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BEDMINSTER, NJ-Advance Realty Group, based here, says it’s ready for the real estate industry’s turnaround, and it’s getting ready for that with what company officials say are “several significant organizational changes designed to enhance our market position,” in the words of company president and CEO Peter J. Cocoziello. Those changes, which focus on the company’s development, acquisition and asset management operations, include several top-level executive promotions and the hiring of one of the Garden State’s best-known real estate execs.

“With the beginning of a turnaround in several of our markets underway, we are positioning ourselves to stay ahead of the curve,” Cocoziello tells GlobeSt.com. “When the economic rebound is established, development will lead the way. We believe speed to the market will be a key element, and with these organizational changes we will continue to move aggressively with both our development and acquisition program.”

Perhaps the most interesting change is the addition of Bob Martie to Advance’s executive ranks. The long time SVP and head of leasing for the Florham Park, NJ-based Gale Co. comes on board as senior vice president and regional managing director of the company’s New Jersey region, which company officials say they aim to aggressively expand. He will be in charge of an existing three million-sf property portfolio in the state, and in terms of expansion has been given the job of sourcing acquisitions.

“We have made an investment in a senior professional who can take us to new levels,” Greg Senkevitch, COO of Advance Realty Group, tells GlobeSt.com. “He is respected by his tenants, the brokerage community and his peers, and we’re looking to him to lead the growth of our operating property portfolio in New Jersey.”

On the development side, meanwhile, Joseph Romano has been named executive vice president of what is now called ARG Development Corp. He had been regional managing for Advance Realty Group’s Northern New Jersey region.

Also, former SVP-development Tom Michnewicz has been boosted to senior vice president and COO of ARG Development Corp. And Bruce Looloian has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president of the ARG Development Corp. unit.

Economic and market conditions notwithstanding, Advance did acquire $110 million of properties in the Garden State in the past year, and leased more than 800,000 sf of space, most of it office, flex and industrial. Overall, the company has some five million sf of operating properties, a development portfolio of eight million sf and 3,500 residential units in the Northeast, primarily in the New Jersey, Boston and metro Washington DC markets.

Mostly known as a suburban developer/owner in its 24-year history, the company has also made its mark on the urban scene in recent years. It has amassed holdings in such larger cities as Newark and Trenton, and in such smaller towns as Harrison and Bound Brook, where it has major redevelopment projects in the works.

“We have several ‘smart growth’ solutions to New Jersey’s development equation,” says Romano, referring to the state’s current anti-sprawl campaign.

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