Mayor Mark J. Sokolich
Phone: 201-592-3500 x1003
Email Mark Sokolich
Mark J. Sokolich is a lifelong resident of Fort Lee and has been dedicated to serving the Borough through its government for many years. He served on the Borough Council for four terms, and as a Councilperson, he was liaison to the Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Public Works and Beautification and Historic Committees. He was elected Mayor in 2008 and is currently in his 12th year of service to the town he loves so dearly. Mark is a member of Fort Lee Unico, Greater Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Lee Business District Alliance, the Fort Lee Democratic Club, and provides organization efforts for numerous charitable events and foundations.
Mark is an alumnus of Fort Lee High School (Class of 1981) and now serves on the advisory board of the school’s Academy of Finance Program. He graduated Rutgers University with honors in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science. While attending Rutgers he was a member of the Varsity Basketball Team (Division 1) and participated in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments. He then earned a law degree at Seton Hall University School in 1989 and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1989, Washington D.C. 1997, Federal District Court of New Jersey 1989 and the United States Federal 3rd Circuit of Appeals in 1995.
During his high school career, Mark was named to both All-County and All-State teams, and was ultimately selected to be a member of the Rutgers the Scarlet Knights Division I Basketball Team from 1981 to 1984. During his athletic career, Mark learned that the success of any athletic program relied upon the commitment of volunteers. Mark learned at an early age that volunteerism is the foundation of any community and has served as a coach and administrator in Fort Lee’s Little League, Soccer League, and Flag Football League to name a few. He has also committed himself to raising funds for all of Fort Lee’s youth sports programs and was instrumental in the rehabilitation and construction of new playing fields for the youth sports programs.
At the inception of his administration, Mark devoted all of his effort to redeveloping Fort Lee and, as he has said numerous times, “restoring Fort Lee as the envy of all of northern New Jersey.” The focus of his redevelopment initiative was a 16-acre parcel of land which had laid dormant for the prior 45 years. Through Mark’s leadership, that property now known as Hudson Lights, is a billion-dollar redevelopment area and serves as the envy of all municipalities in the State of New Jersey. He has received great acclaim for the redevelopment of this property and other municipalities have followed the protocol established by Mark and the governing body for their own redevelopment projects which consisted of multiple town hall meetings and the engagement of the public.
Next, under Mark’s guidance and with development by SJP Properties, there was the creation of The Modern skyscrapers. Made up of two 47-story towers, The Modern serves as the centerpiece of the enhanced downtown district in Fort Lee with luxury rental residences and amazing views of the George Washington Bridge, Manhattan and the Hudson River. In 2019, Restaurateur Alexander Duran and culinary titan Chef David Burke brought modern American-Asian-Cuban fare to Fort Lee with the opening of VENTANAS Restaurant and Lounge at The Modern. This world-class restaurant is nestled alongside the town’s newest and most beautiful park between the two Modern Towers.
Last year, Mark and the governing body opened the much-anticipated new Municipal Garage in Downtown Fort Lee. The state-of-the-art, multi-level parking facility now stands where the previous street-level lot once existed. The Liner Building, which is connected to the garage, is in the final stages of construction and will house a new Post Office, and once the existing Post Office is taken down, a passive park will be constructed on the site.
This year, Fort Lee’s new community theater and museum, the Barrymore Film Center, will open adjacent to The Modern property. The BFC is dedicated to the Borough’s significant history as the birthplace of American film. The venue will include major film retrospectives, an annual silent film event, film festivals, foreign film screenings and showcases for emerging filmmakers.
Additional accomplishments the Mayor has made during his tenure include:
- Construction of affordable housing and housing devoted to individuals with special needs
- Restoration of a historic building and its conversion to a home for veterans
- Establishment of the Business District Alliance (BDA) devoted to the betterment the Downtown District
- Creation of Fort Lee Today On Demand
- Implementation of an emergency radio station (1630AM) devoted exclusively to Fort Lee
- Implementation of the NIXLE emergency notification system
- A dog park
- A spray park for children
- Two Community Gardens
- Reintroduction of an ice skating rink
- Availability of Wi-Fi at certain public parks
- Construction of a new turfed sports field
- Creation of a 9/11 Memorial
- Recognition from Sustainable New Jersey with multiple bronze certifications for its positive impact on the environment and the health of its residents
Mark’s administration has also devoted great effort to the implementation of cost saving measures, bond debt reduction, employee attrition and hiring freezes, income generating projects and a host of other fiscally responsible programs contributing to the strong financial condition maintained in our town and designed to improve the quality of life in Fort Lee.
Mark’s law career has concentrated in areas including municipal land use matters, redevelopment law, tax appeals, municipal law, real estate transactions, and related litigation. His professional affiliations include membership in:
- American Inns of Court
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- The Bergen County Bar Association
- New Jersey Bar Association
- Who’s Who in America
- A host of other professional and civic organizations
Mark has also lectured for a host of educational institutions, as well as serving as a panelist on numerous symposiums relating to complex areas of law and municipal government issues. Presently, he is the managing partner of the Law Office of Mark J. Sokolich in Fort Lee.
Mark believes that the key to successful leadership is his availability to the public that he is sworn to serve. Mark is often heard to say “if you need me, call me” and takes great pride in knowing that each of the 40,000 residents who call Fort Lee home have his cell phone number which is 201-424-5014.
Mark has been married to his wife, Denise, for 30 years and has raised two sons, Daniel and Devin. He attributes any success that he has achieved to the love and support provided by his family and, of course, the unconditional love provided by Daisy, their Golden Retriever rescue.