Shapiro Properties: Valdosta's Full-Service Commercial Real Estate Firm
Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
The last units in the North Ashley Professional Center, the 34,000 square foot office condo development located on the corner of Ashley Street and Connell Road, were sold at the end of 2011 and the center is now fully occupied. According to Micah Shapiro of Shapiro Properties, LLC, owning a condo office offers savings of $200 to $300 per month compared to leasing office space.
"We have four or five different real estate groups who purchased an office in the center, which speaks volumes about the project. They see it as a good investment with potential for appreciation," Shapiro said.
"We still have retail space remaining at the North Ashley Center [a 31,000 square foot mixed use development] and we're seeing a lot of interest in the area from national groups."
Shapiro established Shapiro Properties, LLC, in 2003 as a full-service commercial real estate firm. With more than 10 years of commercial real estate experience, Shapiro and his team offer turnkey solutions from site location, permitting and building to leasing and third party property management. Shapiro Properties is based in Valdosta and has an Atlanta office, managed by Shayna Garland, that handles third party management, investment sales and brokerage.
"The North Ashley Professional Center is a great example of the services we can provide. We facilitated the whole package. Our goal is to build relationships and make sure a project is a win-win for everybody involved," Shapiro said.
A Two-Location Town
With the economy in a slow recovery, Shapiro reports, "national tenants are looking around again and Valdosta is on their list."
"Most now see Valdosta as a two-location town. Chains like Dunkin' Donuts and Quiznos are investing in a location in the northeast part of town and another near the Interstate and mall."
Although interest in commercial real estate has picked up, Shapiro believes activity in 2012 will remain slow until after the election in November.
"Companies are able to meet demand without hiring new employees so I don't see unemployment changing much. I think we'll see kind of a 'maintain' attitude this year."
Tough to Pull the Trigger
Last year was "actually pretty good" for Shapiro Properties, but Shapiro also calls it an "interesting year."
"Our management and brokerage business was pretty good but we experienced big lulls during the year because of the uncertain economic times."
According to Shapiro, potential investors took longer in 2011 to make decisions. He attributes the long sales cycle to uncertainty about the economy, health care regulations and for bigger projects, the ability to obtain attractive financing.
"It took some clients six months or longer to pull the trigger on a project. It's hard to move on a deal with the general economic mindset is so uncertain," Shapiro said.
While the last units in the North Ashley Professional Center were sold in 2011, Shapiro says that 2009 was the most active year for sales in that project. Construction of the center began in 2007.
"The center is great for small businesses and professionals. Most buyers made the commitment to buy in a down economy," Shapiro said.
With all the original tenants still in place, the North Ashley Professional Center could be considered the type of win-win project that Shapiro Properties targets. More information on Shapiro Properties, LLC, is available at www.shapiroproperties.com or contact Micah Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.