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General Business

64th Annual New Good Neighbor Awards

New Jersey Business Magazine is pleased to present the 64th Annual New Good Neighbor Awards. Each year, we shine a light on firms, institutions and nonprofits that have contributed to the economic growth and stabilization of their respective neighborhoods by constructing and improving buildings (and infrastructure) that add value to their communities. Congratulations to all of these entities that continue to invest in – and improve – New Jersey. 

Combined, these 10 winners represent more than $80 million in capital improvements, and the creation of 1,047 construction jobs as well as almost 1,000 full-time jobs. In terms of footprint, these projects represent more than 330,000 square feet of space.

Our panel of judges selected the winning entries on the basis of community involvement, job creation, architectural merit, and economic benefit. These projects represent the positive energy and faith our business leaders, developers, and financial investors have in New Jersey’s future.


Successful Health Outcomes: AllShifts

When AllShifts decided to expand its US headquarters amid the COVID-19 crisis, the nation’s leading nurse staffing agency looked no further than its home city of Newark, known for access to mass transit, major highways, a recently remodeled international airport, and highly skilled workforce. In fact, AllShifts stayed in the same building – 494 Broad Street – growing from 3,000 to 17,000 square feet as it took over an entire floor to accommodate the agency’s rapid growth. 

New Jersey-based architectural firm the Kimmerle Group created a relaxed, open-concept floor plan with bench workstations, glass-front offices, a theatre room with stadium seating, and game room with TVs, lounges, and a cozy café. Custom reclaimed wood tables add character to the space, and exposed red brick walls found during construction give it a raw, industrial feel. 

The $1.2 million project, which involved 150 construction workers and was completed in January of 2022, also celebrates AllShifts’ national reach, with each space named after a US city/region. These include the “Bronx” huddle room done in darker colors with metal trim, “Hollywood Room” with three glass walls, and “Central Park Lounge” with NYC skyline views.

Launched in 2003 as All American Healthcare, AllShifts specializes in on-demand CAN, LPN and RN staffing to provide coverage for every shift, including nights, weekends and holidays. Its 110 employees work with a pool of about three million nurses nationwide, and the agency’s gravitation toward personal care has led to successful health outcomes for many seniors and at-risk populations.

Architect

Kimmerle Group

Morristown

Builder

Fidelco Realty Group

Millburn

Nominator

Chip Hallock, President & CEO, Newark Regional Business Partnership

Newark


A New Era in Education: Blanquita B. Valenti Community School 

In early 2020, a search for the perfect place to build the new Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey/Jack & Sheryl Morris Cancer Center led the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) to 165 Somerset St., home of the overcrowded Lincoln Annex School. In exchange for the property, DEVCO negotiated with the project’s major partner, RWJBarnabasHealth, to commit $55 million to build a new school at nearby 50 Jersey Avenue on land donated by the chair of the RWJ University Hospital board and developer Jack Morris.

Ground was broken in May of 2021 on the Blanquita B. Valenti Community School – named after a long-time Central New Jersey educator and the first person of Latin American descent to serve on the New Brunswick Board of Education, New Brunswick City Council, and Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The 126,000-square-foot community school, which employed 300 workers during construction and now has a staff of 110 full-time employees, was completed last September – just in time to welcome the inaugural class of 800 students.

Perhaps most importantly, the project ushered in a new era of education in New Brunswick with an innovative strategy of leveraging healthcare development for educational benefit. As Mayor Jim Cahill notes, “This magnificent structure was built at no cost to the taxpayers of the City of New Brunswick, but provides a benefit that will be enjoyed by our residents to come.”

