From left: David Elkouby, Abe Naparstek and Joe Panepinto
By Joshua Burd
Three commercial real estate leaders have joined the board of the Exchange Place Alliance, an organization promoting economic growth and improvements in downtown Jersey City.
The group this week announced the election of Joe Panepinto, Abe Naparstek and David Elkouby, who bring deep ties to the community and as work continues on a high-profile renovation of the waterfront Exchange Place Plaza, according to a news release. They succeed retiring members Steve Pozycki and Gus Milano, who were both on the board since the alliance’s creation, and Ricardo Cardoso.
“In Joe, Abe and David, we are excited to have their talent and advice as we move to the chapter of the alliance’s growth,” said Elizabeth Cain, EPA’s executive director. “Our plaza renovation will be complete making the site one of Jersey City’s jewels, we have a record number of activities planned for this year and new signage is coming shortly to the Hudson River walkway all to enhance the experience of residents, workers and visitors.”
Panepinto, founder of Panepinto Properties, is a large owner of real estate in Jersey City and statewide, one that’s known for his philanthropy and involvement in good government. He is a major donor to and serves on the board of St. Peter’s University, Jersey City Medical Center and Liberty Science Center, among others, and was one of the original developers in the recent Jersey City renaissance.
Naparstek is a partner at G&S Investors and is leading the redevelopment of Metro Plaza in
the EPA district, having completed 1.2 million square feet of a planned 6 million-square-foot project, the news release said. He has past involvement in business improvement districts, including the MetroTech Business Improvement District.
Elkouby and his company, American Equity Partners, own 15 Exchange Place and are spearheading a massive renovation of the roughly 140,000-square-foot office building. Since founding AEP in 2000, he has purchased, managed and sold more than $3 billion of residential and commercial real estate, having also developed over 2 million square feet of retail space and worked closely with EPA in the redevelopment of Exchange Place.
“We spoke over the last several years with many qualified candidates who expressed interest in being on the board,” said Michael DeMarco, the alliance’s board president. “We looked for candidates who have a deep love for Jersey City, service without compensation, and skill in either law, business, accounting or construction. In that pursuit, with Joe, Abe and David, we identified three extraordinary candidates who have come to us through conversations with the public, property owners and city officials.
“We thank Steve, Gus and Ricardo for their dedication to the community and are grateful for the long service to EPA.”
The board members who continue to serve include DeMarco, Jeremy Farrell, Andy Siegel and City Council President Joyce Watterman.