Meridia Main Station in Bound Brook — Courtesy: Capodagli Property Co.
Even before I started covering commercial real estate full-time, I still came across development stories during my earlier days as a metro reporter in Central Jersey.
One of those stories came when I was covering Bound Brook, a borough in Somerset County that had a tired downtown and a history of being battered by flooding from the Raritan River. But in early 2011, we learned that a developer named George Capodagli was interested in building the type of new apartments that were starting to crop up elsewhere in the state.
I was skeptical, to say to the least, and I wasn’t alone. I had walked through downtown Bound Brook and never saw the type of foot traffic or energy on the street that would invite such a project, even with the fact that the site was just a few blocks from a train station.
But as I now know all these years later, Capodagli admittedly prefers those towns that have been all but forgotten or wouldn’t seem attractive to the average developer.
We also know it to be a formula that has seemingly worked well for him and his firm, Capodagli Property Co. As you’ll read in this month’s cover story, Capodagli in just a few years has built a distinctive niche in New Jersey’s bustling multifamily sector. He has built more than 1,000 apartments since 2010, all with a focus on lesser-known towns and middle-market renters who can’t quite afford Gold Coast prices.
That portfolio is in for a major expansion, as you’ll read in our story, with nearly 1,000 units under construction and some 2,000 more in the pipeline. But we also highlight the firm’s plans to build out a hospitality platform and other concepts that will complement its core business of apartments.
Our June issue also includes an interview with Jim Allen, the Atlantic County native and CEO of Hard Rock International, as the company prepares to open its highly anticipated hotel and casino in Atlantic City. My takeaway from speaking with Allen in late May was that Hard Rock plans to be different than the traditional Atlantic City gaming hall. Its global brand and connections in the entertainment industry certainly give it the power to do so, but Allen also notes that Hard Rock has been meeting with city residents in recent months and plans to continue to do so after the hotel opens on June 28. It’s all part of what he hopes will be a better relationship between the community and the gaming industry in the resort town.
We bring you those stories alongside other features, including an interview with the developer Joe Panepinto. After more than 40 years as a mainstay in Jersey City, it’s clear that Panepinto Properties will continue to be a key player in the city’s revitalization. Not to mention that the firm has big plans overseas, which we also detail in this month’s Personalities section.
Summer is upon us, but there are signs that it will be a busy few months heading into the fall. Construction remains active in the state’s industrial and multifamily sectors, while investors continue to find interesting opportunities in office and retail. We will have it all covered every month in Real Estate NJ and online at www.RE-NJ.com. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our daily e-newsletters to stay up to date with all of the latest news.
As always, thank you for reading and for your continued feedback. Enjoy the issue and have a great summer!