Architect

DMR Architects

Hasbrouck Heights

Builder

New Brunswick Development Corporation

New Brunswick

Nominator

Jean Holtz, Vice President, New Brunswick Development Corporation

New Brunswick


A Farm to Table Experience: D’Boathaus

On the shores of beautiful Greenwood Lake in Hewitt sits D’Boathaus, a dining spot quickly becoming known for its modern American cuisine, handcrafted cocktails, craft beers and spacious outdoor patio where patrons can enjoy lake views as they dine. The “farm to table” establishment opened in July 2023, bringing excitement to greater West Milford and helping to make it a destination for boaters and food enthusiasts throughout the region.

Architect David Smith worked with the builder, Major Renovation Management, to bring the 3,074-square-foot space to life, bolstering the local economy and fostering a supportive work environment. The $1.8 million project created 15 construction jobs and has since led to full-time employment for 16 people – not to mention the positive ripple effect to surrounding businesses.

D’Boathaus sources fresh, local ingredients that not only make dining there a one-of-a-kind experience, but support the area’s agricultural sector. This includes produce from nearby farms and freshly caught fish, which spruce up the daily specials and seasonal menus. Add to that the fact that boaters can pull up to one of 30 slips on the property to either dine in or pick up takeout.

Beyond its economic contributions, D’Boathaus makes it a point to support local causes and activities, hosting a 2023 Halloween Party as well as weekly live music from area artists, industry nights to create networking opportunities, and public service nights to give back to the people who keep the community afloat.

Architect

David Smith Architect

West Milford

Builder

Major Renovation Management

Hewitt

Nominator

Alexis Verdes, Media Manager, Sportsmans Marina

Hewitt


Better Medical Care for Less: Everside Health

In 2022, Everside Health transformed an old facility on Beverly Rancocas Rd. in Willingboro into a state-of-the art medical clinic, expanding its footprint in New Jersey to 13 locations. This 3,000-square-foot facility, renovated at a cost of $500,000, was completed that November – a full 60 days ahead of schedule – bringing an easier, less expensive healthcare option to this quiet suburb of Philadelphia and part of the state’s South Jersey region.

Everside, whose main headquarters is in Denver, Colorado, is a network of primary care providers offering a complete care solution to employers and unions with onsite, near-site, and virtual options. The company’s services are an add-on benefit that works alongside existing health insurance, delivering quality outcomes and cost savings that, on average, reduce an employer’s total healthcare expenses by 17% in three years, and 31% in five years.

Under the direction of architect Kraig Beilharz, Trenton-based Scozzari Builders used 13 workers to complete the project, which is bringing a wide array of primary and mental healthcare services to patients in Willingboro and surrounding Burlington County towns. These include preventive screenings, chronic condition management, care for acute illnesses, mental health support, onsite lab work, select no-cost medications and 24/7 virtual access.

Among the current New Jersey groups benefiting from Everside Health services are the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP), 32BJ Health Fund, and Moorestown Board of Education.

Architect

Kraig Beilharz

Defiance, Ohio

Builder

Scozzari Builders

Trenton

Nominator

Nick Scozzari, Superintendent, Scozzari Builders

Trenton


The New Client Experience: Manasquan Bank

Manasquan Bank’s new branch in the heart of Metuchen represents a dichotomy between tradition and progress. Building on its strong roots in the community, the bank decided to relocate from 442 to 429 Main St. – taking with it a 10,000-pound antique Mosler Safe Company vault door that dates back to its founding in the 1880s and will serve as a centerpiece in the vestibule. At the same time, the 429 Main St. building, which was completed in May of 2023, features 5,360 square feet of modern amenities and services that reflect a commitment to functionality, efficiency, and enhancing the client experience.

To make the new branch a reality, management turned to long-time partner Vericon, which collaborated with Longo Architects & Associates, to come up with a forward-thinking approach to banking. The construction project employed 47 people, and the resulting $3.7 million facility has replaced conventional teller counters with innovative desk-like pods, while also featuring two drive-through lanes, an ATM and a bike rack. 

