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The Hartz Group History
Leonard Stern
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Hartz Group, Inc.
Hartz Mountain was founded in 1926 by my late father Max Stern when he imported his first shipment of singing canaries from his native Germany to America. From these humble beginnings, we have evolved into a truly diversified large privately owned family business.
Over the years we have continued to evolve into our current model of a diversified single operating company engaged in five lines of business that include commercial real estate, multifamily rental real estate, hospitality, oil, gas and finance. In many ways different but yet in all important strategic ways highly interrelated.
With our growing and changing real estate portfolio, the company has substantially upgraded its real estate holdings which now stands at more than 38 million square feet and includes office, warehouse, numerous data centers, hotels, retail, freestanding parking garages, several thousand multifamily residential rental units and unique types of properties such as a convention center, a Medieval Times dinner and tournament facility along with undeveloped land in the Northern, New Jersey area.  Since 2006 through today, we have added 9.6 million square feet of industrial space to our current portfolio largely in Maryland, North Carolina and Atlanta.  All together we own more than 250 buildings.

Looking ahead and assuring the continuation of Hartz as a private company into the next generation and beyond, I have named my son Edward, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Hartz Group and my designated successor. Our real estate operations will continue to be managed by our President Gus Milano, and Tony Fant will continue to serve as President of our GrandLife Hotels unit.

Eddie, currently serving as President of Hartz Capital, is an experienced businessman and has worked at the Hartz Group for 25 years. He began his career in our previously owned publishing business after which he transferred to the Hartz Pet Supply Company, holding various positions there that culminated in his appointment as President. Eddie executed the company's successful reorganization and sale in year 2000.

Following the sale of the pet supply business, Eddie founded Hartz Capital which has invested opportunistically across a wide variety of securities and asset classes for 16 years.

Eddie's leadership skills, judgement, and intellect makes him the ideal family member to lead our various enterprises; real estate, hotels, financial, natural resources, renewable energy, and opportunistic investments.

I will continue to discharge my current duties as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer till the day comes that I can no longer do so. And when the day finally comes, Eddie will be right there at my side ready in every way to become Hartz' next CEO.

As my late father often said "Only in America!"

Leonard Stern
Chairman & CEO​

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Page Styles

Max Stern
1898 - 1982

At age 28, Max Stern was ambitious but nearly penniless. His native Germany was suffering from the effects of hyper-inflation, unemployment and civil unrest in part caused by the collapse of Germany after World War I. By contrast, America presented an island of stability, freedom and economic opportunity. Max looked toward the promise that was America and decided to emigrate and pursue the American dream.

At about the same time, a childhood friend of Max, a local canary dealer who had previously borrowed a modest sum from him, told Max that he could only pay back the loan with 5,000 singing canaries. Max accepted the canaries and decided to sell them in New York City where he was told he could get the best price.

Max negotiated free passage for himself to New York on the Hamburg American Steamship Line in return for paying the freight charges on the canaries and spent his time below deck during the voyage caring for the birds. He arrived in America not knowing a single soul or word of English. A great salesman, he immediately sold the canaries to the John Wanamaker Department Store's Pet Department at Astor Place in Manhattan, which had the city's largest pet shop. Seeing the opportunity, he immediately decided to establish a new business of importing canaries making his place of business nearby at 36 Cooper Square. We proudly still own that building.

32-50 Cooper Square Hartz Pet Products - 1958

32-50 Cooper Square Hartz Pet Products - 1958

32-50 Cooper Square Hartz Pet Products - 1958
Hartz Bird Food Products - 1955
F.W. Woolworth was our largest customer by 1940

Max returned to his native Germany again and again each time bringing back more singing canaries. Soon he was selling them to a growing customer base across the country including R.H. Macy, Sears Roebuck, F.W. Woolworth, W. T. Grant, S.S. Kresge and other large chain retailers.

By 1934, Max was the largest livestock importer in America and started manufacturing packaged bird foods at 36 Cooper Square selling them under the Hartz Mountain brand to the same customers who bought canaries from him, and the line of Hartz Mountain pet products was born!


By now, Hartz Mountain had become America's best known bird food company. Max welcomed his 21-year-old son Leonard into the business who immediately took over day-to-day operations as Max's health had started to fail. Leonard appreciated the success of the bird food line, but he also knew that Americans needed food and supplies for their other pets, so he rapidly expanded the Hartz product line, offering supplies for dogs, cats, fish and other household pets. This expansion had far more growth potential than bird products and sales boomed accordingly. Hartz then pioneered a revolutionary type of pet supply distribution using specialized display racks installed in the pet food section of supermarkets, which revolutionized the American pet industry.

Hartz products were heavily advertised first on radio and then television creating the most powerful brand in the pet industry. “Perk up your parakeet with Hartz Mountain Parakeet Seed'" read one ad. During this time, Hartz developed numerous unique and creative products like Hartz Yummies, Dog Pretzels, Canary Kits and even Parakeet Training Records.

During the 1960s, Hartz flea collars became America's best-selling flea control product. Over the years, Hartz developed a wide range of other flea and tick prevention products and numerous healthcare aids for dogs and cats including shampoos, vitamins, grooming aids, etc.

Max and Leonard Stern, 1960
Breeders Conference, Tokyo, Japan
Local Delivery Trucks - Circa 1955

Hartz products were creatively displayed in supermarkets on fixtures that were designed and fabricated in our Harrison, NJ facility

Hartz Pet Products - 1962

Hartz Pet Products - 1962

Hartz Pet Food - 10 Acre Manufacturing Complex - Bloomfield, NJ

Headquarters for Hartz Pet Food - Harrison, NJ

Hartz Pet Food Warehouse - Jersey City, NJ

Rawhide Processing Facility - Brazil
Hartz Pet Medications - 1996
Wardley Products - 1996
First Industrial Buildings Built (700,000 square feet) - Bayonne, NJ - 1966

Continuing to seek out new opportunities to invest Hartz's increasing cash flow, Leonard Stern looked beyond the company's successful pet care business into real estate development. A unique opportunity presented itself; the construction of 700,000 square feet of speculative industrial distribution facilities in Bayonne, NJ, and Hartz Mountain Industries, our real estate division, was born and Hartz became a business with two very fast growing divisions.


Leonard Stern with his newly formed real estate division continued to dramatically grow the overall business with the acquisition of two large tracts of barren marshes totaling over 1,250 acres in the New Jersey Meadowlands / Secaucus, an area only six miles from downtown Manhattan. This land, once best known for its adjacency to former pig farms, would soon become the core of Hartz's real estate portfolio. By this time, Hartz had created its own in-house capacity to design, construct and then manage the growing real estate portfolio.

This initial tract of land in Secaucus, now known as Harmon Cove is among the premier distribution locations in the country, sitting just outside New York City. With its dual proximity to both Manhattan and the Port of New York/New Jersey, it offers a strategic location that is unmatched. Harmon Cove is also the site where outlet shopping began in the Northeast and continues as a popular consumer outlet destination to this day.

Harmon Cove's neighboring Harmon Meadow development in Secaucus is a thriving mixed-use project. It would become one of the premier office locations in New Jersey. The nearby Secaucus Junction Train Station connects employees and visitors to the entire New York Metro Region and beyond. Hartz' Real Estate portfolio grows to more than 1,000 commercial tenants.

Before: Harmon Cove (formerly known as the "Free Zone Center"), Secaucus, NJ before development by Hartz

After: Harmon Cove Industrial Park, Secaucus, NJ

Harmon Meadow, Secaucus, NJ
One of our Major Mixed Use Developments

Hartz's real estate business expanded dramatically during the 1980s, with the purchase and development of large tracts of land in Weehawken and Ridgefield Park, N.J. The company then acquired additional land and buildings in Jersey City, Newark and Manhattan, all in prime locations. By the end of the eighties, the Hartz name was as synonymous with real estate as it was with pet care and Hartz' real estate portfolio had grown to more than 35,000,000 square feet.

667 Madison Avenue, at 61st Street, New York City.
New York's finest boutique office building – 1987

The Classic Styled Lobby at
667 Madison Avenue

Lincoln Harbor, Weehawken, NJ
Our Major Development right across from Mid-town Manhattan. Photo taken 2010.

Overpeck Center, Ridgefield Park, NJ
Only 5 minutes from the George Washington Bridge. Photo taken 2010.
Carpet Magic Store Display – 1985
S.M. Cork Distribution Center in United Kingdom

With the acquisition of the Carpet Magic Company, Hartz Mountain entered the home carpet cleaning business. Carpet Magic provided carpet cleaning rental machines in supermarkets. Hartz designed and fabricated the machines in our own factories, then installed them in stores and serviced them. Hartz grew the business to more than 20,000 rental centers in the nation's leading supermarket chains.

On the international front, Hartz was growing as well. Canadian operations were strong with headquarters in St. Thomas, Ontario and regional branches in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. Hartz's International footprint now included offices in Japan, Taiwan and Korea that served as purchasing support for Hartz's worldwide operations.

In the United Kingdom, Hartz acquired S.M. Cork, that nation's leading service merchandiser. S.M. Cork distributed a wide range of “non-food'" items to supermarkets and convenience stores with weekly store door delivery service. Products ranged from Hartz pet care to baby products, hair care, cosmetics and stationery lines.

Stern Publications, Andrea Stern, Publisher of our Newest Publication, the Long Island Voice - 1985
Harmon Publications - 1985

Moving into alternative weekly newspaper publishing, Leonard diversified the company once again. He launched Stern Publishing, and soon had local weekly newspapers across the country including; The Village Voice, The LA Weekly, Seattle Weekly, Orange County Weekly, Long Island Voice, and several more with a total weekly circulation exceeding 900,000 and 1,000 employees.

Hartz then created the Harmon Publishing Company, which soon published 180 free local residential real estate photo advertising magazines, reaching well over two million prospective homebuyers every two weeks. The magazines are distributed free through supermarkets, banks, hotels, restaurants and corporate relocation offices.

The Village Voice, Long Island Voice, The LA Weekly, OC Weekly, City Pages,
Seattle Weekly and Eastside Week - 1985
Edward, Emanuel and Leonard Stern –-1990

With a focus on family, it was only natural for Leonard to welcome sons Emanuel and Edward Stern into the business. Representing the third generation of future leadership, they began to work their way up the corporate ladder, with Emanuel starting in the real estate division and Edward in the pet care businesses.

Hartz Pet Food - Flake Food Manufacturing Facility in Secaucus – 1994

To further expand its pet product offerings, Hartz acquired Wardley Products, America's largest manufacturer of aquatic fish foods and remedies. With a range of more than 200 formulations addressing the special needs of the serious aquatic hobbyist, Wardley's line of outdoor pond products were Hartz' first foray into this growing market. Hartz then continued its expansion with its acquisitions of the Pet Products Rawhide Company of Brazil and the L&M Pet Company, manufacturers of small animal foods.

Wardley Fish Food Product Line

L&M Bird and Small Animal Food Manufacturing Facility, Ohio
Hartz Pet Research Facility, Bloomfield, NJ

Since the first days of the company, Hartz has maintained a continuing commitment to product innovation. In 1995, we expanded our R&D capacity by building a state-of-the-art laboratory and research facility in Bloomfield, NJ adjacent to our major manufacturing complex, then adding a Life Science Center at our live tropical fish distribution facility in Tampa, Florida.


Hartz diversified its business once again by developing a hospitality division, building the SoHo Grand Hotel and a few years later the Tribeca Grand Hotel, now known as The Roxy Hotel, in lower Manhattan. Other hotels in New Jersey were also built and the Hartz hotel portfolio would grow to include eleven hospitality properties.

Steeped in luxury, the SoHo Grand was SoHo's first hotel in over 100 years. With its 367 rooms and acclaimed design, the hotel offers luxury accommodations in a vibrant quarter of New York. The Tribeca Grand, now known as The Roxy Hotel, marked the first opening of a luxury hotel in Tribeca, the area known as the “Triangle Below Canal'" bordered by Canal Street, Broadway and the Hudson River, and became another instant success.

Soho Grand Hotel – NYC
Completed 1996

Tribeca Grand Hotel, now known as The Roxy Hotel - NYC
Completed 2000

It was time for the next generation to officially take their places in the overall management of our business. Emanuel was named President of the real estate division and Edward was named President of the pet company. Both joined their father Leonard in forming a troika to oversee the day-to-day management of the entire company.

Emanuel Stern
Hartz Mountain Industries

Edward Stern
Hartz Mountain Corporation
Pet Products and Stern Publications

By now, the success of Hartz pet care products and publishing business attracted the attention of numerous potential purchasers and we received numerous offers to sell these businesses. It was a difficult decision, but the Stern family decided to sell both businesses so Edward could concentrate on managing the company's new fast-growing financial operations under the banner of Hartz Capital, Inc.


