Case Studies

Alfred Sanzari Enterprises

Family-owned and -operated real estate development firm committed to quality, value and superior service for over 70 years
  • Written by: Submitted by Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
  • Produced by: Kyle Gahm
  • Estimated reading time: 8 mins

Founded in 1945 by Alfred N. and Mary Sanzari, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises is a second-generation family-owned and -operated business and one of New Jersey’s pre-eminent real estate developers, owners and managers. The privately owned company celebrated its landmark 70th year in business in 2015, and is well-positioned to continue as a leading commercial real estate force in northern New Jersey.

Throughout its history, the Hackensack, New Jersey-based firm has earned a reputation for its vision, implementation and management, making tenants and their changing needs a top priority. Since its inception, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises has placed a great deal of importance on the diversity of its property portfolio which ranges from high-quality commercial/industrial, mixed-use, retail and hospitality products to residential apartment complexes. Many of these properties are iconic landmarks in their respective markets with occupancy levels consistently above the industry average.

AlfredSanzari

The company’s commitment to quality and service extends to its early beginnings, when Alfred N. Sanzari built his first project, a single-family home in Dumont. After serving in World War II, he established a sheet metal subcontracting firm built on hard work, fiscal responsibility and most important, a commitment to integrity. These qualities, and a strong sense of pride in the Sanzari family name, have endured throughout the company’s history and today remain a cornerstone of the company’s business philosophy.

Having long shared in the firm’s success, Alfred Sanzari’s sons — David, who serves as president and CEO; and Ben, vice president — continue to expand Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ scope of capabilities and market share. Together, they oversee the company’s operations with the hallmark hands-on management style for which Alfred Sanzari Enterprises is known.

Several of Alfred Sanzari’s grandchildren also have joined the family business, holding key operations and project management positions. The company’s ownership brings a strong sense of family to every team member; many employees have worked at the multifaceted firm for decades and play an integral role in growing both the company and its services.

“There are many factors that have contributed to our company’s longevity and success, but underlying them all is the quality and Class A locations of our properties, and our focus on providing superior service to the individuals and companies that occupy our real estate products,” said David Sanzari. “A sense of family pride and meticulous attention to detail is shared by the department heads and staff throughout our company.”

Quality, value and superior service

In a real estate environment that has become increasingly commoditized, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ operating philosophy is a stark contrast. Since its inception, the firm has built and retained ownership of almost every asset in its portfolio — a farsighted business philosophy valued by tenants, lenders and brokers that rely on Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ stability as a long-term committed property owner and manager.

“Invariably over the life of a building there are issues that will develop. What separates the good property owners from those looking to turn over a property for a quick profit is how you react to these issues,” says Stephen C. Jennings, vice president of leasing and marketing. “We consistently reinvest capital back into all our properties to make sure our buildings remain efficient, and attractive, to tenants.”

To that end, in-house property management is among Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ greatest strengths. Working with department heads in each discipline — construction, leasing and finance — the company’s property management team employs a cohesive and nimble decision-making process. A key liaison with ownership and construction, and the first line of communication with tenants, the property management team constantly assesses buildings to accomplish improvements whenever necessary, guaranteeing that each property will project a quality image throughout its life.

Typical projects throughout the company’s portfolio include interior and exterior cosmetic/capital improvements; the installation of new HVAC units; significant elevator and parking garage upgrades; and various sustainability initiatives to help reduce energy expenses. “There are very few landlords today who are making these types of improvements. But, we recognize that such projects are necessary to ensure a modern and efficient operation while maintaining the value of our properties for years to come,” adds Jennings.

The firm’s construction division also is imperative to its success. Every aspect of a real estate project, from site planning to turn-key construction services, is handled by a team of architects, engineers, construction managers, and financial and legal experts. This practice sets the stage for the lifelong relationship the company has with all its properties.

Building long-term relationships

Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ world-class commercial developments boast an impressive tenant roster of local, national and international companies spanning all industries. Foresight was shown in the site selection of the company’s properties, all of which are strategically positioned in prime locations throughout northern New Jersey.

Importantly, firms that make a commitment to one of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ properties know they are establishing a relationship with a property owner that will be there throughout the length of their lease term and renewal. Several of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ commercial tenants are what the company describes as “first generation” — the original tenants within their respective buildings.

“Relationships matter to us. It’s not unusual for us to have tenants for 30 or more years, which is almost unheard of in this industry,” says Jerry L. Barta, vice president/director of leasing and marketing. “Our first industrial building, built in 1959, still has its original tenant. Today, both that tenant and Alfred Sanzari Enterprises are being managed by the children of the original deal makers, more than 55 years later. That enduring relationship speaks volumes of our company’s relationship-based approach to what often is viewed as an impersonal, ‘bricks and mortar’ business.”

