From left: Joe Forgione, founder and principal of JMF Properties; Purna Rodman Conare, CEO and president of Pillar Care Continuum; and Timothy Quinn, Morris Township administrator, celebrate the opening of a new group home for Pillar Care Continuum that was built and donated by JMF. — Courtesy: JMF Properties
By Joshua Burd
JMF Properties is highlighting a focus on charity and community-building alongside a host of recent and upcoming development projects in New Jersey.
The firm, which is based in the Whippany section of Hanover, said it will open, expand or enter the final stages of construction at multiple properties in 2023, including retail assets in Morris Township, Hanover and Bayonne, while construction is underway or set to begin on multifamily projects in Berkeley Heights, Morristown and Randolph. That pipeline continues to grow as JMF expects to double down on charity, improving neighborhoods and support for community programming, the company said, citing several recent examples.
In December, the firm helped open the new Franklin Lakes campus of REED Academy, a 24,000-square-foot school building that allows the organization to better serve New Jersey’s autism community, according to a news release. JMF acted as general contractor and supported the project financially through the work of its founder and principal, Joe Forgione, a founding board member of REED Autism Services.
In September, Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey opened the Forgione Family Engineering Center, a state-of-the-art math, science and robotics facility made possible through the support of benefactors such as JMF and the Forgione family. The engineering center provides not only classroom space designed for collaborative learning, but also a home for the school’s engineering club, two varsity robotics competition teams, a junior varsity robotics competition team and three freshmen FIRST Tech Challenge teams.
JMF also supports engineering education in other New Jersey classrooms through programs and scholarships such as the Saverio “Sal” Iannaccone Scholarship for Excellence in Math and Science, awarded annually to graduates of Whippany Park High School.
“The essence of our corporate mission at JMF has always been to revitalize and improve the communities we work in,” Mr. Forgione said. “We are grateful for all of the opportunities we have to do so, not only through our work as a homebuilder and commercial developer, but also as a partner to the many community-based organizations, charities and schools who work to make our state a better place.”
JMF also noted that, in 2020, it constructed and donated a group home for Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey, now Pillar Care Continuum, an organization that provides a wide range of services to infants, children and adults with more than 100 different disabilities and diagnoses. The firm also built and donated five homes for Arc/Morris County chapter, an organization that provides a community-based system of homes and apartments to support the individual housing needs of people with intellectual disabilities.
Forgione, meantime, is a long-term fundraiser for Employment Horizons Corp, an organization that provides job training and placement services to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, the news release said. Additionally, JMF supports the work of Cornerstone Family Programs & Morristown Neighborhood House.