As chair and CEO of Hugo Neu, Wendy Neu’s flexibility in adapting Kearny Point to tenant needs during the pandemic is a model for other developers. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can work in the solo offices of the newly finished Annex; and tenants previously situated in a coworking space were allowed to resituate within the building earlier in the pandemic. According to Hugo Neu’s website, Kearny Point and other newly refurbished buildings boast significantly advanced features over older buildings when it comes to COVID safety parameters, like touch-free building entry, medical-grade air filtration, and UV air purifications and sanitation.
Procida, the CEO of Procida Funding & Advisors, takes a local approach with his 100 Mile Fund, financing commercial real estate development within 100 miles of the New York metro market, throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. He established the fund in 2011, which in October 2020 provided a $39.85 million construction loan to Forte Real Estate Development for The Washington Lofts, a 242-unit mixed-use apartment building development project in the Borough of Carteret. Two weeks before that, Procida closed a pair of Paterson deals with Charles Florio, construction loans worth $7.275 million and $2.25 million. According to Florio, that pair of deals will indirectly create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in economic growth in Paterson.
Reinhart joined R.J. Brunelli & Co. LLC in April 2019 as executive vice president for the retail real estate brokerage’s new Mixed Use & Land Division, which will work with homebuilders, developers, owners, buyers and tenants on all aspects of mixed-use developments. But he has a long history in the state’s commercial real estate sector, with 33 years at Hovnanian Enterprises, serving as senior vice president, general counsel and a director with New Jersey’s top home builder. He is now a professor in real estate and the director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University, the first program in New Jersey to offer a degree in real estate. He has taught courses in Real Estate Development, Lease Negotiations, and Real Estate Law among others. He is a Past President of the New Jersey Builders Association and is now the Chair of New Jersey Future, the leading non-profit organization for smart growth in New Jersey.
As president and CEO of DMR Architects, Rosenberg is the driving force behind the firm’s growth, leading a team of more than 40 people. DMR has been the number 5 New Jersey architectural firm for five consecutive years and was ranked on Real Estate Forum’s 2016 list of Fastest Growing Companies.
When Rosenberg founded the firm in 1991, it was a three-person operation focused solely on designing schools and educational facilities. Over the years, he steadily added talent, enabling DMR to expand its capabilities, which now includes architectural design for the education, corporate, public, health care and residential sectors, as well as advanced sustainable design and a thriving redevelopment and urban planning department. Among his projects are the state’s first nature museum, the first school for the blind and the first LEED-certified public school; Bergen County’s first brewery; the rail station that first brought train service to the Meadowlands; and the new Frank J. Gargiulo Campus in Secaucus, the $150 million vocational/technical high school in Hudson County, one of the most technologically advanced schools in the country.
David Saltzman and Michael Schaible
Saltzman is a partner at Lee & Associates and has worked in the real estate industry since 1983. Throughout his career he has acquired an extensive background in the development and disposition of commercial properties—especially industrial, a sector where we have seen unprecedented demand in recent years with the increasing real estate needs of e-commerce companies and their business partners. Currently, he is a preferred vendor for one of the nation’s largest third-party logistics companies, helping them locate space across the country. Saltzman has worked with some of the nation’s largest institutional developers and landlords including ProLogis, Liberty Property Trust, Duke Realty, Hillwood Properties, Dermody Properties, Heller Industrial Parks and Clarion. In 2019/2020 Saltzman completed transactions totaling approximately 2.5 million square feet and $45 million. Schaible is a senior vice president at Lee & Associates and also a specialist in the industrial market, where he began his career in 1980. Schaible has completed transactions on behalf of Raytheon Corp., Prologis, Normandy Real Estate Partners and AMB, among others. Schaible’s focus on the northern New Jersey industrial market for nearly the last four decades has given him a broad range of experience and in-depth knowledge of this unique market, and for both landlords and tenants. He has completed over 360,000 square feet of transactions across the state this year.
