From left: Michael Klein of JLL, Jeff Milanaik of Bridge Development Partners and Christopher Marx of Savills take part in the Pynes Putting Challenge, part of the March of Dimes’ annual Real Estate Award Reception and fundraiser.
By Joshua Burd
The March of Dimes has honored one of New Jersey’s top industrial developers as part of a popular commercial real estate industry fundraiser that was held virtually this year.
The organization last week recognized Jeff Milanaik, Bridge Development Partners’ Northeast region partner, highlighting a career that spans more than 30 years. In the process, the nonprofit raised $270,000 from fellow developers and industry professionals to support its mission of helping to improve the health of mothers and babies.
“I am honored to accept this award and to be recognized by so many of my colleagues in the real estate industry,” Milanaik said. “There is no doubt that 2020 has been a year for the record book — we started off with a worldwide pandemic, experienced unprecedented lockdown and shelter orders and businesses closed. Through these difficult times we have seen the good in people come out — strangers helping strangers and people giving of themselves to help others.”
Originally slated for June 11, the Real Estate Award Reception was rescheduled and moved online amid limits on large gatherings and social distancing guidelines. The event typically draws more than 250 attendees from the state’s commercial real estate sector for a program that includes cocktails, networking, a silent auction and a putting challenge.
Milanaik joined Bridge Development Partners in 2014, when he opened the company’s New Jersey office. He is responsible for Bridge’s acquisition and development activities throughout the Northeast Region and since 2015 has successfully completed transactions of more than 10.5 million square feet, with a value in excess of $2.4 billion.
In accepting the award, Milanaik said he has learned more about the March of Dimes in recent months. What he found “impressed me to no end,” he said, from its role in funding medical research for the polio vaccine in the 1940s to its ongoing work in promoting healthy pregnancies.
“I believe we all have an obligation to help each other and to that end, I encourage and challenge every person to learn about March of Dimes, its impact, and how they can contribute to its cause,” Milanaik said. “I would like to thank all of those that have supported the mission of this great organization so generously this evening and I humbly thank you for this recognition.”
The veteran developer holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and received degrees from several real estate programs at Harvard University. He currently serves on the National Executive Board of NAIOP and is a member of the board of trustees of NAIOP New Jersey. He is also a past president of the New Jersey chapter and serves on the advisory boards of the DiLella Real Estate Center at Villanova University, the Rutgers Center for Real Estate and the New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT.