Here’s the thing with real estate: Projects can take years to conceive and fund — and sometimes years to build. That’s why the people who dot the 2021 ROI Influencers: Real Estate list often are being honored for work that already has happened or that will happen.
Chris Paladino, the president of the New Brunswick Development Corp., has built projects up and down the state for decades. But his position atop the list for 2021 has nothing to do with legacy and everything to do with the here and now.
Paladino currently has more than $1.5 billion in projects underway in three cities found in all three regions of the state. All of which will have impact that far exceeds the actual project. Consider:
South Jersey: Devco is in the ground on Phase 2 of the Gateway project, a $70 million effort that will provide space for 416 additional rooms for Stockton University students in Atlantic City. Phase 1 of the plan created space for approximately 550 students.
The project is transformative for the university and the city, as it has helped create an academic campus that draws an additional 2,000 students to the area, too.
North Jersey: Devco is the master developer of the $47 million, 135,000 square-foot Great Falls redevelopment initiative, which includes the Hamilton Visitor Center at the Great Falls, a parking garage and a youth center.
In addition to drawing more visitors to the Great Falls, the project is expected to spur more development in Paterson.
Central Jersey: While the Atlantic City and Great Falls projects are transformative in their own ways, they pale in comparison to the work Paladino and Devco are doing in New Brunswick.
Devco is the master developer of two huge projects:
- The Jack & Sheryl Morris Cancer Center: A $700 million, 520,000-square-foot addition to the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey that is a freestanding, state-of-the-art cancer hospital.
- The New Jersey Innovation Hub: A $665 million, 560,000-square-foot facility that will serve as a center for innovation, translational research and medical education, including the relocation of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Devco also is building a $55 million, 160,000-square-foot community school that is being relocated because of the Cancer Institute project.
With these numbers, it’s easy to see why Paladino is No. 1 on the 2021 ROI Influencers: Real Estate list.
And it’s easy to see why Paladino will continue to be among the top leaders for years to come: In 2022, Devco is expected to start on Phase 2 of the Hub, which will add an additional 500,000 square feet to Devco’s pipeline of projects.