‘Knight Cities’ podcast: Miami developer Avra Jain shares insights on real estate revitalization

communities / Article

February 11, 2015 by Carol Coletta

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Do you ever look at an abandoned building in your city and think, why doesn’t someone fix that up? Do you ever imagine that you might be the one to bring it back to life?

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Avra Jain is a Miami-based real estate investor and developer. Her latest project is the redevelopment of the famous Vagabond Motel in the up-and-coming MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District, and she has advice for would-be developers.

Here are five things you should know from Avra Jain on real estate revitalization:

1.     In real estate you have to learn not to ask why. Just because someone hasn’t done it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Just because someone hasn’t fully committed to a revitalization vision doesn’t mean it’s not viable.

2.     Look for what surrounds depressed properties and question the artificial fences that may exist between a good neighborhood and a depressed property.  Ask what will make people cross those boundaries.

3.     The opportunity in real estate is not following the path someone else has carved.

4.     Look for who’s in a neighborhood already.  That gives you a good idea of who else will come.  Sometimes you’ll be surprised at who’s behind the gates. 

5.     Have the courage to invest, especially when it’s for yourself.  Trust your instincts.  Know what you like.  Chances are if you like it, others will too.

Listen to my conversation with Avra Jain here. And sign up for the “Knight Cities” newsletter to get alerts as soon as new conversations are posted.

Look for new “Knight Cities” content posted every Wednesday here. You can follow us on Twitter at #knightcities or @knightfdn. And if you have ideas for people you’d like to hear more from, please email me.

Carol Coletta is vice president of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation. Follow her on Twitter@ccoletta

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