Sommer talks post-pandemic real estate — and his new job at Kushner Cos.

Michael Sommer said he wasn’t surprised the New Jersey multi-family housing market stayed hot during the pandemic. He also knows that it has developed dramatically in the process.

“People are definitely focusing on outdoor amenities,” he said. “People are definitely focused on the potential of working from home. Therefore, home office, dens and bonus rooms are very welcome.

“While I would say that apartment buildings have been incredibly durable during this period – and although we expect they will continue to do so – the type of product, the amenities in the buildings that must be present in order to be successful The post-COVID world will of course continue to evolve. “

Sommer, who on Monday took up his new position as Executive Vice President for Development and Construction at Kushner Cos. Started, said he was excited to get in. The company has a number of projects underway in the country.

A veteran of a number of New Jersey real estate companies, notably Edison Properties, Sommer spoke to ROI-NJ about his new role on Monday night. Here’s a look at the conversation edited for clarity and space.

ROI-NJ: Can you give us more details about what you are going to do?

Michael Sommer: The title speaks for itself, he’s executive vice president of design and engineering, so I’ll be overseeing all of these activities across the portfolio. As of today, we have a number of projects from North Jersey to Central Jersey to South Jersey, including the Jersey Shore, all of which are in various stages of pre-development. The best known is One Journal Square (in Jersey City), but there are also a few other significant projects that are mostly multi-family projects.

And then, especially in Florida, especially in South Florida, we have a great interest in not only developing the projects that we have already planned, but also looking for additional opportunities. As of now, we have projects in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach Counties, and we are actively pursuing new business – outside of development and construction, not necessarily under my jurisdiction but just as an organization – across the country.

KING: Kushner has offices in New York City and Florham Park. Where are you going to work

MRS: I’ll be out of both I don’t know that one is necessarily a home base compared to the other. But I live in Basking Ridge so I’m relatively close to Florham Park so I imagine being there quite a bit. Most of our work takes place in New Jersey. When the world goes back to normal, I will definitely spend much of my time in New Jersey.

Of course, when you’re building important projects and have a team in Florida, you’ll want to check in and support the team. But I think most of my time is definitely spent in New Jersey, in the New York area.

KING: Of course, you benefit from a newly discovered opportunity to work from home as well. Do you talk a little more about how the world will be different for everyone after the pandemic?

MRS: I think that even in a post-pandemic world, the use of the technology that is now available to all of us will change things for everyone. People will have to, or have to, work from home more often than they would before the pandemic. The pandemic has brought about a number of changes, a good number of which will stay with us. I think the ability to work from home is one of them – and one that we all have to adapt to.

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