Blue Onyx hires 20-year industry veteran as SVP of development and acquisitions

Paterson-based Blue Onyx Cos. said Monday that it hired real estate veteran James Driscoll as senior vice president of development and acquisitions.

Driscoll will be responsible for overseeing the full lifecycle of development projects — including both ground-up development and value-add repositioning of multifamily and mixed-use assets — from acquisition to completion. Additionally, he will be tasked with implementing development best practices across the firm’s portfolio and identifying new development opportunities to support ongoing growth.

In joining the firm, Driscoll brings 20-plus years of industry experience leading billions of dollars’ worth of development initiatives for rental and residential product types across the Tri-State area. He most formerly served as the SVP of development for Waypoint Residential, where he led all rental residential development in the Northeast region. In the years preceding, he held the same title at the integrated real estate firm LCOR.

“What drew me to Blue Onyx is the firm’s balance between an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit and strong institutional guardrails to deliver best-in-class offerings that service a diverse roster of residents — not just Class A luxury renters,” Driscoll stated. “Working in development, we have a responsibility to create enduring value for each community that we serve, and, at Blue Onyx, the team’s focus on creating assets that provide sorely needed housing while spurring economic growth speaks to how seriously they take this responsibility. I look forward to supporting this mission-driven activity as we continue to expand our value-add portfolio and make a positive impact in underserved, high-growth regions.”

Earlier in his career, Driscoll held the role of division president at K. Hovnanian Homes, where he managed an average of $500 million in assets under development each year overseeing homebuilding operations for the firm’s Hudson Valley Division, which includes northern New Jersey and New York; in this role, he also spearheaded the development of a wide range of for-sale communities such as luxury residential, first-time and move-up townhomes, active adult, and mixed mid- and high-rise communities.

“James’ deep-seated expertise — particularly surrounding the pre-development process for construction and redevelopment in the tri-state area — makes him a valuable new addition to the executive team, especially as we continue partnering and deepening our ties with municipal and community stakeholders,” Levi Kelman, founder and CEO of Blue Onyx said. “His experience maximizing returns through the use of innovative land acquisition strategies will also be instrumental as we continue on our strategic growth trajectory, and we are eager to tap into this unique skill set to identify key acquisition and development opportunities throughout New Jersey and the Northeast at large.”