Will Pittsburgh be Home for Amazon HQ2?

Jason Cohen is a Pittsburgh-based real estate investor with over a decade of experience in his field. Cohen firmly believes in the value of research prior to investment, and took a considerable amount of time to research the risk and rewards inherent in the Amazon deal. Below, Jason Cohen outlines his findings.

How far would your home city go to attract Amazon’s attention? In August, the tech giant announced its intention to build a second headquarters in North America, prompting a deluge of enticements and bargains – some tinged with more than a little desperation. One tiny city in Georgia even went so far as to offer to change its name to Amazon if it was chosen. Bargains like these seem absurd, but it’s easy enough to see why prospective HQ2 cities would go to such lengths to attract attention. The tech giant promises to invest $5 billion in its satellite facility, and bring with it over 5,000 high-paying jobs. As Steve Glickman, cofounder and executive director of the Economic Innovation Group, puts it in an article for CNNMoney, winning the bid for HQ2 is akin to “winning the lottery […] [it’s] an event you can’t duplicate any other way.” With over 230 cities vying for placement, catching Amazon’s interest is a long shot – but some economic analysts think that Pittsburgh, PA has a solid chance of being the company’s next home.

Currently, Pittsburgh ranks in the #5 spot in Moody Analytics‘ list of top contenders. The Forbes-recognized analytical firm took factors such as business environment, available human capital, transportation availability, quality of life, and the cost of doing business when making their considerations. According to their report, Amazon’s ideal satellite site would offer a bargain tax package and affordable land, as well as a supply of workers and the means to support them via transportation and housing. Pittsburgh itself stands above its competition as an already-burgeoning tech hub and thriving city center. It also has the advantage of being within several Amazon executives’ home state;CFO Brian Olavsky, for example, is from Hershey, PA. The city declared its candidacy as many cities did: via a cheery video offering Amazon a home within its borders.

Given the immense potential investment and promise for unheard-of levels of economic growth, every city wants to snag Amazon’s HQ2.  But as a whole, real estate investment advisors within Jason Cohen Pittsburgh are hesitant to leap onto the pro-Amazon wagon. In the promise of incipient wealth, many cities have overlooked the glaring problems that will accompany the company’s second site. For a glimpse of what might come if Amazon sets its roots in Pittsburgh, one only has to look to California. On the west coast, tech companies have sparked massive growth in city economies – and dramatic housing shortages. Affordable apartments are hard to come by in cities like LA, where a 2-bedroom apartment can cost over $4,000 per month in rent, nearly twice the national average. Even the best deals come with a catch – and Amazon’s too-good-to-be-true promise of  investment is no exception.

Amazon hasn’t chosen a location for its second home yet, and its deliberations have become a constant topic of speculation. But perhaps the question should be turned on its head; rather than asking, “What city will Amazon choose,” we should wonder “Will our city accept Amazon?” In the glitz and glam of potential growth, cities have forgotten the high housing cost the company will unwittingly place on Pittsburgh’s current citizens. Amazon’s deal is built with fool’s gold – and those at Jason Cohen Pittsburgh urge those in the city to consider the risks before leaping at its potential rewards.

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh’s MLK Day of Service

Habitat for Humanity pic

Habitat for Humanity
Image: habitat.org

Jason Cohen Pittsburgh is a real estate group headed by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania local Jason Cohen. When he is not providing local clients with in-depth, highly personalized real estate advising services, Mr. Cohen and his team engage in charitable activities, serving as one of the primary sponsors for the Habitat for Humanity special MLK Day program.

The MLK Day of Service is a Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh event that takes place annually on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. As part of past MLK Day of Service events, the organization has completed a number of special projects including cleanups of multiple neighborhoods and homeless shelters, painting and other improvements at community centers and dance studios, and construction projects at local food pantries.

In recent years, MLK Day of Service has spread throughout the city to surrounding counties such as Braddock County, where volunteers helped paint a room at the Salvation Army Center, and Lincoln-Lemon County, where some 50 volunteers came together to make significant improvements to the Holy Trinity Baptist Church. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore also has been a beneficiary of MLK Day volunteer work. To learn more about MLK Day of Service opportunities, please visit www.pittsburghhabitat.org.

Humane Animal Rescue’s CLASS Program

Canine Life And Social Skills pic

Canine Life And Social Skills
Image: mydoghasclass.com

Jason Cohen is the founder of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, which provides real estate consulting to a wide range of people in Pittsburgh, from young entrepreneurs to experienced investors. Through his group, Jason Cohen is able to help Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organizations, such as the Humane Animal Rescue.

Formed after a merger between Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center and Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, Humane Animal Rescue is now of the largest animal welfare associations in the entire state of Pennsylvania. One of its main goals is to provide comprehensive care to abandoned, injured, or neglected animals.

Apart from care provision, the organization provides pet owner education programs, including the Canine Life And Social Skills (CLASS). CLASS is an assessment program that aims to test pet owners for their ability to train their pets to perform real-life skills. There are three levels in the program: the B.A., the M.A., and the Ph.D.. Pets are assessed on such skills as waiting at the door and m ore complex skills such as table manners. Pet owners receive a certificate for every level they successfully complete with their companion.

Strategies to Determine Fair Rental Rates for an Investment Property

 

Fair Rental Rates pic

Fair Rental Rates
Image: investopedia.com

Jason Cohen of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh has his headquarters in Pittsburgh and has acquired multiple real estate investments in less than a decade’s time. An expert on real estate strategies, Mr. Cohen currently serves as the principal of Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, which provides expertise in a broad area of real estate investments that range from evaluating the potential profitability of a property to setting fair rental prices.

When setting rental prices for an investment property, fair rental prices should be listed to encourage long-term renters and avoid the cost of turnover. The use of comps is one strategy often used to determine fair rental prices.

A comp, also known as comparables or comparable sales, is an analysis of recent, nearby sales or rentals gathered to valuate real estate property. Individuals who look at comps are implementing a sales comparison approach (SCA). When identifying properties with this approach, they should possess similar qualities such as square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. This approach allows rental prices to be set competitively with other landlords and also attract tenants.