Investing enthusiastically in Glens Falls: Meet Tim Moriarty
Developer from Ballston Spa purchases third Glens Falls commercial property in just over a year
Tim Moriarty, owner of Moriarty Construction out of Ballston Spa, purchased 21 Ridge Street in Glens Falls in 2019, where Birch Bark Eatery is currently a first floor tenant. Last year, he picked up a second property at 178-180 Maple Street. Now, he is under contract to purchase the former Donohue & Higgins building next door at 182 Maple Street.
Tim grew up in Clifton Park, graduated from the University of Albany, lived in Queensbury for six years and then settled in Ballston Spa to continue to operate his company Moriarty Construction. Warren County EDC caught up with him to learn about what brought him to invest in Warren County.
Read on for Tim’s answers to our questions.
Tell us your story.
I went on one job interview, a sales position, after college. Didn’t get the job. And that was the last interview that I ever went on. I worked with my cousin who is a master carpenter, and then I started Moriarty Construction. I remodel homes and do new construction. That’s the only job I ever really had after working with my cousin, and I still do projects with him to this day and have a great relationship.
I got into real estate investment when I was 27. I bought my first duplex in Ballston Spa, then continued to buy properties in Ballston Spa, Saratoga and Glens Falls. My first Glens Falls property was a duplex, a complete gut rehab.
Then I sold all of my multi-units to focus on commercial buildings and mixed-use buildings with residential and business, and I turned my focus to Glens Falls. There are so many different buildings to choose from that could use restoring to their original elegance and grandeur.
My wife is a registered nurse in a NICU and I have a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl. We live in Ballston Spa.
Why did you decide to invest in Glens Falls?
I think Glens Falls is a great location being between Saratoga and Lake George and so close to the Adirondacks. It’s a timeless investment. The lake and the mountains will always be there, and the city only has room to improve. I think that we need more people to move here or make investments here, to bring Glens Falls to its full potential.
My tie to the area is that my father grew up on Ridge Street in Glens Falls. My grandmother lived in South Glens Falls for a while and my parents lived in Lake George. I love the area. I skied at West Mountain when I was a kid and have been going out on Lake George since I was a baby. Later in life, I spent time going out to restaurants and bars in the city and I still enjoy the lake.
When I lived in Queensbury with my brother, we used to go into town and hang out. I always thought, “I want to own one of those buildings.” I always thought there was something about the city, that it was going to keep evolving, and I wanted to be part of that.
I think there’s a lot available, honestly. There are a lot of buildings to choose from and a lot of history. People can walk to restaurants, walk to shops. There are a couple of beautiful buildings just waiting for the right buyer.
What is unique about Warren County?
It’s the environment, it’s the geography. I like the smaller cities and the calm, friendly atmosphere. There’s no rush hour traffic up here. It’s a nice place to come to work. And I like the early twentieth-century brick buildings in Glens Falls. They don’t build things like they used to. I’m excited to see how the Arts District of Glens Falls is going to increase access to the arts and culture around here and bring even more to the quality of life.
And Lake George, I don’t have to say more than that right there. It’s the most beautiful lake in the world. Like Thomas Jefferson said, “Lake George is without comparison the most beautiful water I ever saw…” And you can go to Glens Falls and get a bite to eat, walk around, use the bike path. There’s a lot to do.
What projects are you working on?
I put work into the 21 Ridge Street building where Birch Bark Eatery is and it has been a great investment for me. Birch Bark Eatery is doing well, especially under the pressures of the climate of the world right now, and they are great tenants and I really enjoy having them there. There are two apartments above, and one of them is available.
Now I’m focused on the 12-unit apartments on Maple Street I’ll be developing in early spring. There will be a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. I’m dressing up the outside of it, and it’s going to look really nice. I’m going to keep the character of when it was built in the 1950’s, add some green space around it, maybe some trees and shrubbery. It’s going to be an improvement to that area. I like Maple Street because there’s a lot more space to work with, but you still have close walking distance to downtown. I would like to see Maple Street really just transform.
And now I’m under contract to buy the former Donohue & Higgins building next door. I’m also a contractor, and I just signed multiple contracts which will take me into the spring, finishing up an addition, basements, kitchens and bathrooms.
What kinds of tenants are you looking to attract?
Once these projects are finished, it really depends on their needs and whether my space provides it. Two bedrooms and 1.5 baths could be a home for a family of three, a couple, or a single professional.
Maybe some art studios could go into the lower level. The space is large, with high ceilings, wide open, 3,500 to 4,000 square feet. I could make it affordable for artists. I’d love to add to the arts community in the East End and am excited that this property is part of the new Arts District.
Donohue & Higgins has one loading dock and is set up for distribution, office and storage, which works well, but it could be anything. It has a ramp out front for accessibility.
What would you say to someone considering investing in Warren County?
I would say: You should invest! You should start and grow your business here. Get in while the timing is good. It’s affordable right now and there is space available.
Once COVID is under control, I think we’re going to see a lot more tourism and more improvements to the city from other investors like myself. We are making it more attractive to visitors and homeowners and renters. Buy low, get a spot now while it’s available — and there is a lot of availability out there — and it’s a great investment.
The city’s been around a while and needs a little bit of a makeover, a cleanup. The bones are there. The buildings were once great and now they just need some work. There’s a lot of potential. I’m excited to see things unfold.
The people around here are great, helpful, and friendly. It’s a nice community where people are always willing to help one another. You’d be successful if you invested here.