2 min read July 2022 — According to Rich St.Maur, managing partner at Coordinated Project Solutions, the real estate market is fluid and unpredictable. “There’s no quick short answer. Every situation is different. You really must invest your time and effort and know what you’re looking for,” he told Invest: in an interview.
What is your approach to evaluating a project?
Which deals are the best? What markets do we go after? Everybody asks me this all the time. Depending on your situation, anything could be the best deal or the worst deal. Nothing is set in stone. You really must be paying attention. One of the things that I usually ask about when a prospective client comes to me is what the “owner’s” investment objective is. I’m in the development, design and construction business. Do they want to just buy the ground and flip it for a profit, or do they want to develop it, build and then sell the product? Or do they want to build and manage it for 10 years? Depending on what their objective is, that’s what I guide them through.
What types of projects have the highest potential today?
Multifamily seems to be king right now for development and has been for quite some time, but for different reasons. 10 or 15 years ago, apartments started to boom because people were losing their homes and had to have a place to live. Also, because housing prices were falling, that segment was no longer a good investment. Also, young and up-and-coming executive couples didn’t want to be tied down if their company was going to move them to wherever in the world. They didn’t want to be tied down to a losing investment in the house or townhome that they bought. They weren’t going to get their money out if they sold, so they preferred to rent.
We have a different scenario now. The market is high. House values have gone through the roof. I’ve talked to people who have bought homes, expensive homes, without even visiting them. They looked at brochures online, and they did a little Google Earth search. It’s still multifamily but it’s a different market now. We’re building rental apartments, but you must look at every area and then do your research to determine what that market wants in that area.
What makes South Jersey a good place for business?
We have such a great central location here. We can get to Center City, Philly in 30 minutes, or New York City in 90 minutes and Washington, D.C. in two hours, so we are truly centrally located for business. It is a great spot. Most of my friends and family will not go to Center City anymore because of the escalation in crime. It’s the same thing with New York City and Washington, D.C. So, I do feel South Jersey is a great place to come and grow and build because there still seems to be a great deal of good family life. Another big plus is that the public school systems in South Jersey are highly rated. It is a great place to raise a family, grow and have a career.
What is your outlook for the region for the next three to five years?
Every situation is different. There’s just no set rule of thumb that you can go by anymore and it’s getting tougher and tougher to know exactly what to build. You really must invest your time and effort and know what you’re looking for.
I would like to give you a quick, short answer as to where the market is going and what you need to build, but there is no quick, short answer. Every situation is different and I’m fighting that right now. The markets are all very fluid.
I have clients who own and operate office buildings. They have always reinvested into the building and they manage them beautifully, and they’re down to 80% occupancy. There are others that are down to 60% because COVID taught us how to operate from home. Even those who are maintaining offices are downsizing. It is not possible to make long-range predictions.
For more information, visit: https://coordinatedprojectsolutions.com/