Astoria is a popular residential neighborhood north of Long Island City in Queens, New York. Its a few train stops out of Manhattan on the N and Q train lines, but I rarely make it to that side of town because the retail landscape hasn’t drawn me in. Largely made up of auto-body repair shops, local distributors, business services and food establishments, I was surprised when a friend invited me vintage shopping there, and found the most special shop nestled between blocks around the 31st Street stop.
Here are some notable reports on the real estate front:
Does a 2 Bed Condo at $489K sound like a good price? Street Easy has a great neighborhood highlight on Astoria–see the neighborhood and residential availabilities here on Streeteasy
Want to see what developers are doing with small lots? See the specific project listing by clicking on this Yimby Link
And lastly, Hallet’s Point. It’s the largest development in Queens, at a $1.5 Billion cost, 2000 apartments and new retail. Its faced some setbacks from the phasing out of the 421-A program. See the drama here on Curbed.
To satisfy my fashion craving that weekend, I focused on the accessories and found the most fun gold jewelry I could get myhands on; from studs with gold accents, necklaces with vintage pendants, as well as gold rings and bracelets. As an aside, my rule is one ring either on the ring or middle finger for most occasions; and three rings dispersed between hands (displayed above) when you really want to make a statement. I wouldn’t generally recommend any variations from that rule!
Where it all started, with a Lilly Pulitzer vintage dress that accents the bronze details of this building.
This past week, I was invited to speak at a career panel for graduate and undergraduate students of The Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. Most students were in the MBA program majoring in Real Estate, and others are in Finance or Accounting, looking for the opportunity to transition to the real estate sector at some point.
Personally organized by Margo Weaker of the Newman Real Estate Institute, I was joined by four equally accomplished panelists from Arbor Realty Trust , CBRE , Kimco Realty and The Lefrak Organization.
Summarizing the input and advice from all the panelists, here are some recommendations from various industry perspectives:
Lending–understanding appraisal methods, the basics of loan sizing as well as sharp excel modeling skills. Its a good starting place to eventually transition to capital markets, private equity or other aspects of real estate finance.
Valuation and Advisory Services–if you’ve owned or invested in real estate on your own, having that transactional experience coupled with a formal business degree will help you break into this field. Traveling all over the country valuating investment opportunities will give you well-rounded industry experience to move on to become a real estate entrepreneur or educator.
Affordable Housing–you may initially enter this field through compliance or policy related background but it covers a wide range of professionals that include property managers, accounting and finance or private equity investment. Its requires an understanding of regional and federal housing policy and can grow into a career in housing development, acquisitions or specialty consulting to the industry.
Retail Leasing–obtaining a real estate license and starting in retail sales or leasing is a good entry point for those who are just starting out in the field. A business school education can land you in a larger firm where there are additional opportunities in commercial asset management or corporate real estate.
Property Management–a career in property management requires a solid understanding of building mechanics, property-level accounting, and a talent for managing clients and tenants. Its a great field for students with backgrounds in brokerage or business management, and transitioning to corporate real estate is a likely path for those who have this type of experience.
My last takeaway from this event is that everyone on that panel didn’t just fall into this industry by chance, but rather through diligence in their focus on finding the right opportunities. This focus is fueled by a passion for the physical real estate and a commitment to growing their respective real estate businesses. One panelist described his work as “a rush”, and I couldn’t agree more.
Most seasonal businesses know you have to be resilient and aggressive for your part-time business, which is why its no surprise that many of the beach properties along the shore are impeccably kept and maintained.
Ocean Court Motel Beachside
Ocean Drive Pier Renovation
Ocean Drive Properties
This particular area of the beach included a number of multi-family rental buildings, private homes and large front yards used for beach parking. And on this less crowded strip, beach side parking revenue is easily $1,000/day.
This week, I’d like to learn how the multi-family rental buildings on the beach operate. Can you do a month-to-month summer rental as opposed to an annual contract? Is there any regulation on the rents that can be charged? Do they maintain their occupancy rates throughout the year? How do lenders look at this type of asset if you were a buyer or investor?