General Business

Key Leaders Discuss Construction Projects in South Jersey

Dr. Joe Bertolino, president of Stockton University, welcomed more than 250 business leaders and elected officials to the Southern New Jersey Development Council’s (SNJDC) 28th Annual Construction Forecast event at the University’s campus center in Galloway.

The program began with an update on the South Jersey Market Economy provided by Gregory Carlisle, Commercial Market President of TD Bank. Carlisle highlighted factors impacting the national and local economy, including the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 that continues to disrupt the housing market and impact inflation. In terms of the South Jersey labor market, Carlisle noted that the unemployment rate is at 5% (1% higher than pre-pandemic average) but sees strong opportunities in the healthcare and education sector, which has made up half of the job growth in the last year.

On the topic of today’s housing market, Ben Kruger, senior vice president and market manager of commercial real estate for TD Bank, moderated a panel discussion featuring key construction leaders. Nick Cangelosi, senior vice president of Development for The Michaels Organization; Sean Frankel, partner, FMC Ventures/Woods Glassboro Properties Development and John Jakominich, senior vice president of Land Acquisition for Toll Brothers, discussed projects relative to their specific market, from affordable/attainable housing to commercial and high-end development.

Although the market is currently experiencing multiple challenges, including high interest rates and low inventory, Jakominich mentioned he is still seeing strong demand for housing in the region, and Cangelosi sees a notable shift towards attainable housing models.

“We think the duplex model can help solve the housing crisis,” added Frankel. “There is a need for these homes for the people that help support and build these towns in the state of NJ”.

Following the panel was a series of presentations on upcoming construction projects in South Jersey. Jerry Velazquez, President & CEO, The Authority, shared the most prominent upcoming projects in Cumberland County, including a new golf course collaboration between Mike Trout and Tiger Woods – Trout National – The Reserve, opening in 2025. The Authority is also working on the development of the last mile broadband connectivity to the county.

Joe Campbell, VP of Facilities Planning and Operations at Rowan University, highlighted the more than $290 million in projects across the University’s 8 different campuses, including the new Shriber School of Veterinary Medicine and new Wellness Village.

Erin Crean and Alan Nau presented an update on their new and exciting 300 acre stay-and-play multi-sport entertainment destination project Trophy Park in Galloway. The park will bring in over 2 million people per year for professional and youth sporting events. The park will feature a 32-building athletic village to house athletes, an e-sports arena, dining hall, and several hotels to create a “destination venue for everyone”.

Closing out the program was Mary Maples, Chief Strategy & Infrastructure Officer for the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) who provided an update on the NJ Wind Port and the Maternal Infant Health Innovation Center. The center will be a hub for innovation and research in maternal and infant care and provide much needed services for the state. The center is soon to be under construction in Trenton and is championed by the First Lady Tammy Murphy.

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