For a man who relaxes by piloting an experimental two-seat plane through the skies over Westchester, Jon Gordon has a very down-to-earth explanation for his success in commercial real estate: “It’s our perseverance and the empirical approach we use.”
Gordon founded his Bronxville firm, Admiral Real Estate Services, with his wife, Jessica Munzel, in 1997 and has closed more than $800 million worth of deals in the NY-Metro area. A recent $4.4 million transaction his company put together was the sale of 153 Main Street, a two-story building in Mount Kisco that now houses Exit 4 Food Hall, as well as other retail and office tenants.
Gordon’s strategy is data-driven. “If you wanted us to lease a shopping center for you, for example, we would run a retail demand-gap analysis that shows how much is spent on a particular prospective tenant’s SIC [Standard Industrial Classification] code by demographic and economic groups in the geographic area served by your property.” The analysis would also show what competitors the prospect would have, possibly revealing an opportunity for them in the new space. This approach has helped Gordon win the CoStar Power Broker of the Year award for the last six years.
“Westchester has fared much better than most parts of the country on the retail end,” Gordon reports. One help has been some municipalities’ loosening of retail zoning restrictions for food and entertainment tenants who bring foot traffic to retail areas. “Certain [towns] get it and are doing quite well,” he says, “like Bronxville, Scarsdale, and Tarrytown.”
Gordon’s data-driven strategy doesn’t exclude the personal touch. “I spend 75 percent of my time on the phone,” he says. “Whether those calls are putting people together, keeping up with the latest deals or negotiating fine points of a deal, I enjoy them all.”