Douglas Elliman’s retail real estate maven, Faith Hope Consolo, is best known for matching luxury clients with landlords along the city’s toniest shopping corridors.But in recent years she has branched out in an unlikely direction, and augmented her old slogan, “You gotta have Faith,” with a new one, “Have Faith in Harlem.” It all started in 2007, when she and her retail team did one of their first deals there.
“We showed there really was a market and an opportunity there, and I think it just keeps getting better,” Ms. Consolo said of her first few transactions in Harlem.
Indeed it does. The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce recently asked her team to take on a 15-building portfolio to lease space and help relocate tenants.
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To date, Ms. Consolo and her group have made more than 100 leasing deals across Harlem, transactions that she argues are good for the community as well.
“Everything we are doing, from wine stores to doctors’ offices, is something that adds to the quality of life in Harlem,” she said.
To prime the pump, Ms. Consolo actively seeks potential tenants on one end and space to put them in on the other. In the process, she has discovered storefronts that were dramatically undervalued, including one that had gone for between $20 and $30 a square foot before she brought in a tenant at a triple-digit rent per square foot (source).