The FORT Podcast: Steve Radom – Founder of Radom Capital – Best in Class Urban Infill Developer

Steve Radom, Founder of Radom Capital, began his company in 2014 with the vision of creating a best-in-class urban infill redevelopment platform that passionately executes enduring designs and yields differentiated projects. Radom has developed 15 projects ranging from small, retail redevelopments to larger mixed-use projects. Each stabilized project has achieved and maintained 100% occupancy to best-in-class tenants.

On this episode, Chris and Steve chat about the story of how Radom Capital came to be, how Steve selects a location and what matters. They also share stories of how Montrose Collective & MKT came to be and how ultimately, it’s all in the details.

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(01:50) – Steve’s Background and Career

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Radom Capital

(10:19) – What would you say is your edge?

(14:00) – When do you go from really good to absolutely great?

(16:49) – How do you think about raising capital?

(21:33) – How do you think about hiring architects and landscape designers?

(23:40) – What separates a great architect?

(24:49) – Building The Montrose Collective

(32:44) – What’s your secret to working with City Councils?

(37:15) – Learnings From The Early Days Of The Pandemic

(43:36) – How are you describing the Houston market right now?

(46:59) – What do you think about Houston’s Zoning approach?

(48:25) – The MKT Project

(57:35) – What’s your tenant buy-in strategy?

Episode Summary

Steve Radom, renowned for his profound expertise in the real estate domain, joined Chris Powers in a riveting podcast episode that delved deep into the nuances of urban development and the transformative journey of property ventures. Radom’s rich lineage in real estate, underscored by his father’s legacy as a seasoned commercial real estate entrepreneur, forms the bedrock of his understanding of the sector. This episode provides listeners with a panoramic view of Radom’s experiences, strategies, and visions for urban infill development.

The conversation began with Radom’s ambition to establish a best-in-class urban infill development company. Contrary to what one might assume from the term “development,” a significant portion of their projects focus on adaptive reuse. This approach, rooted in both practicality and sustainability, emphasizes repurposing existing structures over demolition. Radom highlighted the environmental superiority of this strategy, noting that reutilizing an old building often proves more eco-friendly than constructing a new one from scratch.

As the dialogue progressed, the operational intricacies of real estate projects came to the fore. Powers probed into Radom’s approach to property acquisition in the Heights region of Houston. The episode underscored the perpetual nature of property upkeep, investment strategies, and the judicious deployment of resources for optimal results. Radom spotlighted a common pitfall in development: the reliance on spreadsheet figures without a holistic understanding of a project’s potential.

One of the episode’s highlights was Radom’s recounting of the Montrose Collective project. Described as a mixed-use venture at a prime Houston intersection, the project exemplifies the blend of innovation and practicality that Radom champions. The transformation of a class B industrial business park into a thriving commercial hub showcases Radom’s visionary approach.

The repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic on the real estate landscape were not left untouched. Especially for mixed-use buildings with office and retail components, the pandemic posed unprecedented challenges. However, Radom’s proactive stance, consistent communication with office brokers, and empathetic outreach to prospective tenants ensured the project’s forward momentum.

Houston’s real estate market, with its unique absence of traditional zoning laws, presents both opportunities and challenges. Radom emphasized the need for high-quality development, even wishing for more stringent oversight to ensure projects of superior calibre. He believes that distinct, quality-driven projects are well-received in the market.

In wrapping up the conversation, Radom’s emphasis on the importance of strategic finishes in property transformations, especially the use of reclaimed materials, illuminated his commitment to sustainability and quality.

The Fort is produced by Johnny Podcasts

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