The city of New York is attracting the attention of micro or small-scale developers, most of them youngsters with degrees in urban planning with a desire to create a new wave of real estate development. Buying on a small scale, these small-scale developers indulge in rehabilitation of available abandoned or derelict New York properties for sale or on rent in an attempt to save houses from demolition and preserve a neighborhood or two. These small-scale developers are quite active in the city of Buffalo – which is the second most populous city in the state of New York.
The micro developers as they are popularly known are attempting to shore up the Buffalo city’s slow decline ever since the population and jobs began to slow down more than half a century ago. One of the groups known as Farmer Pirates, purchased 22 vacant lots and turned them into farmland and a composting station. Some of the real estate buyers are buying one or two properties and converting them into a habitable zone. The rents are also too low in this city. These micro developers are quite different from slumlords and absentee owners who buy properties in bulk, rent them to susceptible communities and spending nothing on services or refurbishment activities.
The vacancy rate of the city of Buffalo is above 15% ever since 2000, which is highest in United States for cities with the population of more than quarter million. Since 2007, this city’s Division of Real Estate has been demolishing thousands of abandoned houses nearly 70% of which were built before 1940’s making the New York real estate housing stock in this city the oldest in the country. However, this city’s Olmsted-designed parkways and wide, radical streets that are gap-toothed with single or lone crumbling houses are attracting young real estate buyers/developers.
There are host of small scale or micro developers that are operating in the city of Buffalo with different angles and experiences to cater to the needs of different communities that include Bhutanese, Caribbean, African and Puerto Rican and some refugees from some of the most war torn parts of the world. These communities speak in about 42 languages reflecting a unity in diversity principle. Building affordable housing for these communities is a challenging proposition that is quite gratifying.
Meanwhile on the other side of the New York – the Average Class-A- office rents in Midtown Manhattan has hit the highest point since the downturn in 2008. As per the October Market Report from commercial brokerage Cassidy Turley, the rents inched up from $77.21 to $78.57 per square foot over the previous month and this fact marks the milestone in the Manhattan’s office markets recovery that was quite vague and much slower than the residential market. The New York real estate brokers in the New York City are feeling better about the current market than they were during previous year but they see the future with caution. According to the Real Estate Board of New York City’s latest survey, the confidence of commercial and residential brokers in this city increased to 8.75 out of 10 in the third quarter, down from 8.89 in the second quarter of 2013 but up from 8.55 in 2012’s third quarter.