Stephen Kazanjian has spent over twenty years working in the real estate industry, obtaining extensive experience in real estate and urban economic development. Mr. Kazanjian was CEO of one of the largest community nonprofit development corporations in Philadelphia, a consultant in the real estate practices of two national accounting firms, and a commercial real estate lender at two major banking institutions.
Mr. Kazanjian’s areas of expertise include the following:
- Financial structuring and market feasibility studies of commercial, residential and industrial real estate projects utilizing multiple sources of debt, equity and public assistance programs
- Development advisory services for residential and commercial properties
- Assessing, managing and implementing neighborhood redevelopment strategies for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program
- Planning studies for distressed neighborhoods and highest and best use analyses of nonperforming and underutilized real estate
- Preparation of strategic plans, organizational assessments, financing memorandums and grant applications for real estate developers and non-profit corporations
Mr. Kazanjian joined Real Estate Strategies, Inc. during September 2001 to serve as Project Manager for a two-year study to create a Neighborhood Marketing Program to increase the demand for housing in six middle income neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Since that time, Mr. Kazanjian has conducted numerous engagements involving strategic planning, organizational and financial assessments, financial structuring and market analyses for residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use developments. He has worked with several clients to identify market trends and potential market support for residential condominiums, single-family tract developments and rental apartment communities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Florida, Texas and several cities throughout Canada. His work assisted clients to maximize market acceptance, identify, analyze and compare existing and future competitive properties and recommend optimal building and unit configuration, pricing, interior finishes and amenities package.
Most recently, Mr. Kazanjian has been focusing much of his time on working with various municipalities to assess, monitor and implement neighborhood revitalization strategies utilizing funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Mr. Kazanjian assisted the City of Paterson in increasing the obligation of their NSP1 funding from 11 to 98 percent in just over four months. Mr. Kazanjian worked with the Mayor, members of City Council and the Acting Director of the Department of Community Development to redesign the City’s NSP1 program design. He assisted the City with drafting and soliciting the required approvals for a Substantial Amendment to the City’s NSP1 Action Plan, identifying eligible houses in the target area for redevelopment, structuring development budgets for each house and negotiating agreements of sale for three houses. Mr. Kazanjian also assisted with identifying the challenges the City was having regarding file maintenance, compliance, procurement, following procedures with utilizing federal funding, adherence to NSP rules and requirements and managing information in the DRGR system. Mr. Kazanjian worked closely with the City staff to create a new and improved electronic and paper filing system for monitoring NSP1 performance. He worked with the City to ensure the information in the DRGR system had supporting documentation in the NSP1 files to justify each expenditure. Mr. Kazanjian also assisted the City during a HUD monitoring visit to address all identified issues as well as to ensure that a HUD audit of the NSP1 activities produced no additional findings. Mr. Kazanjian is currently working with the City to further assist the City with additional training, managing and monitoring their NSP1 program as well as planning and implementing their NSP3 program.
Mr. Kazanjian also specializes in neighborhood revitalization strategies for distressed communities. He has prepared market analyses for proposed rental and homeownership affordable and mixed-income housing developments in numerous Pennsylvania communities including new senior housing. He has assisted clients with developing recommendations for enhancing and repositioning commercial corridors in urban neighborhoods and small cities. He prepared market and financial analyses in connection with an 88-acre redevelopment project in East Baltimore including financial analyses for market rate, affordable and mixed-income sales and rental housing development proposed as new uses in the area. He conducted an analysis of the commercial market in areas surrounding the transit station at Kensington and Allegheny Avenues in the Greater Kensington neighborhood of the City of Philadelphia to identify unmet market niches, and provide recommendations for commercial revitalization and types of retail establishments to be targeted. Mr. Kazanjian has prepared fiscal impact analyses for a major hospital expansion, construction of a new road, and a large-scale retail development. Finally, Mr. Kazanjian has worked with several developers to create pricing improvement strategies to improve the absorption of condominium units.
As Chief Executive Officer of Greater Germantown Housing Development Corporation, a Philadelphia development corporation with an annual budget of $4.5 million, Mr. Kazanjian repositioned the organization financially to achieve fiscal solvency within one year. During his six-year tenure, he expanded the organization’s development and property management operations and grew the staff from 11 to 50 people. Mr. Kazanjian raised more than $50.0 million of public, private and philanthropic funding, and he oversaw the operations of ten subsidiary corporations. He successfully acquired and developed 300 affordable and market rate rental housing units using mortgage revenue bonds, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Section 202 subsidies, and other loan and grant funding. He also developed 125,000 square feet of commercial space and a charter school for 500 students, and he managed the CDC’s portfolio of 500 residential apartments and 175,000 square feet of commercial space.
As a consultant in the Real Estate Advisory Services Practices of Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P.) and Laventhol & Horwath, Mr. Kazanjian conducted market research and structured complex real estate transactions involving various forms of ownership and financing vehicles. He served as Asset Manager for a $45.0 million Resolution Trust Corporation portfolio of performing and non-performing commercial real estate loans. Mr. Kazanjian also was a Vice President at Mellon Bank Corporation (now Citizens Bank), where he established and managed the Philadelphia Division of the Retail Bank Real Estate Group. In that capacity, Mr. Kazanjian was responsible for establishing underwriting guidelines, drafting a standardized credit memo for loan approvals, creating loan evaluation excel spreadsheets, establishing a loan management filing and monitoring system and assisting legal counsel in drafting standardized loan documents. Mr. Kazanjian’s lending department received top quality ranking two years in a row for loan quality, legal documentation and file management. He also was a credit analyst and an account representative for Fidelity Bank (now Wells Fargo) where he received formal credit training.
Mr. Kazanjian received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has served on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations.