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  • Jason Sidana

History in the Making, or Simply Repeating Itself?

R. D. Geronimo Ltd was formed in October 1985 by its principal, Richard J. DiGeronimo, MAI, SRPA, CRA. In its 25 years of practice, R. D. Geronimo Ltd. has been fortunate to succeed and capitalize on the various economic cycles, of which there are many! - Starting with the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which basically eliminated the various tax shelters of many limited partnerships, followed by the formation of FIREA and the RTC bailout of numerous lending institutions ($500 billion worth of taxpayer funds) and the liquidation of their various non-performing real estate assets during the late 1980s through the mid 1990s. We then headed into a slight recovery period fueled by the telecom boom of the late 1990s, which we took full advantage of, and became one of the largest site acquisition companies for Sprint PCS (d/b/a Wireless Acquisition Inc.). This platform then lent itself into the formation of Concourse Communications Inc. and the deployment of in-building wireless services throughout major airport hubs, including the PA of NYNJ – the first of its kind. Then the disaster of 9/11 and the market stopped, only to recover within 18 months with a real estate and equity growth cycle unsurpassed in our country’s history. Property values and equities skyrocketed and many properties traded several times at accelerated appreciation rates over a five-year window.  The DOW reached 14,000 and then lost $28 trillion in December of 2006! Securitization, 100% leverage and suppressed cap rates was the commercial real estate trademark, followed by no income check and stated income on the residential side, regardless of track record or credit scores. What transpired thereafter was the recession of 2008, which has continued to date. Reportedly, this was one of the worst financial bailouts in our country’s history, resulting in numerous bank and corporate failures, high unemployment, ever-increasing foreclosures and, yes, another form of the RTC known as Asset Recovery. Here again, R. D. Geronimo Ltd.’s experience and market acumen has served our clients well. Litigation support, asset management portfolio valuations, regulatory valuation compliance and appraisal reviews have been put into play by our experienced staff. Then in late 2009, another opportunity was born; the formation of PBR Consulting Inc. 

PBR is a full service real estate and commercial finance consulting company. Its Principals have over 100 years of combined consulting and advisory experience in the areas of finance, real property valuation, loan underwriting, and ownership with a strong focus on distress assets.  

So I now reflect on my appraisal career, which dates back to 1971, and can appreciate the experiences and opportunities that it has provided to me and my associates. Starting with my first appraisal assignments in Riverside, California and Medford, Oregon – yes, two K-marts – followed by 20 years of national appraisal experience covering most of the major and secondary U.S. markets. During this period, we experienced a return to record high interest rates sparked by a doubling of oil prices caused by the Iraq-Iran war (i.e. “energy crisis”) in the late 1970s. To temper this recession, Congress responded to these historically high interest rates, which were double digit, by enacting two notable pieces of legislation between 1980 and 1982. This legislation allowed thrifts to expand their lending authority and eventual deregulation, which in many instances lead to their subsequent demise. 

Market dynamics haven’t stopped and have given me the foundation and business skills to understand the economic cycles and global platforms that we now perform in. Yes, my 40 years in real estate has been a “trip” full of knowledge, opportunities and client relations. So what is next? Hopefully, the economic recovery of 2011/12!

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