Joshua Caspi of Caspi Development.
Joshua Caspi, 36, joined his family’s business at a young age and has made his mark on the commercial real estate scene in Westchester and beyond. Last year, he was named a “Rising Star—Westchester’s Forty Under Forty” by The Business Council of Westchester. Having literally grown up in the business, he has some definite ideas about the keys to success in commercial development.
“Our firm looks for opportunities to create values in real estate,” Caspi explains. “We’re always looking for a ‘B’ building in an ‘A’ location.” Among the Westchester projects the company has completed are 19 Court Plaza in White Plains and Sanborn Map in Pelham. “My most successful project was 120 Bloomingdale Road in White Plains,” Caspi says. “We never expected to be 99 percent occupied in less than two years of ownership.”
Despite the relatively fast turnaround of that project, Caspi says perseverance and patience are crucial to success. “When you’re a family business like we are and you’re investing your own money, you have to be very disciplined,” he says. “You also need a sense of humor. When my kids came along, I learned the true value of patience.”
Caspi sees several issues facing property developers in Westchester: “The first issue is inventory. It’s tough to find available projects that are attractive. Then comes getting the site plan approved. The majority of towns have a very stringent approvals process.”
This year should be a good one, he believes. “We’re going to continue to see the same explosive frenzy of buying in the residential development sector,” Caspi says. “We’re breaking all kinds of records for volume. It may taper off a bit in the coming year, but the cycle is going to continue for a while.” Why? “Real estate is a safe haven for many financial institutions that are sliding large amounts of equity into the sector. On the other hand, suburban office space is softer because tenant companies are much more efficient in their use of space.”