By Joshua Burd
One of the state’s best-known commercial real estate families will receive NAIOP New Jersey’s lifetime achievement award, headlining the honorees at the association’s annual spring gala.
The organization on Monday unveiled plans to recognize the family of Frank Visceglia, one of the visionaries behind the nearly 2,500-acre Raritan Center development in Middlesex County. The family, which operates Federal Business Centers, will be among five award recipients on May 14, at an event that will draw a who’s who of New Jersey developers and industry players.
This year’s other gala awards and honorees will include:
- Impact Award: Eugene Diaz of Prism Capital Partners
- Impact Award: RC Andersen LLC
- Industry Service Award: Anne Strauss-Wieder of the North Jersey Transportation Authority
- Caren S. Franzini Public Partner Award: Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner
“It’s really just an outstanding slate of honorees — all very well-deserving,” Gene Preston, a partner with Dermody Properties and NAIOP New Jersey’s chapter president, said Monday.
The association revealed its slate of honorees as part of its annual meeting and commercial real estate outlook event, which drew a registered crowd of more than 300 to the Hilton Short Hills. Ahead of a presentation and panel discussion, Preston offered a recap of 2019 with respect to government affairs, education and several other areas.
“It’s been another very strong year for NAIOP in every way,” said Preston, who began his second year as the chapter president, citing two key victories for its advocacy efforts. They include improving the Site Remediation Reform Act, which allows private-sector consultants to oversee and expedite the cleanup of contaminated parcels, and halting the progress on a bill concerning independent contractors. The latter would have redefined employees and independent contractors in New Jersey, in an effort to address the problem of misclassified and underpaid freelancers, but Preston noted that it would adversely affected independent truckers that service the state’s port district.
Meantime, the association lobbied to help expand municipalities’ ability to redevelop large vacant commercial properties, he said, along with implementing a transit-oriented and economic development office within NJ Transit. Preston then outlined several priorities for 2020, including establishing the next generation of incentive programs, curbing reverse tax appeals and continuing to advocate for funding for Gateway tunnel program.
NAIOP New Jersey has welcomed nearly 140 new members over the past year, he added. Also in 2019, the association provided 900 continuing education credits for more than 400 commercial real estate professionals.