Investor kicks career into high gear with own firm.Torn between two passions--soccer and real estate--investor Emmet Austin returned to the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of scene nearly a decade ago to focus on the latter. And since launching his own real estate investment and acquisition firm, Austin, chief investment officer of Stonemar Properties, has netted prime retail properties in a diverse mix of markets throughout the country.
Austin, a native New Yorker who attended the renowned Phillips Exeter Academy Phillips Exeter Academy (ĕk`sətər), at Exeter, N.H.; coeducational; chartered 1781, opened 1783 by John Phillips. It has been an influential preparatory school and has a notable school library. Heavily endowed (1931) by Edward S. in New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E). , credits his parents--who ran a real estate development company--for opening his eyes to the real estate industry at a young age.
"I've been surrounded by it ever since I can remember," Austin said. "I remember at 14, my father would have me put sheetrock up in some of his brownstones."
From high school he went on to Columbia University Columbia University, mainly in New York City; founded 1754 as King's College by grant of King George II; first college in New York City, fifth oldest in the United States; one of the eight Ivy League institutions. and the London School of Economics The School is a member of the Russell Group, the European University Association, Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Community of European Management Schools and International Companies, The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs as well as the Golden . He was named a Calesa Foundation Scholar and Kohn Fellow, studying economics, philosophy and literature. As a senior he wrote economics papers on the New York real estate market, marking the first time he began seriously considering the field as a career. But he also played soccer at Columbia, and soon realized his dreams of playing the sport professionally.
In 1993 Austin landed a roster spot on the London-based West Ham Coordinates:
West Ham is a district in the London Borough of Newham, in east London, England, located 6.1 miles (9.8 km) east of Charing Cross. From 1889 to 1965 it formed part of the County Borough of West Ham. United FC team, playing professional soccer in England until 1995, when he returned to New York to work on Wall Street. He then spent the next few years working at Goldman Sachs, where he restructured financing for energy firms. Finding the work "esoteric," he returned to London for a second go at professional soccer until a career-altering injury ended that pursuit.
In 2000 Austin returned to the city once again, this time focusing his energy on real estate. He was named a Dean's Graduate Fellow and Graduate Scholar at New York University's Real Estate Institute, where he now teaches part-time. He spent time working as a portfolio manager at Vitol Capital Partners, overseeing a portfolio of cross-currency financial and physical energy assets, and as a partner at Curragh This article is about the plain in County Kildare. For the racecourse on the plain, see Curragh Racecourse. For the willow scrub habitat known as curragh on the Isle of Man, see Curragh (habitat). For the Irish boat, see Currach. Realty, concentrating on real estate development of multifamily and retail properties, before launching Stonemar with his partner, Jonathan Gould.
But his first bout with entrepreneurship came while living in London--an experience he said encouraged him to think outside the box. There he launched an Internet company modeled after Moviefone. It provided users with a centralized database and images of retailers. The business was short-lived but, with approximately 50 employees, it provided him with worthwhile managerial experience.
"We evolved that into a Timeout meets City Pages meets Yellow Book," he said. "In theory it was a great idea, but it was probably about 10 years too early."
But Austin found a successful footing with Stonemar, where he focuses on new business, acquisitions and financial structuring of retail properties throughout the U.S. He credits the success with being choosey choos·y also choos·ey
adj. choos·i·er, choos·i·est
Very careful in choosing; highly selective.
choosi·ness n. about investments: Austin looks at fundamentals first and local economies, invests in sites long-term and targets properties with cash flow and seasoned leases; meanwhile avoiding mom and pop Mom and Pop
An adjective denoting a small-scale and family-like atmosphere, often used to describe these types of businesses and investors.
A mom-and-pop business is typically a small family-run business. properties and strip centers
"Like anything starting out, it was challenging. But we were able to be smart and lucky at the same time," Austin said.
Today, Stonemar's portfolio includes sites in New York; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Orlando, Fla.; Williamsburg, Va.; Jackson, Miss.; and several others in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland and beyond. As a result of the credit crunch Credit Crunch
An economic condition whereby investment capital is difficult to obtain. Banks and investors become weary of lending funds to corporations thereby driving up the price of debt products for borrowers. , he's observed declines in the California and Florida markets, stability in the northwest and surprising resiliency in places like Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. But he noted that the New York market altogether is a different animal.
"New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. is such a premium that you'll always have retailers looking to expand and enter the market," Austin said. "I see a tremendous amount of growth and I think we're particularly well positioned to get through a downturn."
Stonemar's investment decisions have paid off and the firm, which currently employs just under a dozen people, is poised for growth--despite market uncertainty. And Austin may one day consider expanding into the European and/or Mexican markets.
"There's a lot of doom and gloom doom and gloom
Gloom and doom.
doom-and-gloom adj. out there that people are talking about, but everything swings like a pendulum," Austin said. "We're expanding when a lot of people are contracting."
Austin married earlier this summer, spending much of July in Sweden and Italy. In his free time, the West Village resident enjoys soccer and photography.