Jon Hanson, the founder and chairman of The Hampshire Cos., is probably one of the most well-known developers in the state. And as former Gov. Tom Kean put it, “I don’t know how many of you have heard of Jon Hanson, but if you haven’t heard of him, you’ve certainly heard of the things he’s done.”
Hampshire is now one of the nation’s leading privately-held, fully integrated real estate firms and real estate investment fund managers with over $2.4 billion in assets currently under management and a development pipeline throughout the East Coast across the multifamily, self-storage, industrial, and retail sectors exceeding $1.2 billion.
Under the Bergen County native’s leadership, two of New Jersey’s largest developments, American Dream Mall and Atlantic City Gateway Redevelopment project came to fruition. And Hampshire is involved much more around the state.
During Kean’s administration, Hanson served as chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority where he led a number of initiatives, including the negotiations that brought the New York Jets and New Jersey Devils to the Meadowlands.
Under the Christie administration, Hanson was tapped to serve in an advisory role for the governor. Appointed as the chair of the Governor’s New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission, he led the negotiations with Triple Five on the development of the failed Xanadu project at the Meadowlands, which, after years of delays, welcomed its first visitors this year to what is now called the American Dream Mall.
Hanson also oversaw the creation of the Atlantic City Development Co., which has brought significant non-gambling development projects to Atlantic City. Most notable of these is the $220 million Gateway project that expanded Stockton University and built a new headquarters for South Jersey Gas Co.
Hanson also played a pivotal role in representing New Brunswick Theological Seminary in their relocation as a part of New Brunswick Development Co.’s College Hill project, that allowed for the transformative development of Rutgers’ first academic building in New Brunswick in 40 years. His work on behalf of the state earned him a place in the 2017 Class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
Most recently, Hampshire has partnered with the Claremont Cos. and New Jersey City University on the University Place project in Jersey City. The ambitious project is reinventing the city’s West Side neighborhood through the development of over 1,000 residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail space, a state-of-the-art performing arts center, and a variety of community spaces.
The second generation of Hanson family leadership of Hampshire, James E. Hanson II has been a leader in the firm’s evolution, enabling it to thrive in an increasingly competitive real estate industry.
Serving as president and CEO since 2004, Hanson has been a driving force in leveraging the firm’s decades of real estate development experience to become a prominent real estate investment fund manager attracting investors both nationally and globally, having raised and deployed over $1.5 billion in equity over that span. He currently oversees the operational and investment activities of The Hampshire Cos.
In addition to his leadership role at Hampshire, Hanson serves as a council member of the New Jersey State Investment Council, which oversees $80 billion New Jersey State Pension Systems; an executive-in-residence and co-chair of the executive Committee of the Center for Real Estate at Rutgers Business School; a Commissioner of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission; and serves on the board of directors of Lakeland Bank.
More from the 2019 NJBIZ Commercial Real Estate Power 50:
- No. 2: Don Ghermezian
- No. 3: George Norcross
- No. 4: Chris Paladino
- No. 5: Tim Sullivan
- No. 6: Leslie Anderson
- No. 7: Ed Russo
- No. 8: Jack Morris
- No. 9: Jeff Sica
- No. 10: Barry Ostrowsky
- Commercial Real Estate Power 50 A-M
- Commercial Real Estate Power 50 N-Z
- The 2019 NJBIZ Commercial Real Estate Power 50 slideshow