Location, location, location goes the adage of real estate. Yet in the case of Jaime Weiss’s 50 years of success, we must add: relationships, opportunity and vision. With a career marked by passion and hard work, Jaime Weiss, principal of Weiss Realty, celebrates his golden anniversary in real estate as broker, owner and developer of office, industrial, retail and residential properties in the Meadowlands region, throughout New Jersey and nationally.
Jaime Weiss’s career began in 1967, when he was hired by Cross & Brown Company, a prominent New York City-based brokerage. He was also attending night school at Baruch College. After working up to vice president, Jaime continued to make his mark in real estate at Edward S. Gordon Company (now CBRE), Cushman & Wakefield—and he established the first New Jersey office of Newmark & Company. In 1981, Jaime Weiss founded Weiss Realty in Moonachie. The family business, run with his son Matthew, who with Jaime is involved in every transaction, now represents a diverse portfolio of commercial, industrial and residential properties.
“Dad puts 150 percent into everything he does. He is also very family-oriented,” says his other son Jordan, a broker at Cushman & Wakefield. “His success is because he treats clients personally and closely. Real estate is important to him and he lives and breathes that relationship into all he does.”
“Hartz Mountain has worked with Jaime for nearly 40 years dating back to the late 1970s when he represented Ideal Toys for a 100,000 square-foot, built-to-suit office building in Harmon Meadow,” says Gus Milano, president and chief of operating officer of Hartz Mountain Industries. “We have a deep respect for Jaime, who has been involved in all of our major developments and has contributed greatly to the success of many of our assets.”
Crediting Jaime with first leases that became “catalysts” for future development, Milano also cites Hanover Direct at Lincoln Harbor and Escada, the luxury women’s designer clothing company at Hasbrouck Heights as two of the most significant lease transactions arranged by Jaime Weiss.
“We have been extremely fortunate and proud to make so many significant transactions in the Meadowlands,” says Jaime.
Weiss has been involved in significant partnerships, deals and transactions through the region, including the purchase of 333 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus by Bergman Real Estate Group and orchestrating leases for St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jersey City. Following in his father’s footsteps, Matthew, who is a partner at Weiss Realty, brokered a total of 98,000 square-feet, long-term leases with CarePoint Health at 10 Exchange Place, 1 Journal Square Plaza, and 35 Journal Square in Jersey City.
Big personality, big deals
“With Jaime, I don’t even need a contract,” says Stephen Siegel, Chairman of Global Brokerage at CBRE. “I know that this is the way things are going to go and he’ll follow up on everything.” [Of course, he gets a contract.]
Herbert C. Klein, a prominent attorney, real estate investor and former Congressman, who worked with Jaime and Matthew Weiss on the sale of the Skyline and Boulevard apartment complexes in Hasbrouck Heights, the largest garden apartment transaction in Bergen County at $57,500,000, recalls an anecdote where they were trying to close with a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. “Jaime called the guy at 11:30 at night to make sure he could get the deal done.”
Seeing and making opportunities, understanding the nature of development and improving infrastructure and commerce are hallmarks of Mr. Weiss’s career.
“Small deals are as tough as large deals sometimes,” says Jaime. “One unique and special deal that comes to mind is our acquisition of a 20,000 square-foot commercial property on Route 4 in Fort Lee, where we were fortunate to secure Starbucks and Bank of America for two long-term leases. We’re very proud of that accomplishment.”
The Route 4 location won a Beautification Award from the Borough of Fort Lee. In Teaneck, Weiss Realty assembled three contiguous properties for Walgreen’s, which were underutilized buildings and a gas station, contributing to the central business revitalization on Cedar Lane. In West Englewood, Weiss Realty converted a publishing warehouse into a facility for Sony, showing how to adapt to the times.
Another significant milestone was Jaime Weiss’s acquisition of the 70,000 square-foot Colonial Village Shopping and Office Park in Edison in 1983—and it is a testimony to understanding the customers and location. Weiss has resisted offers to convert the thriving mixed-use neighborhood shopping center and professional and medical offices into a big box lot because it serves as a “crossroads in the community.”
When Firestone closed its manufacturing facilities in Decatur, Illinois, Jaime was able to purchase the originally 2,197,000 square-foot, 153-acre property. This had a significant impact on Jaime’s career, because he went from being a very successful commercial real estate broker to a successful property owner and manager. A subsidiary of Weiss Realty is developing the additional land on the property into a major industrial park for logistics, distribution and warehousing. This is an extension of the Midwest Inland Port, a giant hub of transportation for domestic and foreign commerce. The firm plans to build up to one million square feet of industrial space to add to the 500,000 square feet currently leased to Caterpillar.
Over the years, Weiss Realty has negotiated major office, retail and industrial projects, representing more than 2 million square feet of leased or sold property with a total aggregate value exceeding $1 billion. Weiss has a current property management and investment portfolio of over 2 million square feet of space. Through his career, Jaime and his company have received numerous awards, including the Greater Fort Lee Chamber of Commerce’s Person of the Year and a nomination by the NAIOP for the Deal of the Year. Jaime has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Fort Lee Jewish Community Center and Baruch CUNY College Fund. Jaime attributes his success to his wife, Susan; three children, Matthew, Jordan and Hayley; and longtime assistant and Weiss Realty office manager Donna Anderson.
Weiss Realty has built a great legacy to pass on to the next generation. A half century of deals, smart investment and understanding the communities and trends has created a sustainable and rewarding portfolio. Father and son take pride in every property they lease, sell or negotiate. For more about their properties in and outside of the Meadowlands, visit www.jweissrealty.com.
Pamela Tully is a freelance writer, editor and marketing professional. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.