Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Success by Serendipity: Commercial Real Estate- Building Business

On March 24, 2009, The Landmark Society of Western New York organized an event at the headquarters of Animatics Corporation- a Silicon Valley based motion control manufacturing company in St. Paul district. The intent of the program was to educate real estate agents, developers and their clients, architects and planners about the available historic commercial properties for sale in the City by means of a map. In addition to it, break the myth about investment in historic properties by informing about the monetary benefits involved in such properties by the horses’ mouth and create awareness about the tax credits benefits program for the rehabilitation of historic properties.

The highlight of the event was the presentation by Robert Bigler, CEO of Animatics Corporation talking about why he chose to have an office in Rochester out of all the places. He had a very interesting story to share and I would like to share it with all of you. He was looking to hire people for his company on one of the job search engines and one time by mistake he forgot to limit his search to Silicon Valley. He started getting resumes of people with highly technical backgrounds, clustered in one location - Rochester! He was extremely impressed by the enormous talent pool here.

Within a week of his search, he boarded a plane and flew down to Rochester. He hired an office assistant and went on to explore the properties for setting up an office in Rochester. How unreal can you get! However incredible it may sound, this is the fact. This is how Robert Bigler found a new home to his company. He said, “Ours was a desperate company trying to solve its developmental road block and Rochester seem to be our answer”. He made a very valid point about the retention of employees in Rochester: being a neighbor to big companies like Google and Cisco in Silicon Valley; it is extremely hard for a small company like Animatics to keep their employees in California, while in Rochester people are here to stay for reasons like family roots.

All these years Rochester has never touted its assets like riverside city with 12th largest lake in the world, affordable real estate and low cost of living, but I think Mr Bigler’s success story could be the starting point to invite more investors and business people to the City which will help re-vitalize our economy and bring a vibrant set of people and life to the City.

Overall the event was extremely successful and was attended by a varied audience pool of over 60 people from different backgrounds like real estate, architecture, local municipalities, construction, development and preservation. Landmark Society was generously applauded by all the attendees. It must be noted that this program was a new effort on the part of LSWNY and we would welcome inputs from all of you, on how can we improve our programs and what all topics would you like to have for our forthcoming events. We very much appreciate your feedback as it forms the backbone for our event planning efforts. Also if you are the owner of any historical property and would like us to organize an event at your property, we would love work with you.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted by Nimisha Thakur, Preservation Associate, LSWNY

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