Hartz Mountain goes green. Under the leadership of Emanuel Stern, Hartz launched a companywide sustainability initiative in 2007. The program resulted in a complete overhaul of the specifications used in all of the company's construction and renovation projects. Another marquis component of the initiative is the use of renewable energy. In 2009 alone, Hartz invested millions of dollars to install solar arrays on its industrial buildings and retail centers in the Meadowlands. As a result, Hartz has become one of the largest owners of solar arrays in NJ with installations on numerous buildings it owns as well as a large free standing facility in Hamilton, New Jersey. As a result of its efforts, Hartz was awarded NJBIA's Environmental Quality Award. Also in 2009, NJBIZ recognized President and Chief Operating Officer Emanuel Stern as the “Green Executive of the Year.'" The environmental focus continues today.

Secaucus Meadowlands Warehouse with Rooftop Solar Array - 2009

Ground Arrays, Hamilton, NJ - 2012

The Top 25 Companies by Solar Capacity

Many of America's largest companies have led the way in solar deployment and have done so at an amazing rate. The list below ranks businesses by their total on-site installed solar capacity, or the maximum power potential measured in megawatts.

116 Units – Completed June, 2012

Hartz entered the multifamily residential rental business with the purchase of more than 1,875 rental apartment units in the New York/New Jersey area as the first step toward an aggressive plan to add a substantial residential component to its portfolio. Hartz also initiated plans to build over 2,200 residential rental units on land it already owned in several N.J. townships. Within a short amount of time, Hartz will have 5,000 upscale luxury rental units in its portfolio, with exciting plans to continue to grow this asset class for many years.

High Rise Rental Properties​​

Estuary, Weehawken, NJ
582 Units leased 2014
Edward Stern, President of Hartz Capital leads our thrust into the oil and gas business in addition to his numerous other responsibilities which include the overall management of the Company shared with his brother and father.

Under the direction of Edward Stern, Hartz Capital establishes a new subsidiary, Hartz Energy Holdings, to enter the oil and gas business. In 2005, Hartz began by investing alongside experienced drillers for the knowledge and contacts as much as for the economic opportunities.

In the following years, Hartz participated in drilling more than 150 new oil and gas wells in Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota and Kentucky. Hartz also acquired non-operated working interests and royalty interests in thousands of other domestic oil and gas wells, and invested substantial amounts of capital into public and private midstream energy investments.

By 2007, Hartz began to focus its efforts on the development of oil and gas production closer to home in Pennsylvania and New York, acquiring leasehold interests in areas that were highly prospective for the development of shale gas production.

In 2010, Hartz entered into active drilling arrangements to develop the leasehold acreage it had assembled. These direct drilling rights represent an inventory of more than one thousand new oil and gas well locations that Hartz hopes to develop over the coming years in an environmentally responsible manner.

As the Company executes on this drilling backlog and evaluates a steady stream of new opportunities, we believe we are well on the way toward achieving Leonard's long-time goal of building a meaningful oil and gas operating business.

Left: Edward Stern and Right: Leonard Stern
Our First Well Drilled in January 2009 into the Marcellus Formation, Susquehanna County, PA

Hartz Mountain Industries continues its tradition started by founder Max Stern, who was in the words of granddaughter Andrea Stern, “a rugged entrepreneur, a visionary, [and] a philanthropist.'"

On October 12, 2011, as a further tribute to Max Stern's American dream, the Stern family unveiled an actual replica cast from the original plaster sculpture of the Statue of Liberty at their 667 Madison building in Manhattan. Standing nine feet tall, the exact scale model was cast using bronze from the same foundry. Lady Liberty symbolizes the promise of America realized by Max Stern, and the success he was able to achieve in his adopted country. As Max frequently said, "Only in America."


In February of 2014, Hartz opened Estuary in Weehawken, NJ, its most spectacular ground-up multifamily residential project to date. Estuary consists of 582 luxury apartments and is a complimentary component to the 60-acre Lincoln Harbor mixed-use waterfront development.

Hartz began developing its residential portfolio in 2010 and plans to add an additional 2,200 units in various municipalities in Northern, NJ, including Jersey City, Weehawken and Secaucus. Its other high-rise residential properties include One Superior Place in Chicago, The Whitley in Austin, TX and The Alto in Seattle. This activity brings the company's residential holdings to nearly 2,800 units.

