The New Jersey Association of Realtors opened its new 20,000-square-foot headquarters building in Trenton last September. — Courtesy: New Jersey Association of Realtors
By Joshua Burd
It was three decades ago when the New Jersey Association of Realtors moved its headquarters to Edison from Newark as a way to be more centrally located for its members.
But CEO Jarrod Grasso said that, with today’s technology, there’s no reason that the organization “couldn’t move to the state capital and be more involved with the political process.”
As an added benefit, the association is able to be a pioneer in Trenton at a time when stakeholders are hoping to get others to see the city’s potential.
“Right now, I think this is just an opportunity for everybody to invest in our capital city, because the capital city obviously will always have activity going on,” Grasso said in an interview late last year. “It’s just about finding the right mix of activity and businesses to move in, but I think it will happen.”
NJ Realtors opened its new 20,000-square-foot headquarters on Hamilton Avenue last September, marking the completion of one of the city’s few ground-up construction projects in recent years. The three-story building houses its 20 full-time staffers and has the capacity to host dozens of realtor members who are visiting or holding meetings at the building, thanks in part to a multipurpose room that leads into a sleek observation deck.
Making the move depended on finding a site with both adequate parking and good accessibility, Grasso said. The association accomplished both goals with a formerly vacant lot off Route 129, across from the Sun National Bank Center, which it acquired from the Mercer County Improvement Authority ahead of the one-year construction project.
Designed by Trenton-based Clarke Caton Hintz, the building is not far from the Roebling Steel complex that is being rehabilitated as a mixed-use project by a local development group. It’s one reason why Grasso is able to visualize the association’s role in the city’s comeback.
“We view our project as a cornerstone project to lock down that area as part of the redevelopment of the city of Trenton,” he said. “We think that we’re on the ground floor of something great to happen in our capital city and we’re proud to be part of it.”