Russo Development, Onyx Equities and Dinallo Construction Corp. joined public officials on April 29 to celebrate Arbor Day, planting red oak trees across multifamily development sites in Woodbridge, Union and Waldwick. — Courtesy: Russo
By Joshua Burd
The developers of four multifamily projects joined public officials last week to celebrate Arbor Day, touting the benefits of redevelopment and the use of green building practices at the sites.
The firms — Russo Development, Onyx Equities and Dinallo Construction Corp. — marked the holiday with events at properties in Woodbridge, Union and Waldwick, planting symbolic red oak trees at each site. They did so alongside representatives from NJ Transit and the host communities.
“It’s always important to recognize the importance of Arbor Day and one of the best, most productive ways to do that is to come together to plant trees in our communities for future generations to enjoy,” Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said. “Not only do our trees provide us with oxygen to live, but they also help conserve landscapes and waterways by preventing soil runoff. It is a pleasure and an honor to join with NJ Transit, Russo Development, Onyx Equities and Dinallo Construction to help keep our communities green this Arbor Day.”
Russo, which has spearheaded each project alongside its partners, said the red oak holds significance as New Jersey’s state tree. It holds meaning for its fast-growing apartment brand, Vermella, which means red in Portuguese, and is a nod to the developer’s new affordable housing component at its mixed-use luxury rental property in Union Township.
Known as The Arbor at Union, the property is a 100 percent affordable housing development within Vermella Union and was named to recognize the township’s historic dedication to planting trees throughout the municipality. The complex is also helping the community satisfy a significant piece of its state-mandated affordable housing obligations.
“We’re grateful to Russo Development for taking this opportunity to invest and beautify our community while enhancing the environment,” Union Township Mayor Manuel Figueiredo said. “This Red Oak will positively impact the local landscape at the Union train station for years to come.”
The developers, meantime highlighted their use of energy-efficient design and practices and ecologically conscious building materials in their projects.
“We want to leave the communities where we develop in better shape than before we began construction,” said Adam Pasternack, president of Russo Property Management. “Russo and our partners are focused on breathing new life and purpose to formerly unsightly and underutilized sites in great locations with supreme connectivity to great schools, public transportation and vibrant entertainment, dining and shopping options. Projects, like the ones we are celebrating, will help to further enhance these growing New Jersey towns.”
The April 29 ceremonies included statements from several other public officials.
Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac:
“We’re incredibly proud to be part of today’s commemorative Arbor Day celebration and applaud Russo Development’s commitment to offering affordable housing and upscale retail opportunities that will provide long-lasting benefits to the community and which also serves as a key indicator of the economic growth that Woodbridge has to offer. Vermella’s planting of a red oak tree further exemplifies Woodbridge Township’s position as the New Jersey League of Municipalities Sustainable Jersey champion and as the National Arbor Day Foundation’s award as a Tree City USA for the past 26 years.”
Waldwick Mayor Thomas Giordano:
“The borough and I are so proud and honored to continue our great relationship with Russo Development, Dinallo Construction and NJ Transit. Together we continue to put the Waldwick’s residents first and keep our community green and protected for future residents.”
NJ Transit CEO and President Kevin S. Corbett:
“We’re pleased to participate in today’s event, which is aligned with the many ways NJ Transit is working to improve our environment, grow local economies, and attract high-end developers. Successful housing development and transit are an unbeatable combination. Transit-oriented developments proximate to NJ Transit services are prime examples for all communities looking to promote sustainable living.”