BY SWAIN WEINER
Swain Weiner is president, partner and founder of Greiner-Maltz Investment Properties, which specializes in all types of commercial investment sales throughout the five boroughs and Long Island. Before Greiner-Maltz, Weiner sold more than $215,000,000 in aggregate sales with more than 1,300 residential units.
Predictions for the state of the real estate market in Queens are in, and things are looking fantastic.
Many consider Queens to be the new Brooklyn as buyers are moving out of the popular borough into Queens due to high prices. Queens is also appealing to buyers due to its proximity to Manhattan and the proliferation of restaurants, condos and retail venues.
Inventory is limited and prices are increasing, serving as a good indication that those who are involved in the real estate market in Queens will benefit in a rising marketplace. An increase in the number of sales has also been seen, as well as a decrease in negotiability.
The economy in Queens is the greatest contributor to the state of commercial real estate. Out of all five boroughs in New York, it has the second largest in population and boasts the most diversified economy.
Queens also has many jobs that are based on exports outside of the region, which aids in drawing interest to the area. What is amazing about the area, particularly for workers and consumers is that no one industry dominates the local economy. It is instead comprised of many large-scale industries and small businesses that bring commerce and jobs to the area. For example, the airline industry supplies a number of careers in the neighborhoods surrounding LaGuardia and JFK. Healthcare is also a booming industry in the borough along with social assistance. As globalization continues to grow in Queens, more opportunities are sure to follow.
Many of the families residing in Queens have rich and diverse cultures. This brings a variety of businesses and opportunities to the area along with a burgeoning social scene. These developments and constant growth lead to a variety of opportunities for commercial investors. Hotels, high-rises, apartment complexes, parks, etc. are being built to address the demand for the borough.
One of the most dynamic driving forces behind the increased demand in Queens is the interest of foreign investors. Investors from all over the world, particularly China, are showing an increased interest in the area.
There have been reports of sales occurring and offers being extended without some investors even seeing the properties. Foreign investors from as far as Nepal and as close as Canada are entering the commercial real estate market in Queens, signaling a revival in the borough’s real estate market.
Queens is becoming such an exciting place and a promising location for everything. Everywhere you look, more small businesses and entrepreneurs are emerging. The borough is continuing to attract the interest of international investors and businesses. Artists, students and young families are flocking to the area for more affordable housing options. This is a great time to pursue commercial real estate in Queens.
Swain is very civic-minded. He currently volunteers his time in the following positions:
• Vice President – Astoria Kiwanis
• Board member – Astoria Civic Association
• Board member – Astoria Local Development Association
• Board member – East River Kiwanis
• Board member- Queens Symphony
• Past President – Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce
• Member – LIC Partnership
• 82nd Street Partnership Steering Committee