Hollister Construction Services Head Coach Chris Johnson was raised against a backdrop of giving back, with volunteerism and a sense of community instilled in him at an early age.
By 13, Johnson was already volunteering at a food bank.
“In my mom’s home you had to give to live, so I was raised with serving food at a food bank and carrying instruments into the philharmonic,” Johnson said upon receiving the United Way of Northern New Jersey’s Spirit Award. “I learned that people are like Christmas presents--no one remembers the wrapping, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. If kids are healthy and educated they have the same shot at a future that we did. My partners and I were raised by parents who taught us about giving back. Blessed that my peers choose us as the first recipient of the UWSA. It’s truly flattering and I bet my mom is proud. Our team loves partnering with the United Way—it’s nice to see them honored for how the team with the United Way and in the community.”
Johnson was recognized for his philanthropy at the organization’s 19th annual Commercial Real Estate Network Legacy Luncheon held last week held at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, where he received the inaugural award before 500 of New Jersey’s most influential commercial real estate executives.
Since its inception in 1999, the event has raised more than $2.7 million for ALICE--Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed-- individuals and families who are working but struggling to afford the basics.
The winner of the United Way Impact Award —given to the year’s most impactful commercial property development project in north Jersey — was awarded to Newark-based Edison Properties for its Ironside Newark redevelopment project.
The project was chosen from a shortlist of finalists including Barclays acquisition of The Crossings at Jefferson Park, the Hahne & Co. redevelopment project, the Newark Museum and Summit Medical Group MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Slated for completion later this year, the long-vacant 1907 industrial warehouse is being transformed into 456,000 square feet of loft-style and penthouse offices across six floors, with another two floors of retail and restaurant space and a two-story atrium and shared rooftop terrace and conference center.
Ironside Newark is the first redevelopment project in the state to achieve Wired Certified Platinum designation based on the building’s advanced technological infrastructure and connectivity and its readiness to adopt emerging technologies.
“We’re extremely honored to receive the Impact Award for the Ironside Newark project—an initiative we believe represents an incredible opportunity for the city and surrounding region,” said Michael Sommer, Edison Properties Executive Vice President of Development. “We’re already beginning to witness Ironside Newark’s impact, as it creates hundreds of new jobs, helps attract exciting new restaurants and retail tenants and provides additional momentum to the city’s ongoing renaissance.”
The winning team includes landlord and developer Edison Properties; brokers JLL and Newmark Knight Frank; construction manager Hollister Construction Services; architect Perkins Eastman; civil engineer Langan; MEP/FP engineer Sharpe Engineering Inc.; structural engineer Active Design Group Engineering D.P.C.; and landlord law firms Genova Burns; Pearlman & Miranda LLC; and Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP.
“United Way is thankful for this industry’s enduring support and partnership in helping remove the barriers that keep ALICE and those in poverty from reaching their potential,” United Way Senior Vice President for Resource Development Theresa Leamy said. “In addition, United Way congratulates the Ironside team for its commitment to creating modern office and retail space that will not only advance Newark’s revitalization but also boost the regional economy.”