NYC: The Contrarian Investor
Time Equities founder Francis Greenburger, whom we snapped in his Manhattan office with a painting by his friend Kinga Czerska, invests where others aren't. He was a big buyer of Canadian properties from '97 to '05 as that country emerged from recession; now it's a global economic darling. The modern equivalent is US suburbia, and so he's bought 2M SF of suburban office and at least a half a dozen strip centers in the past 18 months. When office buildings in troubled areas are repriced to reflect their vacancy, acquisition becomes feasible. While he can't bring a 50% vacant office building there to full, he can bring it up at least to the submarket's average, say 85%.
We snapped this piece of suburbia in Francis' Fifth Avenue office, at least 25-years old. For suburban retail, he avoids destination retail. He's looking for a lot of cars passing by every day because among potential tenants, "someone will always want that." The smaller tenants in centers anchored by a destination retailer, though, depend on the big store's success to draw passers-by. And there will always be biggies going out of business (remember Woolworth's?). Check out our recent Bisnow New York and Bisnow National Multifamily issues for more of Francis' investment plays.