I used to commute into Manhattan so frequently that I actually got possessive of my spot on the platform. You see, I had it all strategically planned out. From “my spot,” I could be the first to launch myself into the car and take “my place,” which was exactly where I needed to stand in order to be the first out of the door upon arrival. Don’t get me wrong—I didn’t complain, but at some point I realized that commuting just wasn’t good for my blood pressure. I know I needed to make some changes and now I can breathe more freely. These days, as I look around beautiful New York City, I see so much opportunity beyond my old corporate cage—especially for investing in Queens commercial office space. Let me explain.
Why Invest in Queens Office Space?
It used to be that people who were priced out of Manhattan fled to Brooklyn, but within the last year, Queens has become the fastest growing borough in NY. Comparably lower housing costs are drawing people here and you’ve probably noticed that neighborhood demographics have changed as a result. There’s been an influx of young professionals and couples. Their trade-off for living in Queens, of course, is a longer commute into Manhattan. Queens is transit desert; many neighborhoods have a commute of 90 minutes or longer—with no realistic projects or plans in sight for remedy. (I feel my blood pressures rise just thinking of it!)
But, with the all the new businesses and startups cropping up, especially in the Astoria neighborhood, it seems the Millennials and GenX’ers taking up residence here are looking to work closer to home. Perhaps you’ve noticed WeWork’s new Studio Square on 36th Street in Astoria? Around 600 people hustle and bustle within that modern-industrial office building every day, working for growing nonprofits, tech companies, and startups. It’s brilliant—renting the right office space in Queens can significantly reduce their transit time and help establish their local presence for a relatively affordable price point. Unsurprisingly, the borough now accounts for 25% of New York City’s newly incorporated startups.
Of course, the increase in people working right here in Queens has created a scarcity of office space and, subsequently, higher prices. In fact, the borough has experienced an upward pricing trajectory for commercial real estate, with the price per square foot increasing by 28% between 2015 and 2016. Now, before you cock an eyebrow because you know where I’m going with this, just hear me out. I see a good opportunity to invest in commercial real estate even with prices on the rise.
What’s Upcoming In the Area That I Need to Know About?
Here’s the scoop: Last month, the Department of City Planning (DCP) held a community meeting with ideas in mind for improving Queens’ development planning, focusing especially on encouraging more commercial office development. The area they are considering is a 50-block swath of Queens Plaza and Dutch Kills in Long Island City. The backstory here is that in 2001, Queens Plaza was rezoned in hopes of creating more office space but instead 13,000 units of housing went up. Now, the DCP is trying to balance ever-increasing housing needs with the new demand for more local office space.
While public meetings will be ongoing over the next few months, city officials hope to have specific rezoning recommendations complete by the end of June. If the plan goes through as intended, we can expect office space scarcity to temporarily decrease—causing a brief dip in prices. What investor doesn’t like to take advantage of a price dip in an otherwise rising market?
Interested investors will have to be poised to act swiftly to take advantage of this window of opportunity when the newly-zoned commercial properties become available. There’s still time, however, to establish a support system that helps you navigate the complexities of investing in office space. Imagine the potential long-term revenue streams that may actualize when the market trends up again. HomeVestors® franchisees benefit from the proprietary software, ValueChek™, that pinpoints opportunities with the best potential return-on-investment and the assistance of a seasoned investment Development Agent to help you make good real estate decisions and achieve your goals. Perhaps it’s time for you to step off that commuter train for good. Reach out to a member of the HomeVestors team today to learn how to start an independently owned and operated real estate business.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
Prior to joining HomeVestors, I spent 20+ years as a senior corporate executive. The money was good but I just no longer enjoyed what I was doing. I had been looking at HomeVestors for a couple of years but they were not offering franchises in N.J at that time. I had zero experience in real estate investing and was impressed with the training and support HomeVestors offered. HomeVestors opened up the NJ market in February 2007 and I started in July. Best decision I ever made. We got off to a fast start and have purchased a couple hundred properties since. We could not have done this without the training, systems, marketing and support HomeVestors provides. We haven’t looked back since. We became Development Agents in 2010 and really enjoy working with new franchisees when they come on-board and helping them build a successful business.