According to NJ Biz, Crossroads Companies LLC is one of New Jersey’s top commercial real estate developers. Starting out as a small one-person office, Steve Hittman has created with investors a portfolio of supermarket-anchored properties valued in excess of $300 million. His team of entrepreneurs & managers have expertise in commercial and residential development, as well as construction, finance, property management and commercial lease transactions. They represent some of New Jersey’s most successful retailers and largest property owners. Top 100 Magazine interviewed Crossroads’ founder and CEO, Steve Hittman this past month and posed the question, how did his firm evolved to become one of New Jersey’s most successful real estate firms?
Steve relates that “all entrepreneurs start out with ambition, which is subsequently honed by experience and the accumulation of skill sets. We endure setbacks from time to time however our tenacious nature allows us to learn from our mistakes. A persistent goal and a plan adjusted to reflect new or changing circumstances, often lead to success”.
As a 1st generation real estate developer, Steve indicated fate intervened early when by chance, he was thrown into the competitive world of NYC real estate right after college. Working in a “dog-eat-dog” environment, he learned to work on a straight commission while navigating the complexities of lease, sale and mortgage transactions. It required patience and tenacity, as well as Spartan discipline. All the above prepared him for his next challenge, a highly leveraged supermarket chain retained Steve to assist 3rd party developers to finance the chain’s real estate projects. The assignment led Steve and the supermarket chain to undertake self-development, as well as sale-leaseback & joint venture projects. The challenge of financing real estate in a severe recession with a leveraged credit, as well as securing multiple projects with capital constraints, laid the foundation for subsequent development opportunities.
Steve established Crossroads in 2001, when several supermarket clients retained his services to represent them in an advisory capacity. Advisory fees afforded Steve the opportunity to also pursue development opportunities. Shortly thereafter, Steve placed a $10,000 wager (refundable deposit) on an unimproved parcel subject to approvals. He believed the location was ideally suited for a supermarket tenant. His efforts resulted in his 1st successful project, a $16 million ShopRite center in Somerset, NJ. Over the past decade, Crossroads has constructed over $200 million of supermarket-anchored projects; with new projects slated for Wayne, Fair Lawn, Elmwood Park & Jersey City. In addition, Crossroads has multi-family residential projects in northern NJ, which upon completion would create a multi-family portfolio of approx. 500 residential apartments.
If you asked Steve the formula of his success, he would say that “in large part our success has derived from our solid relationships with retail clients, property owners, peers & employees. We believe in collaborative relationships, as our clients rely on our ability to perform often under difficult & competitive circumstances. When the client comes first, success inevitably follows”.
Steve is a graduate of the State University of Potsdam. He received his diploma in real estate development from New York University.
Steve Hittman, CEO
Crossroad Companies, LLC
20 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430