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CJ Follini (born and raised in New York) is an American media entrepreneur, film producer and real estate investor. A native New Yorker who built his group of companies by investing in alternative real estate types such as: digital film studios; healthcare real estate; student housing; and artist residence clubs as well as providing venture capital for early stage digital content creators.
Follini grew up in Westchester County and New York City where he attended the Jesuit high school – Fordham Preparatory School. He also competed in collegiate ice hockey while in Boston. Follini received a General Course Degree in Econometrics from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. While in London he played rugby for LSE. He also studied in the Executive Masters program at Harvard Business School.
From the age of 12, he worked at entry level construction jobs learning the building trade from his father, Charles Follini Sr., a highly decorated former fireman with the FDNY and the CEO the building conglomerate responsible for Idlewild Airport – the Edenwald Group. Follini has been a successful developer and investor in alternative real estate such as: industrial; waterfront land development; brownfields re-development; film studios; and most recently, medical office and senior housing. The following are a few career real estate milestones:
Real Estate Career
- Developed a 400-acre (1.6 km2) site with the Rockefeller Group for the expansion of the International Trade Center in Mount Olive, New Jersey.
- Developed a re-claimed 12-acre (49,000 m2) brownfield located on the waterfront in Queens, New York. Purchased for $9,000,000 out of bankruptcy, Follini sold the property three years later to the Bayrock Group, Donald Trump's partner in Trump SoHo for $27,500,000.
- Formed Noyack Medical Partners, LLC to develop and acquire health care real estate ( i.e. medical office buildings). Since 2003, Follini has accumulated a $100MM+ portfolio.
- Formed North Street Community to develop 23-acre (93,000 m2) former St. Agnes Hospital Campus in White Plains, New York purchased at a foreclosure auction for $22,000,000. Recently announced the largest active adult housing development in North America.
The 730,000-square-foot (68,000 m2), $250MM planned campus also includes assisted living and medical office buildings.
- Purchased the commercial half of the tallest building in Brooklyn, the famed landmark – One Hanson Place
- Began publishing BLACKSWAN webzine.
- As a Senior Executive of Shooting Gallery and as Founder and CEO of Gun For Hire Production Centers, the largest independent film studio and digital media centers in the United States,respectively, he conceived, designed and renovated 400,000+ square feet of digital media studios in New York, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles. Known as the Gun For Hire Production Centers, his New York site won the Crain's Small Business Award in 1998.
- Began publishing BLACKSWAN webzine.
- Founded WelcometoCOMPANY.com
In 2011, CJ Follini created and directed Art/Trek NYC and its broadcast on cable by NYC Media and Ovation Network. Art/Trek is a docu-series that explores NYC's five boroughs in a quest to showcase new and emerging artists. Traveling in the show's signature mobile art gallery – a converted recreational vehicle, nicknamed the ArtV – host CJ Follini joins a different borough-specific co-host in each episode to meet a rising artist who's on the verge of breaking into New York City's competitive art scene. Each artist puts together an impromptu art show in the ArtV and invites residents from their neighborhood to view the work and share their opinions about the art on camera. One of the five artists will be selected to have their own gallery show, which will be featured in a future episode.
In 2000, Follini produced the short film Bullet in the Brain, winner of ten festival awards including the first Million Dollar Hypnotic/Universal Short Film Award. He also produced Someday, a music video for Irish pop band "Tellulah Crash," and a public service announcement for the R.E.A.C.H. Foundation, an organization that helps children with life-threatening diseases and children in low-income school districts.
Recently, the U.S. EPA objected to three more federal permits for mountaintop-removal coal mining citing its disastrous effects on the environment and local water quality as alerted in Burning the Future: Coal in America
Additional production credits for CJ Follini include:
WelcometoCOMPANY.com is an online/offline social network connecting collectors of contemporary art with an on-line art exchange for their collections; members-only events and mixers; original, digital video for tablet, smartphones, and the web; as well as original art works for sale from emerging artists commissioned by COMPANY. With the debut of its off-line networking salon – The Collector Series – and its cable TV show – Art/Trek NYC – COMPANY offers brands and agencies a multi-platform, one-stop advertising portal to a focused, affluent demographic.
Blackswan is a webzine focused exclusively on Alternative Real Estate. The strategies discussed are founded upon meeting the modern infrastructure needs of our society's demographic and technological changes. They create new definitions by expanding or leaving altogether the customary real estate categories. Blackswan describes alternative real estate strategies across the risk spectrum such as: healthcare real estate (medical office buildings, acute care centers); senior housing; sustainable building investment; student housing; affinity club hospitality ( i.e. gay & lesbian); fractional real estate development; private airport ownership/management; etc.
Winner of 1998 Crains Small Business Award for Gun For Hire Digital Media Centers
Winner of 2001 Universal Studios/Hypnotic Film Award for "Bullet in the Brain"
- TAKE 2: FILM FIRM EXPANDS IN VILLAGE; GUN FOR HIRE LEASES MORE SPACE AS DEMAND GROWS FASTER THAN EXPECTED. Crain's New York Business; January 4, 1999; CROGHAN, LORE 
- Pare Lorentz in Wiki Pare Lorentz
- Carey, Patricia (10/12/1998). "Triumphant in Technicolor". CRAINS New York. Retrieved 10/1/2012. Check date values in: