibility for the development and management of its extensive real estate portfolio as well as management of its other lines of business and over 1,000 employees. The firm has long been committed to community development and long-term ownership. Newport, the company’s mixed-use development in Jersey City, shows how people can live, work and play on the Hudson River waterfront. Residential, office and retail space, along with a hotel and an on-site PATH station offer residents and tenants a variety of amenities. There’s even a beachfront to enjoy during the warmer months. Harrison and Jamie are continuing the family’s leadership of the firm.
Lalevee is both the business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, and the vice president of IUOE’s general executive board. His union could be one of the biggest beneficiaries in New Jersey from a renewed focus on infrastructure by the Biden administration, and the “clean energy economy” championed by Gov. Phil Murphy. A variety of projects, ranging from the long-delayed Gateway rail improvements to the South Jersey wind port, Newark Penn Station rehabilitation and Walter Rand Transportation Center, would be built by members of Local 825. The 8,200-member union is one of the most politically active in New Jersey, making endorsements on both sides of the aisle including Murphy in this past election. “He’s spent years training members at [the union’s] big training facility to build Gateway,” one person close to Lalevee noted last year. Remote work practices are likely permanent, affecting the need for expanded transportation infrastructure and office construction. And Lalevee acknowledged last year a “re-imagination” of many projects could be necesary, based on the changing needs of businesses.
Cushman & Wakefield boasts a huge presence in the tri-state area – 12 offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – with four outposts and 200 employees in the Garden State. The firm’s operations here have been ranked among the best in the state by its peers and by NJBIZ readers. Merin, executing vice president in New Jersey – along with colleagues Gary Gabriel, David Bernhaut, Brian Whitmer and Kyle Schmidt – drive C&W’s New Jersey capital markets team, which handles major transactions across the northern and central regions of the state. In fact, according to the firm, the 17-member group has been responsible for more than $34 billion in transactions since 2000 and has won NAIOP New Jersey’s Deal of the Year award seven times. The firm is often at the center of transactions involving retailers, multifamily residential developments, office space and even alternative energy projects. In September C&W arranged the sale of a solar farm in Warren County
Milanaik joined Bridge Development Partners in 2014 when he opened the firm’s New Jersey office, bringing over 30 years of experience in commercial real estate. As partner for the Northeast, Milanaik oversees all regional acquisition and development activities, and to date has completed transactions involving more than over 9 million square feet of the development of Bridge Point 78. The Phillipsburg site is the former home of an Ingersoll Rand warehouse that once employed 4,000 manufacturing workers, but sat vacant for decades until Bridge acquired the site to remediate it and develop Bridge Point 78. Phase II of the project will consist of two buildings, measuring 1,408,200 square feet and 262,500 square feet. These modern, Class A facilities will feature 36 to 40-foot clear heights, single and cross-docked loading configurations and ample parking for both trucks and cars.
Hartz Mountain Industries Inc. has been a presence in the New Jersey commercial real estate market for more than half a century. And its leaders plan to be around for at least that much longer. The company boasts holdings up and down the East Coast and across markets, giving it a regionally and economically diverse portfolio. As president and chief operating officer Gus Milano will play a big role in keeping the company on an upward trajectory. In May, Hartz announced that Hamilton Cove, a luxury rental community in the Lincoln Harbor area of Weehawken with 573 apartments, reached an important leasing milestone. The three-tower collection launched amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but proved popular with renters. “Our goal was to create a best-in-class residential community that people would be drawn to, and that vision has been underscored by the significant leasing momentum,” Milano said at the time. “We put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into the design and amenities at Hamilton Cove, which is a testament to the building’s desirability.”
Minoia is the founding and managing partner of Diversified Properties, which boasts a portfolio of more than $500 million and a track record of having developed assets valued at more than $1.5 billion. He is a specialist in distressed assets, and at a time when the state is seeking to revitalize many of the cities and communities hardest hit by decades of economic struggles. Minoia’s ability to take on the most challenging and difficult projects and create value has made him a trusted partner to financial institutions and municipalities alike. “The development process and construction and development are full of roadblocks,” he told NJBIZ in September, referring to the shortages and delays in shipping of materials such as lumber and how those issues affect the real estate industry. “Developers are used to hitting a wall, whatever it is, and try to find a way to go over it through it or around it.”