There's a reason Chris Paladino is always on our Real Estate Power 50. And always near the very top.
As the president of the New Brunswick Development Corp., he has helped rebuild New Brunswick and is currently part of the group working to rebuild Atlantic City.
More than that, he and Devco are providing a model for others around the state.
Granted, no two areas are the same. And what has worked in New Brunswick and, hopefully soon, Atlantic City, will not work everywhere.
But this is more about copying the passion rather than the projects.
This version of Real Estate Report is another example.
Developers and organizations in Trenton and Elizabeth are doing plenty to reinvigorate two of the state’s most important cities.
In Trenton, George Sowa and the Greater Trenton organization are most closely modeling the Devco example, as the group is connecting with businesses and their leaders to bring more commerce to the capital city.
In this Real Estate Report, NJBIZ real estate reporter Mario Marroquin details some of these projects, from the Roebling Lofts to the new headquarters of the New Jersey Realtors association to an expansion at Thomas Edison State University.
In Elizabeth, a series of projects are having an impact. Marroquin profiles a few, from the just-opened Pointe-Grande Plaza to 925 Julia St. to a mixed-use development known now as Midtown Elizabeth.
In both cities, the work of developers cannot be overstated.
And, as Paladino reminds, all of this work cannot be done in a vacuum.
“(Our) operational paradigm is building partnerships amongst various institutions, private-sector and public-sector organizations to meet an unmet public-privacy goal,” Paladino says.
Doing that is hard work. Not just a lot of talk.
“We don’t get everyone just to sing ‘Kumbaya,’” he says. “We get them to a closing, groundbreaking and we get them to a ribbon-cutting.”
It’s the way cities in New Jersey are reborn. In these articles, we profile two of them.