A new hotel project rises at Glenpointe

A significant milestone in Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ history came in 1980 with the development of the 50-acre mixed-use Glenpointe complex in Teaneck, New Jersey. Today, this landmark property — which encompasses 650,000 square feet of Class A office space, a spa and fitness center, and the full-service Marriott at Glenpointe hotel — again is making history as the site of a new ground-up hospitality project.

Alfred Sanzari Enterprises recently broke ground on a new dual-branded hotel at Glenpointe, featuring the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton brands, Hilton Worldwide’s select-service and residential-style hospitality products. A growing trend within the hospitality industry, the dual-branded hotel concept — which typically pairs a short-stay hotel with an extended-stay counterpart — is becoming increasingly popular in major metropolitan markets throughout the United States.

“We had an opportunity to build either an office building or a hospitality product at this site, and the hotel proved to be more advantageous in the current market,” adds Barta. “As a family-run business, we do not answer to outside shareholders or partners. We only answer to ourselves and this corporate structure allows us to make decisions that we believe are best for our company. For this hotel project we have partnered with a great team that undoubtedly will help us create a wonderful product and strengthen Glenpointe’s position in the marketplace for many years to come.”

Alfred Sanzari Enterprises is confident the dual-branded hotel not only will be a viable long-term investment but a tremendous asset to the community. The project will produce sustainable benefits for the Township of Teaneck in the form of significant commercial and hotel-occupancy tax revenues. Additionally, the hotel will bring more lodging options to the region, create numerous construction-related jobs and generate dozens of permanent hospitality-related positions.

The dual-brand hotel will feature 190 Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton rooms and 160 Homewood Suites by Hilton units. Both brands will share the same entrance, meeting room, function space, fitness center and parking. Glenpointe’s location — in proximity to major highways, airports and the George Washington Bridge — makes it attractive to business and leisure travelers who desire proximity to tristate area conveniences without paying higher New York City hotel rates.

Merrillville, Indiana-based White Lodging, one of the fastest-growing fully-integrated independent hotel ownership, development and management companies in the country, has been tapped to manage the new dual-branded hotel property. “Guests will see one building with two well-known and well-respected hotel brands,” says Brandon Frederick, White Lodging regional vice president. He expects the hotels will create 85 local jobs when they open. “But behind the scenes, we’ll have one team working to provide seamless, superior service to all of our visitors.” White Lodging also manages the Marriott at Glenpointe.

A longtime community partner

A key ingredient in the success of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises is its ongoing commitment to enhance the quality of life for residents in communities in which the firm is active. Throughout his life, Alfred Sanzari received numerous awards for his service to the community and giving back remains a big part of the company’s corporate culture.

Since its inception, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises has been instrumental to Hackensack’s revitalization. Alfred Sanzari was one of the first to build a luxury apartment complex in Hackensack’s “Hill” section in the 1970s, The Ivanhoe, which still is considered one of the premier apartment buildings in Bergen County. The company’s commitment to Hackensack continued with development of the Court Plaza office complex and the transformation of an aging block of buildings on Essex Street into the 85,000-square-foot, four-story Alfred N. Sanzari Medical Arts Building, located across the street from the renowned Hackensack University Medical Center.

As a company with deep roots in Hackensack, the company remains committed to the City’s future. In 2013, a public garden built by Alfred Sanzari Enterprises to honor the legacy of Alfred and Mary Sanzari was dedicated to the city of Hackensack. Located at the corner of Main and Essex streets, the 10,000-square-foot site is a place for members of the community to relax and enjoy nature, and serves as a gateway to the City’s revitalized business district.

More recently, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises made the inaugural donation to the Hackensack Main Street Redevelopment Fund, a new program created to support the Hackensack Upper Main Alliance’s ongoing efforts to transform the city’s downtown into a vibrant live-work-play destination.

Proud past, promising future

With a vast majority of family-owned and operated businesses failing to make it past the first generation, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises has proven to be an exception to the rule. Amid ever-changing market conditions, the firm has not only survived, but thrived for seven decades and is poised for continued growth.

Rapid, uncontrolled expansion has never had a place in Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ structure and each new development project is selected for its long-term potential as opposed to short-term cash turnaround. The saying, “It is not a sprint, it is a marathon” perfectly exemplifies the philosophy of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises.

“Our long-term goal looking forward is to grow and remain a leader in northern New Jersey’s real estate community, and increase the size of our company with respect to our commercial and multifamily properties,” says Ryan Sanzari, director of operations. “We have a strong sense of projects that will be successful but at the same time we continue to grow conservatively and intelligently, whether that means acquiring an established, stable asset; purchasing a piece of land with plans of constructing a building; or building on land we already own.”

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