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TRENTON-Faced with a variety of economic and financial issues, including the perception that New Jersey is unfriendly to business, Gov. Jon Corzine has enlisted the help of nearly three dozen of the state’s top real estate and business leaders to find some solutions. Corzine yesterday announced the formation of the New Jersey Real Estate Advisory Board, which actually represents a cross-section of the business community, beyond real estate.

“New Jersey cannot stand idly by while America’s financial crisis continues to evolve,” Corzine says, in a statement. “I look forward to collaborating with these talented industry leaders to craft policies that will help see New Jersey through this current economic crisis and move the state toward a path of recovery.”

Job one for the group will be to drum up support for the initiatives laid out in October in Corzine’s Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan. Beyond that, the board is expected to meet regularly and work with the Governor’s Office of Economic Growth and other state departments to encourage economic development and revitalization across the state, according to information released by the Governor’s Office.

“New Jersey’s business plays an integral role in the continued economic prosperity of our state,” says Jerry Zaro, chief of the OEG. “The board will bring together some of the best and brightest in the state’s development community to work to create jobs, revenues and economic stability.”

The new group will be chaired by Joseph Taylor, CEO of the Cranbury-based Matrix Development Group. Its members include reps from academia, banking, construction, housing, law, trade groups, investors and more. Representatives from the real estate community include Carl Goldberg of Roseland Property Co., Mack-Cali’s Mitchell Hersh, Richard LeFrak of the Lefrak Org., Gil Medina of Cushman & Wakefield, Steve Pozycki of SJP Properties, Emanuel Stern of Hartz Mountain, Woodmont Properties’ Eric Witmondt and attorney Ted Zangari of Sills Cummis, among others.

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