SPOTLIGHT ON: Matthew Gibbs

“Our goal is to increase our CID membership and we hope to have at least 200 members by the end of next year.”

SPOTLIGHT ON: Matthew Gibbs
Matthew Gibbs

Committed to Growing CID’s Influence

Matthew Gibbs, co-director of Keller Williams Commercial Hudson Valley, is part of the dynamic trio who have reignited the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Commercial & Investment Division, bringing standing-room-only crowds to its monthly breakfast events. 

Gibbs joined Clayton Livingston and MacKenzie Forsberg last year and has never looked back. “It’s been really great,” he shared. “I’m someone who is all in at 100% and I really believe in becoming all involved and giving back.” The Middletown Associate Broker credits both of his CID co-chairs for welcoming him to share some of his ideas from the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors (NYSCAR), where he served as President of its Hudson Valley Chapter from 2019 to 2021.

The CID’s last breakfast event of 2023 about future plans for the now defunct Galleria Mall in White Plains brought in a record crowd of almost 150, and both the January and February breakfasts this year have been near sell-out crowds as well. “I think it’s due to a different level of planning and MacKenzie is exceptionally organized and has helped us all to stay on track,” Gibbs added.

The new approach at CID has been to offer panels, where each panelist can also bring his or her own audience in addition to the regular CID attendees. “Our goal is to increase our CID membership and we hope to have at least 200 members by the end of next year,” said Gibbs. “I think we need just one most year to continue building a more robust platform, which will no doubt attract more people.”

Gibbs has been in the commercial real estate industry for the past 10 years but also operates a residential team to provide a better level of service to all of his clients.  The bulk of his business is in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties, with his focus more on the industrial sector and land development.

Prior to real estate, Gibbs enjoyed a career as a manager for Lowe’s Home Improvement throughout the Hudson Valley, including locations in Middletown, Kingston and New City. His eventual decision to make the transition to commercial real estate was an easy one. “I had a tenacity for business operations and understanding investments, so I knew this experience would carry over well,” he recalled. “However, the biggest challenge was getting used to being an entrepreneur and not having a weekly payment. I had to hit the ground running.”

With commercial real estate, Gibbs explained, the lead time tends to be a lot longer with contracts for purchase, sometimes taking as long as 18 months. Currently, the largest vacancies are in the office market.  “Big box retail locations can often be converted to warehouses, and old hotels seem to be purchased by multi-family developers,” he said.

Malls continue to struggle to keep retailers, as that sector appears to be in transition. “I know Best Buy and Macy’s are talking about closing many of their larger stores and opening smaller locations,” he noted. “I think malls now have to shift to entertainment options instead of traditional retail.”

Some of his recent deals include the sale of a 42,000-square-foot industrial building in Dover, Dutchess County, and the lease of an 8,000-square-foot location to Textron Industries in Wawayanda in Orange County.

He and his team are currently working with the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, an animal rescue organization. They’re in the process of relocating to a new farm in Ulster County and selling their current properties. “It’s always great to support an organization like this, to keep them within our communities,” he noted.

When he’s not working on deals, Gibbs is busy volunteering his time as a member of the Wallkill East Rotary Club and serving on the Board for the Town of Wallkill Boys & Girls Club.  He also continues to serve on the Board of Directors for NYSCAR Hudson Valley.

He and his wife Anna live in the Hamlet of Wallkill in Ulster County and have three grown children—Lisa, Tyler and Kristina, who is also a Realtor. In addition, they have three grandchildren now: Sophia, Anthony and Jameson.

Gibbs and his family love to travel and have been to Italy five times. They’re also planning a safari trip to Africa. “We love to explore the world and I also love golf and good red wines,” he added.

His advice to those considering entering the commercial real estate industry—get involved in everything you can. “Seek out commercial real estate education and look for any opportunities to network with other practitioners".

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