New Jersey Transit named Carmen Taveras as its first chief of real estate, economic development and transit oriented development, effective Nov. 18.
The office will assess and develop recommendations for transit-oriented development opportunities for parcels of property in which NJ Transit holds an interest, with the goal of increasing non-farebox revenue.
The position was created as part of the continuing effort to increase non-farebox earnings and monetize assets throughout the state. It also comes in response to Senate Bill 2333 – signed Nov. 1, 2018 by Gov. Murphy – requiring NJ Transit to establish an office of real estate, economic development and transit-oriented development.
“NJ Transit is proud to welcome Carmen Taveras as the agency’s first chief of real estate, economic development and transit oriented development,” said NJ Transit President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Corbett. “Carmen brings a wealth of experience to the job and will be a huge asset in our vision to more aggressively use TOD to develop under-utilized properties around transit, optimize the value of assets across the state, and generate additional non-farebox revenue, which will ultimately benefit our customers.”
Taveras has more than 20 years of diverse real estate experience managing real estate portfolios and land development across U.S. market sectors and asset class. She was formerly with Wereldhave USA, a subsidiary of a European-based public real estate investment trust (REIT). While at Wereldhave USA, her responsibilities included managing a large staff of direct and indirect personnel; developing and executing the operating and investment strategy for the U.S. portfolio; and leading acquisitions, ground-up construction and property valuations. Additionally, she chaired the Wereldhave USA board of directors for seven years.
During her career at Wereldhave, her notable transactions included the sale of 20 Exchange Place, a 56-story office tower in New York City’s Financial District and the development of 120-acres of raw land in San Antonio, Texas. There, Taveras worked closely with the local community, government authorities and Department of Transportation to achieve a master plan for a 1.8 million-square-foot sustainable, mixed-use project costing approximately $500 million.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting & Finance/Business Administration from St. John’s University, New York.