Our 70 Year History

The Owners and Managing Partners, Robin PioCosta-Lahue and her husband, Michael P. Lahue, have been involved in the commercial real estate business for more than 40 years. They formed "Rensselaer Commercial Properties" in 1985 and moved their offices to Pine Brook, NJ in 1990. The company had evolved from Robin's lifelong involvement in her family's commercial real estate business developing and managing commercial and rural properties in Essex, Morris and Warren counties. 

Groundbreaking ceremony at 1275 Bloomfield Avenue in 1956.

Robin’s father, Anthony PioCosta II, established his family’s involvement in the construction and real estate business in the 1950s. Upon his return from service in World War II, he acquired some construction equipment and began securing paving and excavating jobs in New York City, primarily the removal of granite cobblestones from city streets. Upon realizing the value of "Belgian Blocks,” he began selling them to local contractors and builders and hauled them to parcels he purchased in West Caldwell and Fairfield in New Jersey. He was so successful that he became known as the "NJ Belgian Block King."

It was also around this time that Anthony met and married Robin’s mother, Rosalind (Petrulio) PioCosta, whose family was also in the construction and real estate business and had built a retail and apartment building in Caldwell, New Jersey. 

After Anthony and Rosalind were married, they worked together to successfully build and expand their commercial real estate business, acquiring properties in Essex County and other areas of North Jersey. Initially, Anthony developed, subdivided and sold properties in the West Essex area before focusing his energy on the complex that is now the headquarters for Rensselaer Commercial Properties at 1275 Bloomfield Ave. in Fairfield. 

He pioneered the concept of a shopping center, an innovation at that time, though ultimately adapted the idea and designed the anchor property for light industrial use. Still, part of his vision for the park - as a place for first time business owners to establish themselves and grow - lives on today.