EDA creates specific real estate division, names Santos chief real estate development officer

Authority, recognizing growing demand, creates team to work specifically on major projects in N.J.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority, recognizing the growing demand for its involvement in major real estate development projects in the state, has named Jorge Santos to the newly created position of chief real estate development officer.

Santos, who has served as chief of staff the past three years, will lead a new division at the EDA — one that is specifically focused on real estate development and major projects. Among other duties, he will oversee the EDA’s continued partnership with the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority.

Santos, who will report directly to EDA CEO Tim Sullivan, will head a real estate team that includes Dan Jennings (who will join the EDA from the Governor’s Office) and Juan Burgos, both of whom were announced as vice presidents for real estate development and programs.

Santos will begin in his new role Friday. The EDA is expected to add more members to the real estate team later this summer.

Sullivan said the new division will have huge impact right away.

“Under Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s leadership, the EDA is making unprecedented investments in our game-changing real estate projects, such as the Hub in New Brunswick,” he said. “With the resources included in this year’s budget, we are poised to do even more with a diversified tool kit.

“Jorge, Dan and Juan are a great team of leaders to bring this vision to a reality.”

Santos has an extensive background in real estate development. Before joining the EDA, he served as senior vice president for economic development at the Newark Alliance, and previously served as the vice president for planning and policy at the Newark Community Economic Development Corp.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University, as well as a Master of City and Regional Planning and Master of Public Policy from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers.

Jennings was serving as a senior adviser for economic development to Murphy. He previously worked as the director of policy, planning and development for the city of East Orange, was a senior economic development adviser at Rhode Island Commerce, was an SVP of real estate at Brick City Development Corp. and was the interim deputy mayor, director of economic and housing development for the city of Newark.

Jennings holds a Bachelor of Arts from New York University, and a Master of Science in urban planning from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Jennings will start at the EDA on Aug. 1.

Burgos will continue to lead the team he has led on an interim basis since Dave Nuse’s retirement earlier this year. Burgos joined the EDA in 2007 and previously served as the director of real estate development and finance.

With 25 years of experience, Burgos has facilitated the development of $1 billion of real estate, which includes: 2 million square feet of commercial space (office, retail, educational), 1,700 apartment units, 1,400 dormitory beds and 300 hotel units.

Burgos is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Rutgers-Camden Law School.