November 28, 2022

Presenting the 2022 NJBIZ Commercial Real Estate Power 50 | Jonathan Kushner

By: Jeffrey Kanige — NJ Biz |

The commercial real estate industry continues to barrel ahead in New Jersey. In some segments, vacancy rates remain at historic lows and rents are sky-high. None of that is a secret – or surprising, given the state’s location and transportation infrastructure along with the change in commuting patterns and the shift in residential priorities occasioned by the pandemic.

When a market exhibits such remarkable strength, it’s reasonable to ask whether the benefits are seeping into adjacent sectors. Will demand for warehouse and office space create opportunities for development or redevelopment in areas that have been struggling?

Causal connections in this regard are difficult to establish. Markets and asset classes are shaped by a wide variety of forces – some of which may not be evident. The presence of a corporate benefactor, for example, might propel redevelopment of an urban neighborhood. So, what may look like knock-on effects of investment in one area could simply be the result of uniquely local factors.

Whatever the reason, it sure looks like the success of the commercial real estate market in general is at least providing some momentum to places sorely in need of a jump start. And that dynamic is reflected in the list that unfolds in these pages, particularly in the top 10. The top honoree this year, Chris Paladino has accomplished extraordinary things in New Brunswick and Atlantic City. The Boraie brothers continue to contribute and even Paterson is generating some excitement.

Would all this be happening if the market in general were weaker? Maybe. Paladino is a unique talent. The Boraie firm is experienced and determined. And Paterson … well, let’s just say the city is due for some good news. But there are a lot of good feelings around the state. And a ton of money being made. Can’t hurt.

Jonathan Kushner

The Kushner name is widely known and means a lot of different things to a lot of people. In New Jersey, Jonathan Kushner, the president of KRE Group, is known for luxury living developments in some high-profile locations. And potential tenants respond. For example, just months after leasing began, 351 Marin in Jersey City secured leases for 400 of its 507 units. The 38-story tower located in the city’s Powerhouse Arts District developed by Kushner Real Estate Group and Northwestern Mutual thus recorded the an unprecedented lease-up, according to an announcement about the milestone. “Achieving this level of leasing velocity is a testament to the enormous appeal of 351 Marin, its location, and the overall lifestyle offering available here,” Kushner said at the time. “It also speaks to the current mindset of residents amidst the ongoing COVID landscape who are no longer leaving city settings, but are once again embracing the convenience, culture, nightlife and energy of Downtown Jersey City.”