Q&A with Queens Developer Dom Casamento

You’re about to hear a lot about 25 year old Dom Casamento in the next few years as Long Island City continues to grow and develop. Recently, he and his company, Kingdom Equities, purchased three lots in the LIC area. We sat down with him to talk about his current projects, and his vision for the future of LIC.

1. Tell us about your projects in Long Island City.

DC: Kingdom Equities is a truly full service real estate firm. We recently hit a company milestone surpassing $50M in assets under management and are growing every day (we just signed another $5M this month). That is our management division. We also have a brokerage to keep our more than 200 apartments full of quality tenants and last but not least we have our Development Division which is in the process of developing 3 new sites. The first of which is “The Crown on Crescent” located at 30-48 Crescent Street. We are planning to build 12 beautiful luxury apartments with ground floor commercial and parking in the back. Currently in the demo phase. The other 2 will follow.

2. Why did you pick so many projects in the Long Island City area?

DC: I am the 3rd generation of Casamento’s living in Astoria. My parents both grew up here, my mother in Ravenswood and my father on 31st drive (he actually redeveloped his childhood home into a beautiful 12 family with a garage and offices that our management company is now headquartered in). My grandfather had a roofing business which my father turned into a contracting business and when things were slow instead of laying guys off, he started to purchase and rehab rental properties to keep them working. That turned out to be his passion, so now the firm handles every step in development from purchase demo design, our own in house construction team all the way through leasing and management. Everything done in house by the family.

3. Where do you see Long Island City in 5 years? In 10?

DC: LIC is BOOMING, in case you haven’t noticed, which is great if you are lucky enough to own property already, but it makes things challenging if you’re looking for good deals. The current prices owners are getting for the properties they have had for decades is enticing many to sell, but once they do they realize the tax benefits of completing a 1031 exchange so they reinvest their money into property and many don’t know how to manage that property. Many investors also see the current rent stabilization situation as a threat and steer away from purchasing rent stabilized properties, but I disagree. I see them as one of the greatest opportunities in LIC. Other owners read the headlines that the city is ‘freezing rent’ and see no upside in this units. That leads to less bidders and lower prices for our company and our clients who we help increase rents and when the market is as hot as it is right now and buyers are paying 17 or 18 times the rent roll for properties, adding to the rent creates a lot of value. I see this as a huge opportunity if handled right and that is why I started my company Kingdom Equities. We are experts in the rent stabilization system and working with the city to increase rents LEGALLY and create value for our clients.

Bio: Dom Casamento is the 25-year-old founder of Kingdom Equities MGMT, a fully integrated real estate investment and property management firm headquartered in Astoria (in the very same property his grandparents lived in and his father later redeveloped). A third generation real estate scion, Dom joined the family firm, Alyssa Gray Realty, full time after his graduation from NYU and focused on continuing to grow the family business. After helping to increase the rent roll of the family portfolio by more than 30%, in less than 3 years, Dom decided to use his expertise to launch Kingdom Equities MGMT.

The firm started in 2015 managing only the Casamento family’s personal real estate portfolio, but has since grown to include a brokerage division, a management division, and a consulting arm aimed at helping other landlords increase their ROI. “Managing our own assets was definitely a full time job, but being able to leverage our expertise in rent stabilized units and consult with other owners to unlock the value in their assets was a natural extension of our business.” The firm surpassed $50M in assets under management this year and continues to grow, signing another $5 million of assets to its roster of clients just this month. All this while continuing to acquire and develop new residential projects in Astoria and Long Island City. The ‘Crown on Crescent’ is the developers newest project and is set to break ground by the end of 2016.

“Real estate is in my blood, from my grandfather’s roofing business, to my fathers construction and property management business I hope to continue the legacy and grow our small family operation into a cornerstone of New York City real estate.”

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