The updated design also fosters collaboration among Manasquan Bank’s 13 loan officers and retail employees – previously at separate facilities – enabling them to provide seamless and comprehensive financial assistance to customers. Manasquan Bank is also giving back to the community with a dedicated community room available to local groups during business hours at the new branch, and by donating the old building’s drive-thru lanes to Metuchen Borough to be developed into a community park.

Architect

Longo Architects & Associates

New Providence

Builder

Vericon Construction Company

Mountainside

Nominator

Melissa Kiamie, Marketing Coordinator, Vericon Construction Company

Mountainside


A Facelift for Fair Lawn: New Beginnings

In October 2023, the New Beginnings by Jackie hair salon in Fair Lawn cut the ribbon on a new storefront façade, leading to an uptick in business. This project, which cost just under $12,000 to complete, was part of the Fair Lawn Storefront Improvement Program created through the state’s Main Street New Jersey program to help the town’s business owners better compete post-pandemic. 

Like thousands of communities across the US, Fair Lawn has used the “Main Street” approach to transform its economy, leverage local leadership, and improve overall quality of life. The town earned a sixth-place ranking on Wallet Hub’s 2023 list of Best Small US Cities to Live In – quite impressive for a bedroom community with the look and density of many other mid-size business districts in the state.

To date, nine of Fair Lawn’s 300 storefronts have been upgraded, including Garden Pharmacy, Morlot Wine and Liquors, Metro Bowl and Haus Café, with four more underway. Fair Lawn Main Street grants each business up to $12,000 for storefront improvement, which ranges from upgraded facades to cohesive signage. The program has been backed by state and local funds, including part of a $75,000 Main Street Transformation grant awarded by the NJ Department of Community Affairs.

Overall, the project has elevated Fair Lawn’s visual appeal and created a more welcoming environment for residents and visitors, leading to increased foot traffic, higher sales for local businesses, and a renewed sense of pride in the community.

Architect

Jaime Izurieta

Montclair

Builder

Signs Pro

Saddle Brook

Nominator

Toni DeLisi, Director of Outreach and Programming, Fair Lawn Main Street

Fair Lawn


Marina Makeover: Sportsmans Moosehead

In early May, Major Renovation Management put the finishing touches on a makeover of Sportsmans Moosehead Marina in Hewitt, a full-service facility on Greenwood Lake offering everything from slip rentals and winter storage to routine maintenance and repair.

The $1 million project, which involved 10 construction workers, included an overhaul of the 4,442-square-foot marina building, complete with customer bathrooms and showers; the addition of barbecue grills; completion of a large, modern repair facility across the street; and installation of a new, lower-maintenance EZ Dock plastic floating dock system for boats and personal watercrafts.

Founded in 1952, Sportsmans Moosehead attracts fisherman and boating enthusiasts from throughout New Jersey and the surrounding areas. New owners took over in 2015 and decided to restore the marina to its former glory, giving customers access to a knowledgeable six-person staff and products like Crest and Bentley pontoons, Tige boats, ATX surf boats, Savannah center consoles, and Suzuki and Mercury outboard motors. The marina currently has close to $1 million in new and used boat inventory.

In addition, the new and improved Sportsmans Moosehead has given a boost to the local economy as a key employer and by sourcing from area businesses. The beautiful facility is also drawing more people to the area and contributing to Hewitt’s reputation as a serene community 80 minutes outside of New York City, but free of urban sprawl.

Architect

David Smith Architect

West Milford

Builder

Major Renovation Management

Hewitt

Nominator

Alexis Verdes, Media Manager, Sportsmans Marina

Hewitt


Safety and Survival: Switlik

Two weeks before Christmas 2023, Scozzari Builders completed the new Trenton-based headquarters of Switlik, a manufacturer of inflatable safety and survival products for the aviation, marine, and military/government markets. The 40,000-square-foot building, constructed with a crew of 30 workers for $4.8 million, represents another step forward for this family-owned business that has been a fixture in Trenton since 1920. 

