#3 Jon Hanson Hampshire Companies, Principal
Forget all about his connections and his relationship with Christie. That’s not what makes Hanson — the head of Hampshire Companies — so strong. “So much of real estate goes through him,” one insider said. “Show me big deals that he isn’t involved in and I’ll show you big deals he didn’t want to be involved in.”
No. 1 on our Real Estate Power 50, Hanson takes the No. 3 spot here for so many reasons. The main reason may be the biggest real estate happening in the state: The Triple Five project at the Meadowlands.
“Why wasn’t that killed? Why did they get the biggest incentive package in state history (nearly $400 million from the Economic Development Authority)?
Because Jon Hanson has a big stake in it,” the source said. Hanson has big stakes in so many places. He helped engineer the deal that led to Rutgers’ sweeping expansion in New Brunswick. From Atlantic City to the Meadowlands, he has impact.
And in so many ways. “He’s the one who can go into rooms that the governor can’t go and have heart-toheart discussions with people — it’s hard to be more influential than that,” an insider said.
Of course, this takes us full circle, bringing up his relationship with the governor. One insider just laughed at the connection: “Chris Christie should be glad he knows him, not the other way around.”
Last Year's Rank: 3