David Sanzari and Ryan Sanzari
Celebrating its 75th anniversary 2020, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises has long been one of the most-respected commercial real estate firms in northern New Jersey. The company’s deep office, industrial, retail and medical office portfolio is home to iconic properties such as Court Plaza in Hackensack and Glenpointe in Teaneck. Led by David as CEO and Ryan as COO, the firm has adhered to its foundational ideals while evolving to meet the challenges of the future. This commitment can be seen at Glenpointe where they recently completed a multimillion improvement plan aimed at modernizing the building’s amenities and common areas. Unfortunately, as Teaneck became the epicenter of N.J.’s COVID-19 outbreak, David and Ryan also were tasked with being among the first office owners in the state to deal with COVID-19 and through their tenant-focused, hands-on management approach, the firm worked closely with its hundreds of commercial tenants in both Teaneck and the rest of their portfolio to navigate the pandemic.
Schwartz is a partner at BNE Real Estate Group, which manages over 10,000 apartment units and over 1 million-square-feet of commercial space up and down the state. BNE has developed thousands of luxury homes and has previous projects in both Florida and New York. The Livingston-based development and management company has been able to proceed with business as usual even as the pandemic rages in New Jersey and across the country. BNE began leasing in early October at the luxury 137-unit 100 House in Jersey City, which sits west of the Hudson River waterfront and boasts co-working spaces with private offices, as New Jerseyans continue to work from home. That same month leasing began at the 110-unit luxury apartment rental called The Grove at Piscataway and in mid-August the 228-luxury apartment One500 in Teaneck. In July, BNE and South Amboy officials broke ground on the $500 million 1,875-unit Manhattan Beach Club, which will offer both rail and ferry service, and qualify as a state-designated “transit village” in order to revitalize walkable downtowns around public transit hubs.
As vice chairman and COO of Newmark Knight Frank, Simson is one of the state’s leading brokers. He has been named as the firm’s top producer in the country twice – in 2010 and 2012. Simson’s status is evident in the transactions he handles, mainly large deals for big companies and institutions like Allergan, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Realogy. He’s represented landlords as exclusive agent for leasing or investment sales for more than 200 million square feet of office space. Most recently, his firm was tapped to handle leasing at 1 Giralda Farms, a four-story, 154,417-square-feet Class A office building in Madison. The deal brought BNY Mellon, Mariner Wealth Advisors and Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf to the New Jersey suburb. In April 2020 on behalf of Mack-Cali Realty Corp., the firm sold the 206,500-square-foot One Bridge Plaza, which towers 10 stories over the entrance to the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee.
During Sommers’ time as executive vice president of development for Edison Properties, the real estate developer completed the adaptive reuse of its state-of-the-art, 21st century workplace in Newark’s revitalized downtown, Ironside Newark. The more than 450,000-square-foot development has attracted multiple tenants, including a long-term 148,500-square-foot lease with Mars Wrigley Confectionery and law firms Robinson Miller and Pearlman & Miranda. Sommer was the primary force behind the project, in charge of all execution. Although he moved to Cedar Realty Trust to be its senior vice president of development and construction in 2019, Newark continues to benefit from his legacy. During his more than two decades in the industry, Sommer developed in excess of 8 million square feet of residential, retail and office assets.
Stolar founded Pinnacle Cos. In 1984 and has since built more than 8,000 residential units and over 3 million square feet of mixed-use development. His 2008 expansion with workout development group Pinnacle Solutions U.S. has taken over projects totaling over 1.5 million square feet with banks, private lenders, developers, land owners and municipalities to develop properties or to reposition, restructure, resuscitate and restart stalled or failed projects, according to Pinnacle’s website. Shovels in his name are in the ground all over Montclair, for railway revival Lackawanna Plaza, set to include over 150 residential units; retail spaces in the old train station; a Lidl grocer and Wellmont Development with 200 units and 40,000 square feet of retail and office use each; and the redevelopment of the historic Wellmont Theater.
