Nonprofit Profile: ULI NNJ — Real estate and land-use experts sharing their knowledge


Servicing northern New Jersey, Urban Land Institute Northern New Jersey is the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute, the oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts. ULI was founded as the National Real Estate Foundation for Practical Research and Education in 1936 upon the model of a real estate college — a school of urbiculture — that could stand as an objective and recognized source of research and education. Renamed the Urban Land Institute in 1939, the organization has steadily evolved to better provide strategic counsel, research, and educational programming to municipalities and businesses.


The mission of the Urban Land Institute is to provide responsible leadership in the use of land in order to create and sustain thriving communities worldwide. With membership made up of many of New Jersey’s most prominent real estate executives and government leaders, ULI NNJ’s unique expertise ensures that state continues to be a leader in the field of responsible urban planning and land use.


Our overarching goal remains the same from the day we were founded — to provide best practices and educate real estate communities and public officials to continue to create resilient communities throughout northern New Jersey. Over the next year, we hope to continue to expand our reach and diversity.


ULI NNJ’s programming and initiatives fit into one of ULI’s Content Pillars — which bridge the organization’s broader mission and the programs used to deliver. These five pillars include the following: housing, real estate finance and investment, sustainability and economic performance, Innovation in Development Practices, and shaping successful cities and regions. ULI NNJ’s programming convenes industry leaders in a safe, nonpartisan space to explore these issues, share knowledge and foster collaboration to advance the development of communities across northern New Jersey.


Most recently, ULI NNJ launched the first UrbanPlan for High Schools program in New Jersey in 2019. Held at East Brunswick High School, the program introduced students to the development process through a simulated real estate exercise led by industry volunteers. ULI NNJ is hoping to expand the program to other New Jersey high schools over the next several years. Additionally, ULI NNJ has expanded its in-demand Advisory Services panels that provide expert, independent, timely, candid and unbiased input from national real estate, land use, design, and planning experts on a variety of real-world land use challenges.


ULI NNJ is funded through a combination of revenue share from membership dues, annual and event sponsorship, and revenue sale through event ticket sales and grants.


ULI NNJ is supported by a range of real estate and land use organizations. Our 2019 annual and event sponsors included, but are not limited to:

  • Brad Bohler
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Dresdner Robin 
  • Edison Properties  
  • G. S. Wilcox & Co. 
  • GZA GeoEnvironmental
  • JLL 
  • Kimley Horn 
  • Langan
  • Mack-Cali Realty
  • Marchetto Higgins Stieve 
  • McLaren Engineering Group
  • Newark Downtown District 
  • Prism Capital Partners
  • Provident Design Engineering 
  • Saxum Real Estate  
  • Rockefeller Group
  • Vision Real Estate Partners 


ULI NNJ’s success has been driven by the hard work of our volunteers. We have a wide range of volunteer opportunities available for real estate professionals and municipal leaders looking to build upon that legacy and ensure that ULI NNJ remains a powerful resource for our communities over the next decade.

In brief

Serving: Northern New Jersey
Key members: Mara Winokur, senior director; Tom Trautner and Anthony Ianuale, co-district council chairs; Brian Whitmer and Michael Lachs, co-chairs of Governance Committee

Conversation Starter

For more information, please contact Mara Winokur, senior director, ULI NNJ & West/FF, at or 201-312-8817.