John Salis, an experienced real estate developer from NYC, focuses on creating collaborative work spaces, artist hubs, and residential properties. He is the founder of Techbox, a coworking space, and the Staten Island Artist Building Collaborative (SIABC), both located in Staten Island. These properties are state-of-the-art facilities which combine the building’s original character with modern design and technology. John’s projects are truly one of a kind, and now, he’s bringing that same innovation to Trenton. Active in real estate since 2000, John is new to the Trenton market, but won’t be for long. He purchased his first property in the city just six months ago after seeing it advertised on Facebook and falling in love with its architecture.
“Trenton’s strongest asset, by far, is the access to real estate and infrastructure. People don’t see it, but I do.”
The beautifully-restored commercial space at 226 West State Street opened on June 14th, 2017, with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Jackson and several business and community leaders. Built in 1897, the property had fallen into disrepair after sitting vacant for 12 years. John’s careful restoration of the property has transformed what were once doctors’ offices into professional work spaces featuring original wood floors and trim, and a unique speakeasy-type space in the basement. One particularly important part of restoration for John is upholding the historical integrity of where he is working – so important, in fact, that when he stumbled upon restroom facilities made in Trenton at one of his other sites, he transferred and installed them in this project.
John is also developing a residential property and a mixed use property in the Mill Hill neighborhood. His aspirations for his developments in Trenton is to help create a work/live/play atmosphere where professionals, artists, and locals alike can thrive. He wants his properties to give back to the community and preserve history. The mixed-use property will include a storefront café, and serve as an art gallery and performance space for local artists. Efforts like his are bringing people into Trenton, shedding light on what is possible, and encouraging growth for the city and its properties.
“It is hard to convince people to be willing to invest in the early stages, so just execute your project, make it work, and it will grow organically from there.” Leading by example, John hopes that his hard work will inspire his colleagues to invest in the city as well. He, like so many others, sees boundless potential in Trenton. This city is home to beautiful architecture, with access to roadways and public transport, and it is in striking distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and other major metropolitan hubs. In 10 years, he believes that there will be an energetic community of artists, local businesses, and a prosperous environment to work and live in.
John radiates positivity about the direction this city is going in. He sees Trenton not just as a strategic area to invest in, but as a thriving and vibrant community with good bones and potential. John loves what he does, and it is reflected in the hard work he puts into each of his projects.