Peter Sudler is president and CEO of the Sudler Cos., a privately held real estate development company founded in 1907. Based in Chatham, the Sudler Cos. owns millions of square feet across New Jersey and around the country, including Florida and South Carolina. The firm’s office parks and properties are situated near some of the most heavily traveled corridors across the state. They include new buildings at the 250-acre business park in Lakewood — just off Route 70 and the Garden State Parkway — and boast 1.5 million square feet of light industrial and warehouse space. A 225-acre mixed-use development corporate park in Cranbury, near exit 8A off the New Jersey Turnpike — saw the demolition in 2019 of a 500,000 square-foot office building to make way for big box distribution space leased by WB Mason and RUGS USA.
The political maneuvering in Trenton over how the state would employ economic incentives to lure businesses into New Jersey seems like an eternity ago. Both programs, the Grow New Jersey corporate tax breaks and the Economic Redevelopment and Growth gap financing programs expired on July 1, 2019, and since then the governor and lawmakers have been in a stalemate over its replacement. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, mass business shutdowns and widespread economic pain, the NJEDA pivoted its focus keeping businesses afloat. With this aid — grants, low-interest loans, state subsidies for businesses to buy personal protective equipment, and loan guarantees meant to keep investment dollars flowing into start-ups — the administration has argued that businesses can at least stay afloat.
Tax credits like the ones that dominated Trenton headlines for most of 2019 will stay in the background, even as talks pick up to agree on a replacement before the end of 2020. “Companies that are here are probably going to be focused on what they’re doing day-to-day,” Sullivan said in an April interview as the state struggled through the first wave in a near-total lockdown. “Companies that aren’t here are probably going to be a little less exploratory at least in the next six to 13 months.” Sullivan and the agency will likely play a key role in the state’s efforts to convince businesses that New Jersey continues to be the best place to do business.
As president and CEO of Matrix Development, which he joined in 1981, Taylor has expanded the company from its sole investment in CenterPoint into a successful full-service real estate investment company. It’s developed over 35 million square feet of commercial, industrial and residential properties, expanding across New Jersey and into neighboring Pennsylvania and New York. “He’s an incredibly successful developer who builds good projects,” one insider noted, “but doesn’t always maintain his relationships. But Matrix is a real company, and it’s a real company because of his vision – he’s the guy.” His skill has made him someone the real estate world looks up to, and he has the accolades to show it. He’s been the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award from NJ-NAIOP and National Developer of the Year from NAIOP; and he’s Chairman Emeritus, State of New Jersey’s Real Estate Advisory Board.
Even before COVID-19, Trautner was one of the most respected real estate attorneys in the state with deep expertise in redevelopment and land use, eminent domain, affordable housing, community associations and real estate litigation. With the emergence of COVID-19, Trautner’s experience was relied upon by clients spanning the real estate world as they sought to navigate an increasingly complex and evolving legal and real estate landscape. In addition to his role as a real estate partner with Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, Trautner serves as co-chair of Urban Land Institute Northern New Jersey, one of the state’s preeminent real estate organizations, where he has helped the non-profit successfully navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and continue to provide a diverse array of programming and insight to its membership.
As president of Gebroe Hammer Associates, Uranowitz has been recognized for his “ability to lead when visibility into the future is cloudy and uncertain” and as a leader who displays a “willingness to put the needs of the company, employees and customers front and center. ” Gebroe-Hammer’s consistent results have been and continue to be spearheaded by Uranowitz who joined the firm at its inception 45 years ago. Since launching his commercial real estate investment brokerage career with Gebroe-Hammer, Uranowitz has consistently set new industry records for sales and number of units sold. Notably, Uranowitz worked to attain a $25.35 million disposition in June 2020 of Hamilton House in Weehawken, a 99-unit fixture within the township’s desirable Town Center/Downtown District; the $19 million off-market sale of West Bank Apartments in Nutley in September, where he had a 40-plus year relationship with the seller and original developer, Westbank Apartments LLC/Avalon Apartment LLC which built the 108-unit midrise in 1962. He also spearheaded 127 deals totaling $1.9B and 12,155 units, in 2019 which marked a 72% increase in sales over 2018 and followed boom years in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
With more than 30 years in the residential development business, Urgo is known for her analytical mind and expertise from planning and design, to positioning, marketing, leasing and selling luxury residential developments. Her work over the past three decades represents a portfolio of residential properties with many of the tri-states’ leading residential developers including Fisher Brothers, Kushner Companies, China Overseas America, Vornado, Ironstate Development, China Construction America, KRE Group, Time Equities Inc. and The Chetrit Group. Jackie oversees the activities of more than 50 employees and under her leadership, The Marketing Directors maintains solid placement as one of the preeminent on-site residential marketing, leasing and sales firm in the Northeast. Under Jackie’s supervision, The Marketing Directors opened or will open by the end of the year 11 projects comprising 2,463 units; leased 1,586 rental units; sold 109 condominium homes; and signed 11 new projects comprising 2,907 units.
