Ralph Zucker, president of Somerset Development, has been at the forefront of bringing New Urbanism and Traditional Neighborhood Design to New Jersey and New York.
During his career, Zucker has worked hands-on in every facet of the building and development process. Four years after remodeling his family’s first home in Lakewood, he built 33 homes there. Since then he has gone on to build 1,000 homes throughout New Jersey, bringing to each a dedication to quality that has contributed to Somerset’s reputation as a leader in the residential construction industry.
Zucker had a revelation about the need for community in our culture when he noticed some years ago that the children in the suburban subdivision in which he then lived preferred to play in the street with other neighborhood children rather than in isolation in their individual backyards.
He became a student of New Urbanism, traveling around the world to study and eventually collaborate on projects designed by Andres Duany, one of the pioneers of the New Urbanist movement. The principles of New Urbanism, including the ideas that housing should be clustered and located along transportation lines, and the creation of close-knit, walkable communities, resonated with Zucker and he set forth to build communities that would reflect the needs and desires of those who would call them home.
Since then, he has shown a diligence and commitment to working with municipalities to create innovative communities that principles of New Urbanism, with the result that those communities have welcomed Somerset’s smart-growth projects. As a result, Somerset Development is now sought after by municipalities throughout the county, who view Somerset Development’s projects as model communities.
Somerset Development shared a New Jersey Future Smart Growth Award for Wesmont Station in Wood-Ridge in 2006, and won seven FAME Awards from the Shore Builders Association of New Jersey, including Community of the Year for Crystal Lakes in Egg Harbor Township in 2007.