NAIOP New Jersey Fetes Industry Leaders, Top Deals at 27th Annual Awards Gala
New Jersey commercial real estate's top leaders and top deals of the past year were once again saluted by NAIOP New Jersey at the commercial real estate development association's 27th Annual Awards Gala at The Palace at Somerset Park. Nearly 800 attended the prestigious, sold-out event.
"Hard work and creativity continue to be the drivers of success, as tonight's honorees have clearly demonstrated," said Michael McGuinness, CEO of NAIOP New Jersey. "We heartily congratulate all of our honorees for their personal achievements and how they reflect on our industry as a whole."
"This year's attendance, sponsorships and Journal have far surpassed last year's sold-out event, and your overwhelming support is evidence of the respect and affection our honorees have earned," opened Dave Gockel of Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, co-chairman of the Gala.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honored Lawrence Russo, Jr., founder of the Hackensack, N.J.-based Russo Development, credited with seeking out the best practices among all walks of life and applying them to his own business, instilling his values in providing great customer service and developing high-quality developments.
Impact Awards were garnered by Robert Donnelly of Cushman & Wakefield, honored for embodying the attributes that define the most respected commercial real estate leaders; and Vision Real Estate Partners, founded by Samuel J. Morreale, noted as a classic, local, hands-on developer and operator known for its deep roots and experience in the New Jersey marketplace.
The Industry Service Award was presented to Jorge H. Berkowitz, Ph.D. of Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, an environment consultant and remediation expert cited for his role in the implementation of New Jersey's ground-breaking Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program.
Michael Seeve of Mountain Development Corp., President of NAIOP New Jersey, presented the special Chairman's Award to Somerset Development "for transforming a true dinosaur into the diamond that Bell Place is becoming." Somerset Development garnered honors for its transformation of the historic two-million-square-foot former Bell Labs research facility in Holmdel into a mixed-use town center.
Deal of the Year Awards
Next on the agenda were the Deal of the Year awards. "It is never easy to select the winners," said McGuinness. "Our seven judges carefully evaluated submissions for their economic impact, degree of complexity, uniqueness, and the innovative and creative strategies employed."
The Creative Deal of the Year was garnered by The New Jersey Center of Excellence at Bridgewater, a successful rebranding and repurposing of a major pharmaceutical research campus in a 12-month period, utilizing a focused leasing program and capital markets platform. Honored were Jones Lang LaSalle, Advance Realty, Sanofi, JM Zell, Ashland Inc., CrossHarbor Capital Partners, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Colliers International, Cresa NJ and Bridgewater Township.
The Industrial Deal of the Year was awarded to NFI Park at Florence Crossings, two build-to-suit projects including a 526,050-square-foot Northeast distribution center for Subaru of America, and a 238,732-square-foot fulfillment center for Express Scripts Pharmacy, Inc. The projects were cited for creating 650-700 temporary construction jobs and 750 permanent jobs. Involved in the deal were NFI, Subaru of America, Express Scripts Pharmacy, CBRE, Arco Design Build, Ware Malcomb, Taylor Wiseman &Taylor, Wells Fargo, and FlorenceTownship.
The Office/Mixed Use Deal of the Year was won by GAF Headquarters (Parsippany). GAF conducted a comprehensive multi-state search with CBRE to secure a single facility to consolidate its current multi-building HQ campus into a Class A environment with easy access and high visibility. Involved in the deal were GAF, CBRE, Normandy Real Estate Partners, and Rockwood Real Estate Advisors.
"I am honored to preside over this celebration of our industry and the achievements and contributions of our honorees," said Seeve. "All of them have been steadfast in their support for NAIOP - the bar has been set higher by their achievements, and our industry is stronger for their contributions."
"We can all be very proud of our honorees," said McGuinness. "We cannot understate their individual and collective impact on our state and its economy. They truly deserve the thanks of all NAIOP New Jersey members - and the state we call home."