SJP Properties’ office in Manhattan — Photo by Jeffrey Vock for Real Estate NJ
By Joshua Burd
Commercial real estate firms in recent years have grappled with finding young talent to help fortify their ranks for years to come. But Steve Pozycki believes the long-term stability of SJP Properties has helped it attract the next generation of executives.
Essentially, it’s a far cry from organizations with a “here today, gone tomorrow” business model.
“Even the biggest developers in New York will scale up, and as things change, they’ll just lose people,” Pozycki said. “Our goal has always been to try to never have a layoff, and we’ve never had a layoff because of work in the pipeline.
“So it allows us to bring people in and train them — and train them for a long period of time. And we’ve been fortunate to be able to start some people with not much experience and other people with a lot of experience.”
Bolstering the team over the past decade has coincided with SJP’s push to offer full-service development services, both as a third party and a joint venture partner. For instance, the firm in 2013 hired Cindy Schottanes, who was finishing graduate school at the New Jersey Institute of Technology as the firm was developing Prudential’s new office tower in downtown Newark.
It was an early opportunity to be involved in every aspect of the development as a project engineer. Four years later, Schottanes said her role has evolved and now focuses more on predevelopment and preconstruction work, with duties such as master planning, budgeting, scheduling and permit approvals for large projects.
“It was just an incredible project and Cindy and everyone on the team got to grow substantially on a job like that,” Pozycki said.
Other key hires in recent years include Andrew Natale, who joined in 2014 as part of SJP’s interior construction platform. In addition to more than 1 million square feet of tenant fit-out work that Natale has completed since then, including 310,000 square feet for Valeant Pharmaceuticals in Bridgewater, he has served as a construction manager to Valeant’s interiors and development projects nationwide.
It’s just another reason why SJP executives feel they are offering the full package as they market their services to other firms, including companies that have historically been competitors. And Peter Bronsnick, a senior vice president with SJP, said the firm is not restricted by asset class as it scours New Jersey for new opportunities.
“There’s really no barrier, so formal control doesn’t stop us from identifying markets that are strong and being able to pursue a project virtually anywhere,” said Bronsnick, who joined the firm in 2012. “As part of what we’re doing, people see the brand that Steve has built, the projects speak for themselves and oftentimes a group is looking for someone who can execute and leverage the capability of Cindy’s team and Andrew’s team … and the experience of our senior leadership.”