Page 18 - RE-NJ
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16 APRIL 2022
Pulte continues growth in New Jersey with key partnerships at transit hub developments
The site of PulteGroup’s new luxury townhomes in Union Township is anything but the typical tract development of years past. Look no further than the
midrise apartment complex under construction only steps away from
its model building, one of several residential and retail structures tucked within a master-planned, 42-acre property known as Vermella Union.
As Corey Wescoe notes, the homebuilder has become adept at working in small spaces.
“These are tighter quarters, but we’ve developed a comfort level with this kind of development,” said Wescoe, the vice president of acquisitions for Pulte’s Northeast Corridor division.
“We’ve been developing in tight spaces with fairly dense architectural styles for a number of years now, as we’ve continued to increase the amount
of redevelopment, revitalization and repurposing work that we do. So much more of what we’re doing over the past several years and certainly as we go forward in the next several years is to target around redeveloping in these types of places.”
With construction underway, the collection of 118 two- and three- bedroom townhomes is part of a high- profile project by Russo Development, which has brought new life to a former Merck & Co. complex on Morris Avenue. It’s also one piece of a fast- growing niche for Pulte’s team in the
region. The national homebuilder has become a key player in some of New Jersey’s largest mixed-use, transit- centric redevelopments over the past decade, having delivered or broken ground on some 1,300 for-sale homes near train stations.
That pipeline is primed for additional growth thanks to projects in West Windsor, Fort Monmouth and other locations, providing a key offering alongside the luxury rentals, retail space and other uses envisioned by its partners.
“I feel like the development community is fairly tight-knit,” Wescoe, who served as president of the New Jersey Builders Association in 2020, said during a recent interview
in Union. “And if you can demonstrate competency through the work product you’re putting out on the street, and you’re being well-received by the home-buying public, I felt confident that we could open dialogues and work to understand how we could cross those streams to find a more optimal offering in neighborhoods like this.”
Ironically, Pulte’s first major transit- oriented project in New Jersey was not at the site of an existing train station, but one that was promised and ultimately built at a later date. It was more than a decade ago that Wescoe’s team engaged builder Ralph Zucker and his firm, Somerset Development, to bring for-sale townhomes to
a 70-acre parcel in Wood-Ridge. Known
as Wesmont Station,
the project called for redeveloping the former Curtiss-Wright aircraft plant with a mix of housing, retail and a new stop along NJ Transit’s Bergen County Line, but required key changes after the 2008 crash.
As Wescoe noted, “we had to work closely with Ralph and with the borough of Wood-Ridge to redesign that site to better meet the needs and demands of the changed economy, post- recession.”
That meant a more efficient project
that “still resulted in comparable critical mass in terms of density,” which met the needs of their target consumer without overdeveloping the land. Pulte would go on to build more than 500 townhomes over four phases, which rose
By Joshua Burd
               Corey Wescoe, vice president of acquisitions for PulteGroup’s Northeast Corridor division, has helped guide the homebuilder’s expansion into mixed-use, transit- oriented projects alongside some of New Jersey’s leading developers.
Photo by Mary Iuvone for Real Estate NJ

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