Switlik, a significant employer of both Trenton and Hamilton residents, brings a great sense of history to the area. In the 1930s, the company became the nation’s largest manufacturer of parachutes, outfitting the expeditions of Amelia Earhart and Admiral Richard Byrd, and later assisting the US government in producing parachutes for World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. 

To underscore a commitment to its 100-plus staff members, Switlik has created a “family business” mentality, while also working with local schools, investing in the area and running a charitable foundation. The installation of solar panels is one of the company’s key environmental policies, with renewable energy helping power the new facility.

The business, run by the founder’s decedents, holds active contracts with all branches of the US military, while also serving an extensive corporate client base within the commercial airline, aviation, and oil and gas sectors, as well as selling direct to consumers. Looking forward, Switlik hopes to use the additional space to test innovative ideas, diversify into more product categories and take the company into new international markets.

Architect

Clarke Caton Hintz

Trenton

Builder

Scozzari Builders

Trenton

Nominator

Nick Scozzari, Superintendent, Scozzari Builders

Trenton


Restored Glory: The National

Grand bank buildings are signs of a bygone era, but they’re finding new life on Main Streets across New Jersey – including 17 Watchung Plaza in Montclair. This Colonial Revival-style structure that became The Montclair National Bank in 1926 and later a Chase Bank was sold in 2021 to The Bravitas Group, a real estate company known for repurposing architecturally interesting buildings.

With a construction staff of 72, The Bravitas Group transformed the 6,400-square-foot building – now called The National – into boutique office space and restored the façade by installing wood windows with trimmed panels echoing the original design. Other changes included replacing the modern entryway with double glass panel doors reminiscent of a prior era, restoration of the building’s old clock, and repair of original brick and stone elements of the façade. With sustainability in mind, the developer was able to add usable square footage to the interior by renovating unfinished space on the lower level and adding a mezzanine in the unfinished attic. 

After construction was completed in February of 2023, The National became home to Montclair Speech Therapy (MST), a company with 28 full-time employees, with the main bank vault being repurposed into a children’s occupational therapy room. The building received the 2023 Bricks and Mortar Preservation Award presented by The Montclair Township Historic Preservation Commission and the 2024 Small Deal of Year Award by the Urban Land Institute of Northern New Jersey.

Architect

Sionas Architecture

Montclair

Builder

Jack Finn and Company 

Montclair

Nominator

Paul Sionas, architect, The Bravitas Group

Montclair


A Boost for Morristown: Valley Bank

When Valley Bank decided to relocate its headquarters from Wayne to downtown Morristown, developers zeroed in on a row of vacant retail shops on Speedwell Avenue, just off Morristown Green. In October, Valley moved into its new multi-million-dollar home, which brings about 660 employees to the downtown area, stimulating the economy and attracting corporate employers looking for highly amenitized workplace ecosystems.

The 124,000-square-foot building, developed by SJP Properties, has prime access to the area’s many restaurants and retailers, as well as the NJ TRANSIT hub. It features glass, metal, and warm brick undertones in line with the masonry of historic Morristown, in addition to floor-to-ceiling windows, skyline views, operable glass walls that open to three outdoor terraces, and a dramatic lobby entrance. The forward-thinking designers also included MERV filtration and UV light purification, solar reflective roofing, low-flow water fixtures, and energy-efficient lighting.

Valley’s new building has boosted the community by employing about 400 during construction and working with the Town of Morristown to ensure no residents were displaced by this development. In addition to a new Valley retail banking branch, the ground floor houses the nonprofit organization Ethan & The Bean, which trains and employs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Altogether, Valley’s presence in the Morris Station neighborhood will strengthen the area’s candidacy as an Opportunity Zone for NJ Benefits – all part of the company’s mission to give back to its surrounding communities.

Architect

Gensler

Morristown

Builder

SJP Properties

Parsippany

Nominator

Kathleen McMorrow, principal, The Communications Optic

Chatham

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