Top: The Whitley, Austin, TX, and The Estuary, Weehawken, NJ Bottom: Alto, Seattle, WA and One Superior Place, Chicago, IL

In the Summer of 2014, Hartz purchased a 35-building industrial portfolio in North Atlanta, GA, as well as buildings in Hanover, MD and Kings Mountain, NC, just outside Charlotte. While Hartz had previously purchased warehouses in Baltimore, MD these transactions were its largest industrial purchases outside the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area and brought its Southeastern industrial holdings close to 7 million square feet.

Hartz purchased 2.5 Million SF of distribution space in North Atlanta in 2014. As of 2015, Hartz's Southeastern Industrial holdings totals close to 7 million square feet.
In 2014, Hartz partnered with Patriot Renewables LLC to construct the Saddleback Ridge Wind project, a 34 Megawatt, 12-turbine wind project located in Carthage, Maine. Saddleback Ridge Wind's 12 GE 2.85 MW turbines will generate nearly 105 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year -- enough to power approximately 16,500 homes.
Edward Stern
President and COO
The Hartz Group

Eddie, currently serving as President of Hartz Capital, is an experienced businessman and has worked at the Hartz Group for 25 years. He began his career in our previously owned publishing business after which he transferred to the Hartz Pet Supply Company, holding various positions there that culminated in his appointment as President. Eddie executed the company’s successful reorganization and sale in year 2000.

Following the sale of the pet supply business, Eddie founded Hartz Capital which has invested opportunistically across a wide variety securities and asset classes for 15 years.

Eddie’s leadership skills, judgement, and intellect makes him the ideal family member to lead our various enterprises; real estate, hotels, financial, natural resources, renewable energy, and opportunistic investments.

Gus Milano, a 35-year Hartz veteran, moves up to become President and Chief Operating Officer of our real estate division. Lawrence Garb, also a Hartz veteran, is promoted to Executive Vice President & Managing Director and Tony Fant, is the President of our Hotel Division.

Ron Bangs is the Chief Financial Officer of the Hartz Group. In this role, Ron is the senior financial officer for the Group and is responsible for overseeing and reporting on all the Group’s real estate, financial and natural resource holdings.


With a visionary focus and a strategic approach, Hartz Mountain Industries moves forward into 2017 with one of the largest development pipelines in its history to date. From residential to industrial to retail development, Hartz will complete projects started in 2016 and commence construction of new projects in 2017.

The photos below will give you a sense of both the diversity and size of our building program. Importantly, none of these projects are intended for sale. All of the properties will be kept as part of Hartz' more than 250 building inventory to allow for future appreciation.

Lincoln Harbor Development

3 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ

Hartz commenced the leasing of 240 residential units at 3 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ in March 2017. The building is located directly across from the Journal Square Path Station and will be a great addition to Journal Square.

Harmon Cove, Secaucus, NJ

Osprey Cove East was completed in August of 2016 and is fully leased. Osprey Cove East, Secaucus, NJ - a 62 unit residential complex which is an expansion of the original Osprey Cove 116 unit residential complex.

Harmon Meadow, Secaucus, NJ

The Harper at Harmon Meadow, 100 Park Place, Secaucus, New Jersey Hartz started construction of 469 residential units in its Harmon Meadow mixed use development and expects to deliver the units in January 2018.

1590 Lower Road, Linden, NJ

Hartz will complete the 156,000 square foot industrial building that it preleased to Walgreens and they will take occupancy in June of 2017

Bergen Avenue, Kearny, NJ

Hartz started construction in late 2015 and will complete the 62,000 square foot industrial building in August of 2017, at which time Cummins, the designer and manufacturer of engines, will take occupancy.

46 Meadowland Parkway, Secaucus, NJ

Hartz has started construction of a 300,000 square foot industrial building for UB Distributors in December 2016 and expects to deliver the building in the Fall of 2018.

Lakemont V, 13327 Carowinds Boulevard, Charlotte, North Carolina

Hartz will be starting construction on a 30,000 square foot expansion of the Lakemont V warehouse building consisting of 123,000 SF in the Spring of 2017 and will complete the expansion in the Fall, 2017.

Edison Towne Square, Edison, NJ

Top Golf completed its facility and opened in December of 2016. Zinburger and Starbucks are under construction and plan to open in the Summer of 2017. Look for an announcement of additional retail development at Edison Towne Square in the Fall of 2017.

Newark Development, Newark, NJ

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