Leslie E. Smith, Jr.
Executive Vice President, Regional Development Officer, Northeast
Rockefeller Group Development Corporation
Leslie E. Smith, Jr. is Executive Vice President, Regional Development Officer, Northeast, for Rockefeller Group Development Corporation (RGDC). Mr. Smith has been with The Rockefeller Group since 1979, where he has led the company’s development activities in New Jersey as well as nationally.
In New Jersey, Mr. Smith was responsible for the acquisition and entitlement of the International Trade Center, a 670-acre mixed used business park consisting of 4.5 million square feet of industrial build-to-suits in what became the first in-land foreign trade zone in the United States. That success was followed by a 3.5 million square foot industrial foreign-trade zone complex at Exit 8A in Cranbury. Currently Mr. Smith is overseeing the development of The Green at Florham Park, a mixed-use 260-acre master-planned park, home of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center as well as BASF’s new North American corporate headquarters, which is under construction.
Nationally, Mr. Smith has overseen RGDC’s development activities in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, consisting of industrial and mixed-use projects totaling more than 8 million square feet. Recently completed projects include an 84,000 s.f. Veterans Administration Outpatient Medical Clinic in Oceanside, CA; a 1.5 million s.f. distribution center for General Mills in GA; and a 1.1 million s.f. distribution center for TBC Corporation in SC.
Mr. Smith is a member of several real estate industry and business organizations, including Urban Land Institute; NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association; New Jersey Alliance for Action; and the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones. He has been active for many years in the northern New Jersey community as well, serving on a number of local boards and committees. These include the Board of Trustees and Advisory Board for Boy Scouts of America; the Board of Advisors, The Growing Stage Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, and the Executive Committee of DAYTOP-NJ, an adolescent substance abuse program.
In 2010, Mr. Smith was ranked among the 50 most powerful people in New Jersey real estate and in 2011 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Jersey chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.