Brian McGowan has been with Casandra Properties since his Wagner College days. He started off as an intern eleven years ago It was 2009, right after the bubble burst, a difficult year to get into the real estate business, to say the least. Brian was young, enthusiastic, and above all, “fearless,” notes James. McGowan actually attributes this trait to having played football in high school. Although he’s modest about it, Brian achieved great success in his first career, just as he has in real estate. James notes that Brian is a creative and critical thinker who methodically takes every avenue to figure out a problem. James admits he thinks much differently, yet they always come up with the same results; they make a fantastic team.
It’s All About Branding.
In fact, James credits Brian for teaching him the importance of brand development. Brian had been going to school for finance when he realized how dynamic and incredible real estate was, a field that enabled him to utilized both his creativity and mathematical skills. He saw a pool of talent when he had first walked into the Casandra Properties office, but had never heard of them before. That’s when he realized how branding could benefit the company. In 2009 and 2010, terribly challenging years in real estate, Brian led a Casandra Properties branding campaign, and played in integral role in the branding the North Shore of Staten Island.
What are Real Estate Comps? What is a Comp Package?
A comp package is snapshot (usually within the last six months) of comparable properties that is analyzed according to demographics, infrastructure plans, transportation, city initiatives, federal regulations, funding, and everything that may affect the property. Everything is taken into account for the potential buyer or seller.
“The King of Comps”
Brian has set some of the highest comps on record for Staten Island commercial real estate sales. “If you have a property of size on Staten Island, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone as methodical and pragmatic as Brian to handle it,” says James emphatically. For example, Brian sold Edgewater Plaza for $21.5 million dollars on the Staten Island waterfront in 2015. Two years later, it sold for $41 million, almost double the amount. James asserts that if you’re looking for M-land, industrial land, or warehouses, Brian has executed the most sales and leases for this type of property over the last three years on Staten Island. Brian is King of the Comps, after all.
M – Land is a Mega Opportunity.
James and Brian believe M-Land is going to explode on Staten Island. Brian sees the growth M- Land and industrial land being driven here, in part, by the many conversions of warehouses to high rise properties in places like Red Hook, Brooklyn and Queens, just to name a few. Staten Island still gives you an address in New York City. Of course, technology had been driving this
shift for some time already, and the Coronavirus has just accelerated everything. Brian believes retail will shrink its footprint and become hybridized, with distribution centers moving to the back of the retail space. Now the focus will be about getting the most cost-efficient location where distribution can take place right from that store. James adds that retail will no longer require placement in the most-trafficked parts of Staten Island. Word is starting to get out about how valuable the waterfront property is on the North Shore of Staten Island, with its open access to the Atlantic, says James. Coronavirus has shown retailers, distributors, and the government that we have major supply-chain issues here in this country. Distribution in the near future can now take place at these hybrid locations efficiently – without having to drive over bridges or pay tolls. In addition, there is still a billion dollars earmarked from the Governor for the seawall post Hurricane Sandy, as well as tons that will be invested into the infrastructure. Casandra Properties has seen these real estate cycles before. The market will heat up again and there will be a lot in store for Staten Island.
What’s Next on the Horizon?
James Prendamano and Brian McGowan are working together on a development/contracting company, which will have a technology division rolling out a new software. This new platform will essentially calculate and deliver comp packages (according to your previously set parameters) immediately when new properties hit the market – in real time. This new technology will empirically improve the way deals are sourced. . .
Have a listen to the rest of the podcast episode. . .