Cali Company History
Cali Associates was founded in 1949 by two brothers, John J. Cali and Angelo R. Cali, and their close friend and associate, Edward Leshowitz. The company began as a developer of single-family homes in Northern New Jersey.
More than 65 years later, they stand today as one of the most recognizable development names in New Jersey, having built over 5 million square feet of commercial space, more than 1 million square feet of industrial facilities, and well over 6,000 residential units, including homes, apartments and condominiums.
Through a carefully composed business plan, the Calis have maintained a strong organization throughout the ups and downs of the real estate industry for more than five decades. The result has been a well-managed company that has maintained strong relationships with tenants, customers and lenders and stands well poised for growth into the future.
As New Jersey's population mushroomed in the late 60s, and more people choose to both live and work in New Jersey, Cali added suburban office building development to its construction activities to meet the growing demand for office space.
Cali made its first major foray into office development in 1969 with completion of the 63,000-square-foot 13 Commerce Drive in Cranford, NJ. While most new office development activity was taking place in East Orange, NJ., Cali opted to go to a more outlying area and began to build on what is now the 880-acre Cranford Business Park. Today, the site contains six Class A Cali buildings totalling 500,000 square feet.
The Cali organization, led by brothers John and Angelo Cali, long-time business associate and friend Edward Leshowitz, and the Cali brothers’ sons, John R. and Brant Cali, completed a number of significant new office developments in the Garden State and emphasizd its personal approach to tenant relations. At its signature International Financial Tower on the Hudson River waterfront in Jersey City, for instance, not only did Cali secure a 50% prelease of the building from the Pershing Division of New York City-based Donaldson, Lufkin, Jenrette Securities Corporation, it also attracted NTT Data Communications Systems Corporation’s first data center ever built outside of Japan.
Between 1970 and 1990, Cali Associates focused on suburban office development, building over 2.2 million square feet of class A office space in New Jersey. The company became well known for its high-quality construction and property management. Reflecting this reputation, Cali Associates won numerous development awards including seven "New Good Neighbor" awards and two "Developer of the Year" awards presented by the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).
Some of the trophy buildings the company developed included: 101 Eisenhower Parkway in Roseland, NJ, 50 Tice Boulevard in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, International Financial Tower in Jersey City, NJ and 20 Commerce Drive in Cranford, NJ.
As speculative construction activity in New Jersey declined due to a saturation of office space, Cali switched its strategy from developing buildings to growth through the acquisition and management of office properties.
In 1994, the company went public as Cali Realty Corporation, transforming itself from a family-owned development and management company to the first office real estate investment trust (REIT) in New Jersey. After its initial public offering, Cali Realty Corporation aggressively grew its portfolio through several significant acquisitions. In 1996, the Company expanded into Pennsylvania and at the same time acquired the 1.9 million square-foot Harborside Financial Center on the Jersey City waterfront including developable land for 6 million square feet of space - the largest single commercial real estate transaction in New Jersey's history at the time.
Cali Realty Corporation became one of the most well known and respected REITs in the nation. In 1997, the company acquired Westchester-based Robert Martin Company, expanding its Northeast presence. Later that year, Cali made history by announcing its $1.2 billion merger with The Mack Company, creating a REIT powerhouse with over 22 million square feet of office space throughout the country - which grew to 28 million square feet by 2000. During this period, John R. and Brant Cali were instrumental in forging the Company's success.
2000 - Present
In June of 2000, both John R. and Brant tendered their resignations leaving the Mack-Cali Company as employees to pursue other interest and business ventures. John R. Cali remains on the Advisory Board of Mack-Cali Realty Corp. Joined by their fathers, who were the founders of Cali Associates, and their cousin Phillip Cali, Jr., they founded Cali Futures LLC in 2001.
Since then, the Calis have ben focused in the residential market and continue to explore opportunities in Hudson County and other New Jersey markets.