Joseph Aquino has more than 30 years of New York City real estate experience. No one knows the city better than Joe, who has assisted all of the top property owners and retailers during his long, illustrious career.
Capitalizing on his many years of experience, Joe recently launched his own company and brand: Joseph Aquino Commercial Real Estate Services.
Joe’s specialties include hotel, retail, office, showroom and industrial development projects. He has placed top retailers along Madison Avenue, in Soho, in the Meat Packing and Flatiron districts and in Nolita. Some of the tenants he has represented are Buccellati, Paul Shark, John Fluevog and Ports 1961.
In 1992, Joe consulted for The 42nd Street Development Project, when Times Square was changing from the red light district into the family center it is known as today. He helped the state of New York create a retail use plan which described in detail all the wonderful things that could be done on the one block of 42nd street between 7th and 8th Avenues. He predicted the securing of tenants such as Disney, Madame Trussaud, and Blue Café, which turned out to be BB King’s.
Joe also foresaw the corporate sponsorship of Broadway theaters that occurred when Ford Company stepped in to rebuild the Lyric Theater and American Airlines financed restoration of the Selwyn theater (American Airlines Theater).
After reclamation and redevelopment of target properties in Times Square, crime decreased by 72% in the first year alone.
Joe represented Amtrak for the retail level development at Penn Station. He also represented the financial district’s business improvement association, The Downtown Alliance, where he assisted in the analysis for big box retail development. In addition, he has assisted in creating and designing the retail use plans of numerous national brand hotels and casinos across the United States.
Cartier Lease Renewal
Joe was privileged to represent Cartier when the 75-year lease on its flagship mansion at Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street was up for renewal. When Joe arrived on the scene, landlord and tenant were not speaking because ten years earlier, Cartier had sued the property owner, The Onassis Foundation, in a dispute over building services.
His assignment from Cartier was simple: “Get us in the good graces of the property owner and have them renew us or find us another location.”
After six months of painstaking negotiations with the property owner in which Joe was instrumental, Cartier remained in its iconic location.
Home in Manhattan, Connected Abroad
Joe is a well known commodity in the New York City landscape, which he also calls home. With the creative energy and vision for which he is highly regarded, he brings a fresh approach to work and relationships in the city that never sleeps.
Joe also travels extensively to bring back to Manhattan the best of European, Asian, South American, Mexican and Canadian brands and businesses. In fact, he recently launched a travel blog in which he shares with his audience news, information and insights from the many places he visits.
Joe founded and leads the SBS Worldwide Group, a collaboration of top real estate professionals who live and work within their respective markets throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America and Canada. There are over 35 active cities represented in this group.
The list of landlords Joe has worked with recounts the last 30 years of Manhattan real estate development history: Blackrock, Extell, Spitzer Enterprises, Hartz Mountain, Stahl Properties, Helmsley Organization, Coca Cola, Trump Organization, Tishman Speyer, Peninsula Hotels, Forest City Ratner, General Investment Development, CIM, Tahl Properties, Kensico Properties, Estate of Sol Goldman, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, Taubman, Starwood Hotels, Westfield, Onassis Foundation and Minskoff.
Running on Lombardy Time
Joe often jokes that the day he arrives to a restaurant when it is packed, it will be time to quit the business. He runs on what he calls Lombardy Time, named for Coach Vince Lombardy of Green Bay Packers fame, who used to set his watch ten minutes fast so that he would always arrive early to meetings.
Joe explains, “It is important to always be ahead of the pack and, in leasing, you want to be the first to get to the space. There are no second or third places in leasing. There is only one place, and that place must be first if you’re going to secure the space for your tenant.”
Joe Aquino Show Notes
What did you do before your started your entrepreneurial business?
Was it fun?
Did you get to work out during your work day or did you have to do it before or after?
Did you get a dinner break as well?
What do you do now Joe?
How do you get clients to come to you?
I’m trying to think how that would translate into real estate?
So you just do commercial real estate as opposed to finding homes?
When you decided to go off on your own, was it hard, or scary because it seems like you’ve just worked for organizations?
What were the steps that you took?
Was there something else other than the facebook ads that didn’t work but you changed tactics to fix it?
Do you have a way for people to subscribe to your travel blog?
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from somebody?
What is some advice you could give to someone just starting out on their venture?