What are the challenges and benefits of the diverse markets you are building in: East Harlem, Jersey City, Tribeca, and Chelsea?
EP: We identified East Harlem as an emerging market with a lot of opportunities and started investing about seven years ago. East Harlem was attractive to us for multifamily development for several reasons – we could build quality projects with great amenities for less, we could offer more affordable rents, and the projects were situated near public transportation providing residents with an easy commute to and from the center of Manhattan. We think there are still strategic opportunities to develop in this neighborhood, but it’s becoming more challenging to make the numbers work with rising land prices and construction costs.
Most recently, we have invested in select Downtown Manhattan neighborhoods including Tribeca with our planned 19-story luxury residential building at 65 Franklin Street. We believe in Tribeca because it is a very established neighborhood that is highly desirable and stable. There is more product coming into the neighborhood today, but we view it as healthy competition. This challenges us to design, develop and deliver a building that will stand out from the crowd.
Which market has the most growth potential?
EP: We think there are still good investment opportunities in Jersey City as the area continues to grow. There has been tremendous development activity, an influx of businesses moving to the area, and the region has attracted a lot more people looking for quality living options at more affordable prices compared to Manhattan.
What are HAP’s plans for the future?
EP: Our focus is to continue to grow the company and identify and invest in additional residential developments strategically situated in both emerging and prime markets in the New York metropolitan area. We want to successfully design and develop the projects in our pipeline and continue looking for new opportunities.