Finn Wentworth, David Welsh and Giorgios Vlamis
Having completed the sale of the Normandy Real Estate Partners platform in January 2020, the firm’s former principals offered a glimpse at their next business endeavor when they formed Senlac Ridge Partners, an entrepreneurial private equity firm targeting a broad range of investment opportunities spanning real estate and non-real estate assets and businesses. Active in community and philanthropic endeavors, Wentworth is a founder of the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund created to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus on the most vulnerable New Jerseyans. He has served as chairman of the Foundation For Morristown Medical Center where he helped raise over $150 million and is currently on the Board of Trustees of Atlantic Health System. Welsh is known by insiders as the guy who gets the deals done. Under Welsh’s leadership, Normandy invested over $2.7 billion of institutional equity capital and acquired or developed a diverse mix of commercial and residential real estate assets comprising over 38 million square feet. Vlamis served as COO at Normandy and was responsible for co-directing the firm’s real estate investment activities. Before oining Normandy in 2002, he was a member of the Real Estate Investment Banking Group and Real Estate Merchant Banking Fund at Lehman Brothers in New York and London, where he was involved in M&A assignments, acquisitions, debt, and private equity financings.
Under CEO Eric Witmondt’s leadership, Woodmont Properties’ success in developing both residential communities and commercial properties is derived from a blend of innovation, integrity, the selection of superior locations, and quality design. Witmondy turned a boutique residential, office and industrial developer into a regional powerhouse, with the company’s value increasing from $200 million to more than $650 million during his tenure. After years of working alongside his father, Donald, Eric Witmondt took over the leadership of Woodmont in 1999 and expanded its redevelopment, infill, multifamily and industrial activities. The company, which owned no apartment units before naming Eric as CEO, now owns more than 3,000 units at thirteen luxury apartment communities throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The firm continues to seek opportunities for downtown, transit-oriented development in communities across New Jersey. And in an effort to further diversify the company and capitalize on an emerging asset class, Witmondt established Woodmont Industrial Partners, which has bought and sold more than five million square feet of industrial space in less than five years.
“There’s not a significant real estate developer in New Jersey who doesn’t know Ted,” an insider told NJBIZ. The Sills Cummis & Gross member and chair of its real estate department is also a founding member of the Rutgers University Center for Real Estate, where he serves on the executive committee, and a member of the board of trustees at George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis. Zangari is the go-to guy to talk to about investing in Opportunity Zones. Just last month, Zangari helped client Blue Onyx launch an adaptive reuse project in Paterson, which he dubbed “a city on the upswing,” from acquisition and financing to land use, tax abatements and public incentives.
Zucker, the president of Somerset Development, is no stranger to the NJBIZ list of real estate heavy hitters. As the owner and developer of Bell Works, he’s played a major part in the effort to transform the decrepit property into a gleaming city-style office complex. The 1.9 million square-foot office space, perched atop a 473-acre complex in Holmdel, played host to the renowned Bell Labs until the company vacated the suburban office park in 2007. During the pandemic, state and local officials, developers and business executives have been grappling with how to revive the hundreds of malls, shopping centers and office parks scattered in large volumes throughout the state, standing nearly or completely empty .The Bell Labs complex nearly suffered the same fate. But now hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans working from home rather than commute into New York City and Philadelphia, and many businesses based in the state are looking at shrinking their square-footage and rent costs. Bell Works, with office options ranging from a handful of desks to thousands of square feet, may be poised to meet this new demand and become a standard-bearer for the post-COVID office environment.