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Mack-Cali co-founder John J. Cali dies

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John J. Cali with his saxophone
John J. Cali with his saxophone - ()

John J. Cali, who co-founded the New Jersey development firm that grew over decades to become Mack-Cali Realty Corp., died Saturday, the company announced Tuesday.

Cali co-founded Cali Associates in 1949 with his brother, Angelo Cali, and Edward Leshowitz as a developer of single-family homes in northern New Jersey, according to a news release and the Mack-Cali website. The company then expanded into suburban office development over the next several decades before going public in 1994 as Cali Realty Corp.

Cali served as chairman of the real estate investment trust and continued in the role as it grew and ultimately merged in 1997 with the Mack Co., the news release said. The $1.2 billion deal resulted in a regional real estate powerhouse, based in New Jersey, with more than 21 million square feet of office space.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, John Cali," Mitchell Hersh, Mack-Cali's president and CEO said in a prepared statement. "His impact on the industry in the New Jersey region will forever be evident. His experience, knowledge, guidance, philanthropy and friendship will be greatly missed."

Cali retired as chairman in 2000 and served as chairman emeritus until 2003.

Mack-Cali today owns or has interests in 279 properties, including 267 office and office/flex properties totaling some 31 million square feet, plus 12 multifamily rental properties containing over 3,600 residential units, all located in Northeast.

Photo courtesy Montclair State University.

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