Harwood Properties is a private real estate developer and real estate operator based in Jersey City. Harwood Properties, is a third and fourth generation real estate family with deep roots in Jersey City that go back to the 1920’s. Since its inception in 1920, Harwood Properties developed a deep understanding on development and urban development. Harwood Properties projects have included direct ownership in all major asset categories including parking facilities, office, retail, industrial and residential properties. Harwood Properties has been focused on investing in parking operations and development sites, with a particular emphasis on development and revitalization opportunities in urban, transit-oriented locations.
The Harwood family has assembled a team of local professionals and international firms to work to bring this project to completion.The following is a brief description of the team members and their bios and websites:
STUDIO V ARCHITECTURE
founded in 2006, is a New York City-based architecture and planning firm led by Jay Valgora. The firm executes projects across New York and throughout the tri-state region. Studio V has been highlighted for its adaptive reuse design of important New York City sites, including the $400 million renovation of Macy’s Herald Square, named by Architectural Record the largest retail project in North America in 2012 and 2013, and the Empire Stores on the Brooklyn waterfront.
Among Studio V's awards are the Light & Architecture Design Award by Architectural Lighting, the New York Design Award for Best Commercial Project, the Illuminating Engineering Society of New York’s Lumen Award, and the Award for Best Store Design of the Year in 2014 by Design:Retail magazine.
The firm’s work has been highlighted by national and regional institutions, including the American Planning Association, American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, The Architect’s Newspaper, Municipal Art Society, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and the Rubin Museum of Art.
JAY VALGORA Principle and Lead Architect
born in the early 1960s in Buffalo, New York. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was a Fulbright Fellow to the United Kingdom. Back in the United States, Valgora worked as a Senior Designer for Koetter Kim & Associates, and moved on to be Design Director at Rockwell Group. After taking a subsequent role as Design Principal at Walker Group/CNI, Valgora opened his own Manhattan-based firm, STUDIO V Architecture, in 2006.
Valgora’s work through his own firm has focused on the transformation of New York’s waterfront, and the validation of the East River as the city’s “Next Central Park.” He is leading a team to design the Empire Stores on the Brooklyn waterfront, which will transform seven abandoned warehouses into a mixed-use tech campus with deployable barrier walls in the event of a superstorm. Valgora has also been working for four years to create the master plan for Astoria Cove, a waterfront community in Queens.
REDEVELOPMENT ADVISORY SERVICES / PROJECT MANAGEMENT
a boutique real estate brokerage and advisory firm dedicated to the renewal and regeneration of communities through redevelopment. Decades of experience in both the private and public sector has provided us with a clear understanding of the risk-and-opportunity balancing act property owners and governmental entities confront.
At Grid, we provide clients with workable solutions to transform distressed assets and surplus real estate into successful redevelopment projects via smart, reasoned, market-based real estate deals. We understand the process, the players and the market fluctuations and are experienced in evaluating risk and opportunity – both hidden and future – in the face of government and private influences. We believe experience and expertise are the hallmarks of a successful project.
ROBERT P. ANTONICELLO Principal and Founder
a broker/advisor specializing in urban and suburban redevelopment projects, including brokerage, acquisition, entitlement, consulting and development. He has 35 years of diverse experience in local government and the private sector, with a focus on redevelopment, entitlement, economic development, and public-private partnerships. He has served in various leadership positions in local government, ranging from Director of Neighborhood Planning to his eight years as Executive Director for the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA).
As Executive Director for JCRA, New Jersey’s largest and oldest municipal redevelopment agency, Mr. Antonicello was responsible for many high-profile projects in Jersey City’s redevelopment, including the Powerhouse Project, the Journal Square Vision Plan and its successful green workforce-housing program. Mr. Antonicello’s broad area of expertise includes project facilitation, project entitlement, site assemblage, environmental remediation and developer selection. Mr. Antonicello has earned a reputation as a “bridge” between the local government and private development community.
His vast and diverse background includes 25 years as owner/manager of a successful commercial real estate firm, responsible for the sale of many landmark buildings and large development sites in Jersey City and Hoboken. Early in his career, he served both as a City Planner and Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services for the City of Jersey City. In December 2008, he was named Public Official of the Year by the Urban Land Institute of Northern New Jersey.
Mr. Antonicello is a full member of the Urban Land Institute and a former North Jersey District Council Chairperson. He now serves as the Governance Chair for the ULI District Council.
Mr. Antonicello has a BA in Urban Affairs from Rutgers University and a Masters of Real Estate Development from New York University.
LAND USE ATTORNEYS
DECOTIIS, FITZPATRICK & COLE, LLP
Michael R. DeCotiis is a Managing Partner of the firm. In that role, Mr. DeCotiis develops and implements firm strategy, heads the Executive Committee and manages the day-to-day operations of the firm. He is a member of the Real Estate, Environmental Law, Government and Regulatory Affairs, and Public Procurement practice groups.
Francis Regan is a partner in the firm's Teaneck office. He joined the firm as a partner in 2000. He is a member of the Redevelopment, Land Use, Municipal, and Green practice groups.
DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP is a sixty plus-lawyer, full-service firm headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey, who practice in a wide variety of specialties. A partial list of their practice areas includes real estate, labor law, public procurement, litigation, environmental law, public finance, tax, municipal law, government and regulatory affairs, healthcare law, corporate law, banking and bankruptcy.
The firm has very deep roots in New Jersey. The majority of their attorneys are lifetime New Jersey residents, and the lawyers have extensive experience in New Jersey government and political affairs, many at senior levels.
an international urban and landscape design firm was founded by Diana Balmori in 1990. The office is now led by partners Noemie Lafaurie-Debany and Javier Gonzalez-Campana, and supported by a multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual team. Balmori is recognized across the globe for itheir interfacing of landscape and architecture. The following is from Balmori’s website:
"The main tenet of our work is to set up a different type of relationship between ourselves and each of the elements of nature: soil, water, air, plants and animals. We want to change our ways of dealing with them, treat them as parts of ourselves. To do this, two sustainable design principles guide us: to have low-impact, and to be regenerative of the sites we work on.
Our portfolio includes executed projects at all scales, and award-winning competitions. It has garnered numerous awards for design excellence and sustainability. In 1998, Balmori Associates’ Master Plan won the international competition for the waterfront development of the Abandoibarra district of Bilbao, Spain. In 2005, we designed the greenroof of Silvercup Studios in Queens, New York, the largest scientifically monitored green roof in the United States. In the fall of 2012 Korean Prime Minister and several ministries moved from Seoul to Sejong, South Korea new multifunctional administrative city, a zero-waste urban plan designed by us.”