Cover art for podcast American Building

American Building

60 EpisodesProduced by Michael GravesWebsite

American Building, hosted by Atif Z. Qadir, Sponsored by Michael Graves & REDIST, shares how iconic buildings came to be from the perspective of their developers, investors, and designers. These innovators discuss on a deeply personal level what they faced over the course of the entire building proc… read more

58:36

48. Choosing the Right Location | Matt Giammanco of AvalonBay Communities

Matt Giammanco is a Senior Director of Development at AvalonBay Communities, the real estate investment trust that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages apartment communities across the nation. He’s based in their New Jersey office and is part of the development team focused on north and central New Jersey. In today’s episode, Matt brings us behind-the-scenes on the Thanet Circle project in Princeton, New Jersey, and how they’re changing the landscape of suburban rental housing. We also discuss more broadly how major developers like AvalonBay choose where to develop, and then how they go about building. 

Matt started his career in real estate after graduating from Penn State in 2007. Some might consider that unlucky timing with the Great Recession of 2008/2009 just around the corner, but the skills that he developed during that time served him well during the Covid-19 global pandemic. We talk about the different challenges and responsibilities that he experienced as a developer during these last two years, and how rental demands have shifted as a result of the pandemic. 

A great example of this shift is the AvalonBay Thanet Circle development in Princeton, New Jersey. This 221-unit inclusionary rental project has been an opportunity to resolve the lack of existing rental housing in the affluent town. The variety of units is meant to accommodate multiple demographics across the spectrum that don’t typically exist in suburban environments. He shares details of the development strategy, a taste of the finishes and the layouts, and what the financing was like for this project. 

We finish our conversation by discussing one of my favorite topics: technology in property development. Matt shares how he’s incorporating technology to interact with prospective tenants and active residents in his day-to-day life. We also talk about some of the innovative technologies in the development and construction industries that Matt is seeing on AvalonBay job sites.

About the Guest:

Matt Giammanco is a Senior Director of Development at AvalonBay Communities, the real estate investment trust that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages apartment communities across the nation. Matt is based in their New Jersey office and is part of the development team focused on north and central New Jersey. He previously worked at Goldman Sachs Real Estate Investment Group, and began his career at Ernst and Young in their Real Estate Transactions Group. He is a graduate of Columbia Business School and Penn State University. 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • What Matt learned during his years at Ernst and Young and Goldman Sachs that prepared him for his career in real estate development 
  • Creating more rental opportunities in suburban environments
  • The start-to-finish process of a project like Thanet Circle
  • Affordable housing in New Jersey 
  • The variety of demographics interested in Thanet Circle 
  • Unique tax dynamics of New Jersey 
  • How a firm like AvalonBay is structured 
  • Developing a hyperlocal focus to stay in tune to trends and opportunities 
  • Typical timelines for AvalonBay projects 
  • How technology is changing the real estate development space 

About Your Host

“Atif Qadir is the Founder & CEO of REDIST, a technology company making it easy for commercial real estate professionals to find and use the $100B of real estate incentives given out every year in the US.”

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