Editor’s Note: This story was originally prepared for our content partner, GlobeSt.com.
NEW YORK, NY—(SBN)—Amazon’s naming of Newark, NJ, as a finalist for its HQ2 development was a smart move, says Jeff Holzmann, managing director with iintoo.com, a real estate investment management company with a social networking component.
“I’m a huge believer in New Jersey especially northern New Jersey and with the immediate vicinity of New York City,” Holzmann tells GlobeSt.com in an exclusive TV interview. He says Amazon would not select a Manhattan site and “subject all of their employees and vendors and suppliers and customers to the gridlock that is New York City traffic.”
Watch the entire exclusive TV interview with Jeff Holzmann of iintoo here.
But being close to New York is attractive to the West Coast-based online marketplace, he says.
“When you talk about being in the immediate vicinity, in the immediate proximity to such a huge metro like New York City, you’re literally on the other side of the river from the great area of Manhattan. You have access to some pretty serious real estate right around the Prudential Center,” he says of Newark. “It’s a great transportation hub, and remember that people in northern New Jersey are sort of used to travel already. And obviously people want to live in the immediate vicinity of New York City so you have a lot of talent. You have a lot of opportunity. You have some leverage over the local community. Those are exactly the metrics that I would be looking for.”
iinto has recently partnered with a developer acquiring and upgrading class B multifamily properties in Paterson, NJ, near Newark. “That’s a place that we really believe in because we see the area gentrifying,” Holzmann says.
The firm is also focusing on Philadelphia deals, and Holzmann thinks the City of Brotherly Love would be an interesting choice for Amazon’s HQ2.
“it’s a big metro with a big airport and accessibility to many communities, and good universities in the immediate vicinity, and it’s an area where there is no other big dominant player where Amazon would be just another big tech company, one of many others,” he says. “If they can find the right economics, it doesn’t necessarily have to be downtown Philly in a skyscraper. It could be a complex or a campus sort of structure, much like Apple did recently on the West Coast.”
Another market that has iintoo’s attention is Atlanta.
“The interesting thing about Atlanta is, you could live in one of these Atlanta suburbs and you are literally a few hours drive from most of the work opportunities in the southeast United States,” Holzmann says. “These are good places for colleges. These are good places for work. These are places where it’s a lot more affordable to live than some of the other coastal towns. We’re very keen on Atlanta, iintoo has investments in that market, and I think we will continue to have investments there.”
iinto specializes in what it calls “exit-oriented real estate investments.” Accredited investors sign up and connect with investment offerings and other investors in a secure online environment.
“One of the key metrics that we like to look at around here is what was the occupancy rate of that asset around 2008-2009, when we saw a very big economic contraction in the country,” Holzmann says. “If I saw either an increase or just a small decrease in both the rent rates and the occupancy rates of those assets in those submarkets at that time, that to me is indicative of a more resilient asset.”
The firm says it has investment opportunities for qualified investors starting from as little as $25,000. The firm’s analysts perform due diligence on investments and continual monitoring on a weekly basis, Holzmann says.
“We like to have risk mitigation that will allow us certain opportunities in times of economic contraction,” he says. “We like markets and properties that are more immune to contraction. A good example of that is a B-class multifamily residential complex. In times of economic contraction when people tend to lose high paying jobs, I would not want to be in a luxury apartment complex in any area that’s the hardest hit, but people still need a place to live, and if I’m in a multifamily commercial grade property with 400 or 500 different units, then even a lower occupancy rate, going from 98 to 95 percent, is almost not hurting you as you spread the risk over a larger amount of units.”