NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - ​For decades, the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) has been making ​tremendous ​strides to make the Hub City a great place to be, and people around the state ​continue to take notice.

On October 30, the real estate magazine ROI-NJ named DEVCO’s president, Chris Paladino, as the top real estate ​professional for New Jersey in 2017.

​Besides many other concurrent projects, Paladino is overseeing the construction of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), a $172 million, 23 story mixed-use development that will be the centerpiece of the downtown performing arts district.

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It will house the George Street Playhouse and Crossroads Theatre, the American Repertory Ballet and a detachment of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers​ University​, in addition to 207 apartments and 30,000 square feet in office space.

“The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center is an example of Devco and our City’s expertise in leveraging public-private partnerships for maximum benefit to our community as we further our commitment to the arts, housing, economic development, education and job creation,” New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill sai​d.

Paladino is also overseeing the construction of The Hub @ New Brunswick Station, a 1.7 million square feet, mixed-use development project at the former site of the Ferren Mall.

DEVCO ​has ​also spearheaded the construction of several projects at Rutgers-New Brunswick, including the Rutgers Honors College, the 14-story Sojourner Truth Apartments (also known as The Yard @ College Avenue), and the Rutgers Academic Building.

Cahill credited DEVCO’s efforts in the city as making a “Renaissance” possible for New Brunswick.

Looking to the future, Paladino is working with local officials to move full steam ahead to attract Amazon’s HQ2, a second headquarters, to the Hub City, which would potentially set up shop at The Hub.

“New Brunswick is the clear choice of New Jersey,” Paladino said. "Mass transportation, Rutgers engineering and business school graduates, a walkable city, restaurants, theater district and an engaged, supportive local and county government.”

​ROI-NJ ranked ​Paladino ahead of Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, who’ll have the final say in where to place the retail giant’s second headquarters, be it New Jersey or elsewhere.

Taking his talent beyond New Brunswick, Paladino​is also helping with Atlantic City’s redevelopment, including the 700,000​-​square​-​foot Gateway Project, which will include a campus center and student housing for Stockton University.