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Omer Amsel and HAP Eight, a development putting his new investment platform StraightUp into practice. Omer Amsel and HAP Eight, a development putting his new investment platform StraightUp into practice.
New York City is brimming with opportunity, and co-founder & COO Omer Amsel of StraightUp is proud to play a part in expanding the limits of its investment potential. After getting to know the ins and outs of the market as a founder of HAP Ventures, the investment mogul developed an idea for a new kind of platform alongside his brother Nir Amsel, CEO; Abraham Makovetsky, CTO; and Tal Evan, Business Development.

The venture is built from the premise that the New York City market should be more favorably designed and made accessible for small investors. Spun out from its parent firm HAP Ventures, the platform allows its investors to own equity in a luxury NYC building without actually living there.

CityRealty recently covered one such development, HAP Eight, revealing new renderings of the 20-floor, 199-unit dual structure. Situated at 215 West 28th Street, the luxury building is currently open for investment through the StraightUp platform.

Below, Omer Amsel spoke with CityRealty regarding the inception of the new platform, and where he sees its future.
2211 Third Avenue The recently-finished HAP 10 at 2211 Third Avenue in East Harlem is renting from $2,143/mo.

Where and when was the idea for StraightUp born?

Omer: StraightUp was born in Israel, about three years ago. We spent those years syndicating funds from private investors internationally, and then we launched the company in February 2018.

I think the story here is that every time we started a new commercial project in NY, all our friends kept asking us if they could invest. They couldn't invest a lot, they wanted to put in $25,000, $50,000 - but we couldn't accommodate them because big commercial projects aren't set up that way. So we challenged ourselves to create a model that would let small investors participate in the NYC real estate market - but do it in a way that was fundamentally more favorable to them than the crowd-sourcing models that were out there.
The adjoining buildings at Hap Eight will feature gridded facades designed by DXA Studio.

How is StraightUp different from other real estate investment platforms?

Omer: StraightUp is a new asset class which, for the first time, empowers ability to diversify into high-growth urban real estate, investing alongside successful developers, with access at the moment of peak opportunity. No other platform can deliver these three essential benefits:

We have skin in every deal, meaning we are directly invested in each offering.

We know Manhattan inside and out, and that’s where our first offerings are.

We value transparency above all else. Since investors are de facto our partners, we treat them as such, providing full transparency every step of the way.
The StraightUp difference, as featured on its website.

In what ways have you noticed that other real estate investment platforms lacked the transparency you offer with StraightUp?

Omer: First, we differ by offering access to projects that are of an institutional nature. Second, we aim to work with projects located in the most desirable real estate markets in the US, which provides investors with a level of comfort. Last, our approach is to scale up by taking bigger pieces of bigger projects, maintaining our direct investment approach which, in turn, gives us a platform for full transparency.
Day and night renderings at HAP Eight

You are currently rolling out the venture with a property in Chelsea and one in Tribeca. How are these buildings well-suited for StraightUp?

Omer: As discussed above, our aim is to engage with high profile markets and projects, allowing us to both grant access to specific deals and also provide more transparency around the investment. Our Chelsea and Tribeca deals are ground up construction, allowing investors entry at 'ground level' of the investment.

Do your plans for expansion target any NYC neighborhoods in particular? If so, why?

Omer: We take a multi-faceted approach when it comes to our investment strategy, and we believe that there are opportunities everywhere in the city. To point out a few select neighborhoods that have seen success in the past, we’re considering Washington Heights, East Harlem, Lower East Side and the Bronx.
2211 THird Avenue Ribbon cutting at HAP 10 at 2211 THird Avenue
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Additional Info About the Building

Contributing Writer Katy Cornell Katy Cornell is a Long Island native with a passion for writing about real estate in the big city. She recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in English and is a frequent contributor to CityRealty's Market Insight and NYC real estate blog 6sqft.
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