Food

An Optimistic Outlook For Astoria During And After COVID-19

By Angelica Eranovic

NY Space Finders Luca Di Ciero
Image courtesy of Luca Di Ciero.

Image courtesy of Luca Di Ciero.

NY Space Finders is one of the most multifaceted real estate companies around specializing in industrial leasing, commercial lofts, residential homes, and more! After working in Manhattan, founder and Astoria native Luca Di Ciero saw the “slow period” during the 2008 crisis as an opportunity, and created NY Space Finders with the instinct that there would be a shift from the expensive areas of Manhattan and Williamsburg, to more suburban city areas such as Astoria. Di Ciero has similar optimism in the face of all the uncertainty of today’s situation with COVID19.

This type of experience of adapting and excelling during a crisis has been a major asset to the company. Having a good understanding of the market, being able to predict prices and trends, and of course knowing the area and its traffic like his own backyard, give clients immense comfort.

Naturally with the influx of people working from home or out of work, both landlords and tenants are apprehensive about the situation. Landlords are scared that with development that there will be a rise in vacancies with no one to fill the spaces. They are awaiting payments from tenants who are likely living in hard financial times not knowing how to pay their rent. One of the key roles of NY Space Finders during this time is acting as a median between these two parties and their negotiations. Di Ciero finds a lot of success in this area and feels that there has truly been a deeper sense of community and understanding, with most landlords willing to adjust rents or differing rent till business picks up, and tenants doing their best to stay on top of their payments and pay right away with their funds. While of course there can be tensions, communication is key and the goal of NY Space Finders is to keep these lines of communication open.

Another positive of the situation is that in the last few years, rents have inflated and prices that have escalated annually and compounded over the course of 5-10 years are now being corrected. In regards to fears of vacancies, there are many positive shifts taking place. Similarly to 2008-2009, apartments will likely be filled by people migrating from Manhattan and other overpriced areas. Industrial Leasing and Sales are high. Similarly to residential homes, commercial spaces in Manhattan may also be moving their offices to spaces in Astoria. Some large office spaces are being replaced as storage units. People are getting creative and utilizing commercial spaces as pharmacy locations, janitorial supplies, and other forms storage. Whether businesses are looking to downsize to account for fewer employees, or upsize for future precautions and distancing, there is a space for everything.

NY Space Finders are able to educate clients whether they be buyers, tenants, or landlords offering their advice on everything from logistics, location advice, pricing, vision, etc. This consulting comes gratis, as Di Ciero finds it the right thing to do during these times. Di Ciero and his team have extensive relationships in the area with various attorneys and mortgage bankers, and utilize these relationships to bridge the gap for their clients. It offers another level of comfort knowing that they can have a second opinion or advice from the professionals in these other industries. Finally NY Space Finders are offering virtual tours of vacant spaces and also playing their part to help the community by collaborating with local restaurants to donate to the 114 Precinct and Mt Sinai.

Long term this is something that no one wants to see and worry about. At the end of the day people need to work, live, and business will have to adapt. “It is so true that this is the new normal. Anyone waiting for this to blow over, STOP. Take the time to understand what’s going on, study the market, and consult with as many people as possible. Don’t try to use old concepts, work with the new, and it will correct itself. Ride the wave, don’t let it wipe you out” says Di Ciero.

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