Luca Singh Bhalla
IMPACT INVESTING

Luca Singh Bhalla

#120

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NYC-based Family Office

Family as partners – Luca Singh Bhalla

“Don’t worry about running fast, man. Just do the race well. Run the race well. Do what you have to do correctly and everything will fall into place.”

ABOUT

A University of Miami graduate, Luca Singh Bhalla studied entrepreneurship as well as sports administration. Luca is the third generation of Bhalla to be operating under the Ascot name and excited to be a catalyst to the growth that has occurred over the previous years. Luca continues to conduct diligence and source deals for Ascot in both the real estate and venture fields. He is a dynamic and versatile investor having experience in both operating existing assets and recent acquisitions.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Luca Singh Bhalla

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Okay. Welcome to the Supporters Fund Ask An Investor. I’m your host Jeffery Potvin. And let’s please welcome Luca Singh Bhalla from Ascot Properties Family Office as our investor for today. welcome Luca. It’s a real pleasure having you join us today.
Luca: thank you Jeffery. I really appreciate you having me. I’m really excited to get through this with you.
Jeffery: likewise. I know we had the first kick at the cam. we had some internet connection issues and now we’re back at it and I think today it’s going to be brilliant. we’re going to pick up from some of that great conversation that we originally kicked off. Well, as the best way, we like to start things off by learning a little bit more about yourself. If you can tie back from your school days, the Family Office build up, all the great things you’re up to today. I love to hear about that. And then if you could share one thing about you that nobody would know.
Luca: oh, that last one’s a kicker there. But I’ll definitely start with the first bit and definitely come along with something along the way. Yeah, so first of all, I appreciate you having me Jeffery and I look forward to really diving into this. And in terms of my background, my family is first generation American. I’m the first one in my family born in America. My father is Indian, and grew up in the United Kingdom in India. my mom’s Italian American. My dad came to this country about 40 years ago and discovered the benefits and the potential of wealth creation in real estate. And what that meant was him eventually building partnerships and building people within his community that he trusted and started co-investing on a lot of deals together. And as the 70s and 80s in New York was an extremely lucrative time in the real estate space, his timing was impeccable. He really was able to build a very strong thesis of converting rent regulated units to condos and he iterated multiple PCs throughout his day. Our office started with that. We eventually moved to a core side Multi-Family in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, Chinatown, little Italy, all neighborhoods like that. And we eventually shifted to retail where we have a tremendous tenant roster of internationally accredited tenants, nationally accredited tenants as well as regionally accredited tenants. So, it’s very well mixed. It’s very heavy in Soho and Greenwich Village in Tribeca and University Place, all very high foot traffic neighborhoods which is something that we really like to see on the retail side. And growing up with that was an extremely interesting experience and I’m very grateful for it. one being something that you typically would not have to experience as a kid is going to construction sites, going to property tours for as long as you can remember up until your earliest memories. So, you really do absorb a lot really subconsciously and it does become ingrained in your DNA. So, that’s one thing that has been really exciting to look back at as I’m growing older now. And then something else I think that’d be really interesting to talk about is how it affects what you’re working on as you grow older. And what I mean by that is, I was a student athlete at the University of Miami. I ran track and field there and had a tremendous time. And I had an extremely wonderful experience. in that, you learn how rare the experiences that you have are. And what I mean by that is, as you’re taking real estate courses, as you’re getting a business degree, you learn that the knowledge that you’ve possessed from this upbringing is far superior than anything you could pick up in school, anything that anybody can teach you in a classroom. And in that experience, I continue to work with the Family Office, continue to work with dad and continue our journey in the real estate space and where that’s led to now is us. Actually, I’m sure it’s a dime a dozen story in today’s world to leave New York which is where we have all our roots since coming to America and actually moving to Miami, Florida. So, I’m on the phone from Miami, Florida we’re actually in the process now of thinking about where we want to relocate our capital. We want to relocate our assets and this is an extremely exciting market. So, we’re very excited to be here and get into it in terms of. one thing that I don’t think people would know about me, it’s funny, I went to middle school high school in New York. But before that, I grew up on a very small island called St. Martin in the Dutch West Indies, and it was an extremely incredible experience. My dad actually had an opportunity to develop a resort there called Coral Beach Club, and when we went through that process again, going to construction sites, going to project sites, I think seeing that in another country, let alone one in the Caribbean which is in St. Martin’s, one of, in my opinion, the most beautiful places on earth, really does help mold you as a person. So, I would like to say that’s something I don’t think a lot of people know about me.
Jeffery: Well that’s incredible. And the story is incredible as well. And I’m excited to unpack a little bit about that background because as you mentioned, it really helped you become who you are today, and the things that you’re doing. So, maybe we can go a little bit back to that experience because this is the experience that you’re having as a young person, you’re in school, you’re doing all those great things. But going on a job site, learning this entrepreneurial side of business, being able to dive into a construction site and understand what your family’s building and then the tenants that are in there and how you’re operating it, can you give a little bit more perspective of what those teenage years were like for you? because I think hands down, my first job was working at McDonald’s at 13. Your first job is walking through job sites. It’s a big difference.
Luca: Don’t get me wrong. I worked as a bricklayer and did all those things. But I was more of the hustler than I was those pieces as I got older.
Jeffery: but there’s such a true value that you gain from that experience. And when you were in there, learning the different ropes of how these things were being done, you were getting experiences from your father and he’s teaching you intrinsically through all of these types of things that you see, maybe share a few of those elements of what really stood out for you the memories that you have on what really drove you to become an entrepreneur and to jump into this Family Office as well.
Luca: Yeah.