Every year, he seems to be breaking ground, getting approvals or cutting the ribbon on more than one multifamily project in New Jersey. And they’re all across the state — not just in the urban rail hubs that are drawing developers like moths to a flame.
“People are saying the multifamily area is getting a little saturated — and it is —but Ron, to his credit, continues to be sniffing out deals in train towns and other places millennials and empty-nesters want to live,” one source said.
“And he’s got the price point for (both).”
In many ways, Ladell was one of the first to conquer the market. And even though many others have tried to get a piece of the action, he’s maintained his position atop the asset class.
Ladell flexed his muscles this year with a victory in Princeton, the site of a potentially thorny legal battle over AvalonBay’s plan to build 280 units at the former University Medical Center. Demolition is now underway.
And while Ladell quietly goes about his business, he also has become one of the loudest voices in New Jersey real estate.
You know what we mean if you’ve ever heard him speak at a real estate conference — especially when it comes to affordable housing policy or recalcitrant local governments.
“He’s outspoken,” said one industry colleague, clearly vying for the Understatement of the Year Award.
“People listen to Ron.”
And Ladell continues to be sought after as a partner by other developers searching for some multifamily cachet.
Look no farther than Wood-Ridge, where Somerset Development’s Wesmont Station is seemingly hitting its stride two years after Ladell became the first developer to break ground there.
Expect that to continue with other high-profile redevelopment sites around the state.
New Jersey’s real estate industry loves its conferences, and Ladell is a familiar face to anyone who attends them regularly. At a recent panel discussion, an answer to the moderator’s question turned into what sounded like a stump speech on state policy issues (one fellow panelist turned to him and asked if he was running for governor).
“There has not been a most important deal, but, rather, the transition from real estate attorney to developer, along with a healthy dose of political acumen, has been the most important aspect of my career.” — Ladell, when asked about the most important deal of his career.
With Ladell at the helm in New Jersey since 2002, AvalonBay has developed nine communities in the state. Four others are under construction.