Last month I alluded to how quickly things can change during a situation such as a pandemic, especially one that has so dramatically impacted our economy. That is certainly still the case in New Jersey, but the good news is that (as of now), things may be changing for the better. As I write this in mid-May, Gov. Phil Murphy has allowed non-essential construction to resume, as long as crews take additional safety measures and practice social distancing.
It’s why we’re all the more pleased to bring you an issue focused on construction and technology (through nothing other than pure coincidence, since we plan our editorial calendar far in advance). In this month’s cover story, we detail the return of Ed Walsh and his construction and project management firm known as the Walsh Company. Walsh, who is among the most well-connected and well-respected figures in the state’s commercial real estate sector, has relaunched his business after six years with Avison Young. He has also pivoted into a new area, the lighting business, where he sees a major opportunity with a new platform and new technology.
Our latest issue also features an interview with Chris Amato, the second-generation leader of CMM Custom Homes in Wall Township. In addition to running the 37-year-old firm, he recently took over as president of the Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey. We spoke to Amato recently to discuss the growth of both the business and the trade association, along with how they’ve navigated challenges such as the coronavirus crisis.
We also took the opportunity to cover a story that will become all the more important as our economy reopens. In another feature, we speak to experts in the brokerage and design fields about how office owners and occupiers can help employees return to work. There is likely no one-size-fits-all approach to re-entry, but they point to several key strategies that should become commonplace: de-densification, ramped up cleaning and sanitizing and communication to help keep workers informed and ensure social distancing.
I’d also like to shout out the construction and engineering professionals who participated in our Roundtable section, where you can read their insights on how they’ll use technology to practice social distancing at job sites. It’s another reminder of the talent that we have in this industry — and that we can emerge from this pandemic stronger than before.
Speaking of the industry and its people, this is the time of year when I’d see many of you at the long list of spring events, banquets and seminars. I doubt I’m alone in feeling that something has been missing these last several weeks, but I know it’s for the best. Until we meet again, stay safe and healthy as we all do our part to ride out the storm.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the issue!