The suspense is over! Here is PART 2 of Rahil Raza’s 2018 Real Estate Year In Review & Predictions For 2019. The second half of Rahil Raza’s in-depth interview was certainly intriguing and I am very thrilled to finally share the rest of his fascinating interview with everyone!
While the first part of the interview looked back at Raza Properties biggest and best construction projects along with the challenges and accomplishments from 2018. Rahil Raza continues to share his stories and advice that can help guide you to make the best decisions for 2019. Rahil talks about his exciting plans for Raza Properties. In addition, he explains in detail the process, dedication and all the hard work needed to successfully achieve our 2019 goals for Raza Properties.
Throughout the interview, Rahil discussed the demanding process of getting the zoning approval for our new office, “The process to get the office approved was very difficult. As you know we were initially going to build a coffee shop. Because the land was zoned SF, due to the drastic zoning change that occurred almost a year ago, we needed support from our community. We couldn’t have done it without, Vivian Vanstory, CEO of the Community Land Trust Corporation, Adam Rogers, Partner at Cadre Design, Jared Klein, General Counsel for Raza Properties, and Paul J. Toner, Partner at Orphanides & Toner, LLP. By working together, we were able to overcome tremendous obstacles and ultimately get ZBA approval for a mixed use office building at 1325 N. 18th street. The addition of co-working office space at this location will create countless jobs and serve as a meeting and gathering place for our tenants and neighbors.”
Next, Rahil explained how long the zoning process took, “The zoning process is very time consuming and expensive. It’s a deterrent for developers. It was a deterrent when I first started. I would say it takes about 8-10 months. In addition to the time, it costs, anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 more, requires multiple meetings and multiple drawing revisions. Adam Rodgers, our architect at Cadre Design, is incredible and really helps to streamline the process for us. We also work with great engineers and attorneys who we value, and respect.”
Then, Rahil talked about the area(s) Raza Properties is developing in, “We started developing in the North Francisville area (North of Girard Ave, South of Temple University) in June of 2015 with the acquisition of 3 lots on the 1900 block of Ingersoll Street. From there we’ve spread to almost 3 blocks and own over 47 lots which comprise of 86 Units. Because we were able to obtain these lots before land speculation caused them to triple in price. All of the units we own are affordably priced and serve a very diverse group of people that stay with us for a very long time. We have a very low turnover rate and the reason is because we provide quality housing at a very reasonable price and I don’t see anybody else doing that.”
As Raza Properties continues to grow, Rahil wanted to share is knowledge and passion by teaching a Real Estate Development Strategies Seminar. Rahil has a wonderful way of applying his knowledge throughout his seminar. He truly wants to see his students succeed, “I truly enjoy teaching the Real Estate Development Strategies classes and seeing my students learn. I want to continue it and have it grow and try to reach more students. The amount that people will learn from these classes will help them avoid a lot of mistakes and save them a lot of money.”
Finally, I asked Rahil what he will do differently in 2019? His response was very honest and helpful, “Sometimes I let emotions get in the way of business. I have a caring nature but sometimes you have to cut ties when it’s not profitable, no matter what the cost is. If I could go back and tell myself that I would’ve saved quite a bit of money in the beginning. Everybody’s good at something and it’s my responsibility to find what each person is good at and put them in the right spot. However, if I’m wrong then I have to address it and take action quicker than I was doing in the past.”