June 5, 2015
8:00 am – 3:30 pm
The War Memorial
Trenton, NJ

Program Book
Summary Report

Once New Jersey’s model of economic development, large office and retail suburban centers are increasingly underutilized and causing a drain on the local economies. Local leaders find it difficult to create consensus and a shared vision for development, in part due to antiquated land use practices. PlanSmart NJ’s 4th Annual Regional Planning Summit, Stranded Real Estate Assets: Changing Economy, Changing Land Use will bring together experts in planning, redevelopment, and infrastructure to reveal the magnitude of the problem and explore methods to break through common barriers to transform New Jersey’s suburbs into resilient and livable communities where people can live, work, and play.




8:00 – 8:30 am: Registration and networking, sponsored continental breakfast

8:30 – 8:40 am: Welcome and Logistics
Challenges and Opportunities – Richard Goldman, PlanSmart NJ Board President

8:40 – 8:45 am:  A Short History of Office Parks – Carlos Rodrigues, Design Solutions PRESENTATION
8:45 – 9:10:
  The Preliminary Data – Zlata Kobzantsev, PlanSmart NJ – DATA PRESENTATION
Underutilized office parks and retail centers are a growing problem in New Jersey and are purported to be holding NJ back from economic recovery. PlanSmart NJ will reveal preliminary data on the magnitude of the problem and its impact.

9:10 – 9:55 am: In the Trenches – What are Your Challenges?
Elected officials, property owners and lenders will discuss the financial, regulatory, and political challenges they face when repurposing stranded assets.

Tim Touhey, Investors Bank – Moderator

  • Patricia Adell, CRE, Real Estate Solutions Group, LLC – PRESENTATION
  • Daniel Caffrey, Mayor of Morris Township
  • Mike Hedden, MAI, CRE, FRICS, FTI Consulting
  • Kevin Welsh, CBRE

9:55 – 10:05 am: Break

10:05 – 10:55 am: Putting the Pieces of the Puzzle Together
The days of large single use office parks are a thing of the past. Preparing a site for the 21st century economy will require a mix of uses, adapting existing infrastructure and public transportation connections. This panel will discuss how communities must plan for all the elements that will make repurposing economically viable and attractive for developers and local officials alike.

Christine Cofone, PP, AICP, Cofone Consulting Group – Moderator

  • Peter Cocoziello Jr., Advance Realty
  • Dave Fisher, PP, AICP, K. Hovnanian Homes – PRESENTATION
  • Chris Henry, AICP, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.
  • George Jacobs, Jacobs Enterprises, Inc.
  • Barry McCormick, AIA, Perkins Eastman – PRESENTATION

10:55 – 11:30 am: How are Other States Handling Stranded Assets? Ted Zangari, Esq., Sills Cummis & Gross
Underutilized and or abandoned office and retail centers are not unique to New Jersey. How are other states dealing with these real estate assets?

11:30 – 11:50 am: Lunch

11:50 – 12:50 pm: Keynote Speaker: Galina Tachieva, AICP PRESENTATION
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Galina Tachieva, author of Sprawl Repair Manual will describe how suburban corporate office parks and retail centers can be repurposed and redesigned to function better in the regional context. She will demonstrate how bold actions can lead to more resilient and equitable communities.

12:50 – 1:15 pm: We Want to Hear From You
Breakout Session – The audience break into small group discussions to react to the morning’s presentations.

1:15 – 2:00 pm: Case Studies from New Jersey
Mayors, planners, and developers actively working on repurposing stranded assets in NJ will share insights unthaw vision, planning, and execution can come together to overcome the challenges they faced to redevelopment.

Mike McGuinness, NAIOP – Moderator

  • Tony Marchetta, PP, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency – PRESENTATION
  • Tom Vigna, Township of North Brunswick
  • Ralph Zucker, Somerset Development

2:00 – 2:45 pm: Reactions from Associations
Repurposing stranded assets provides many opportunities including driving development to areas where infrastructure exists, better integrating sites within the fabric of the greater community, and providing housing close to employment centers.  Representatives from the Associations will provide the big picture perspective.

Henry Kent-Smith, Esq., Fox Rothschild – Moderator

  • Mike Cerra, The League of Municipalities
  • Jennifer Coffey, Association New Jersey Environmental Commissions
  • Charles Latini, Jr., PP, AICP, American Planning Association NJ Chapter
  • Carol Ann Short, Esq., NJ Builders Association

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Closing Remarks and Next Steps – Ann Brady, PlanSmart NJ


The 2015 Summit has been approved for:
AICP CM Credits
CLE Credits
RMC and CPWM Municipal Credits


 Thank you to our Project Sponsors for the generous support:


NJ State Chamber Logo

NJBA 2012



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Thank you to our Summit Sponsors for the generous support:


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Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis, LLP
New Jersey Economic Development Authority
K. Hovnanian Homes
KDC Solar
MEND, Inc.
O’Donnell & Naccarato
WMSH Marketing Communications


Presented with our Partners:

Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Journal
New Jersey Future
Regional Plan Association
Sustainable Jersey
The New Jersey League of Municipalities
Together North Jersey

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