The founder and operator of JMK5 Holdings, Jerome Karam, has focused on positively influencing local communities through redevelopment as a real estate developer. Since making the switch from personal injury attorney to real estate, he believes the best move he can take with a new home is to repurpose rather than rebuild.
With a focus on Texas and Louisiana, Karam’s impact on several communities is already apparent. More projects in development mean he’s committed to this way of getting the most out of existing real estate.
Influencing local communities with redevelopment
One of the greatest joys for Jerome Karam is that with redevelopment he can positively impact local communities in both Texas and Louisiana. Many communities pride themselves on older buildings that have been part of the landscape for generations. These older buildings often have a unique past that sets the communities apart.
In an era where developers are constantly bulldozing all the buildings and putting in brand new ones that might not fit, Karam is doing the opposite. The vast majority of local communities love this aspect as it also gets new businesses in town to fill empty storefronts and provide jobs in the area.
Making the most of existing opportunities
Real estate redevelopment is something Jerome Karam felt passionate about since its early days. Taking advantage of the current opportunities can not only be economical, but it also provides excellent locations that are otherwise unavailable. Every new business may not be a perfect fit at first, but with hard work and the right capital, places can look great.
Jerome Karam has a keen eye for finding properties that could use a redevelopment project. Since they aren’t always in the trendiest areas at the time, he benefits from less competition because competitors don’t see his vision.
Falstaff brewery comes alive
In 1895 the Galveston Brewing Company was built. It produced Southern Select Beer for over 60 years before being acquired by Falstaff in 1956.
In the 1960s, Galveston Falstaff Brewery was the third largest brewery in the country. They produced 1 million barrels of beer a year and were a major employer in the area. That success only lasted a few decades, however, when Falstaff moved his headquarters from St. Louis to California. In 1981 the Galveston Falstaff brewery closed its doors.
Fast forward to 2015 and JMK5 Holdings, LLC acquired the facility. With such an important facility available, the aim was to redevelop it into three separate facilities to meet different needs. This included a storage facility, a private event venue and a boutique hotel.
With a building that had 120 years of history at the time of purchase, Jerome Karam wanted to find ways to preserve the building’s original integrity and architecture. Therefore, he was adamant about exploiting the existing spaces and not doing too much about change.
The indoor, air-conditioned storage has four floors of units. It has quickly become one of the most valued storage facilities in a convenient location for the locals.
The event and wedding venue has a roof terrace and plenty of space for people to enjoy the view. It is secluded enough not to hear much outside noise, and provides an intimate setting where participants can feel free to be themselves. Immediately after opening, the spots started to fill up quickly.
Finally, the 110-room boutique hotel is an affordable alternative to cookie-cutting solutions elsewhere in the city. Visitors love the history behind the building and how each room has been updated enough with amenities to make it a day to remember. The location also plays a huge factor in its success as a hotel.
Overall, Karam believes that this is one of the top projects he has participated in. No 1800s building comes without challenges, but he was able to push through and make every single facility great in its own way.
Other impact projects
With JMK5 Holdings, LLC having a hand in several projects in southwestern Louisiana and Texas, what are some of the most impactful projects in recent years? A few stand out because of the size of the project and the impact.
World Gym Texas City
Everything would be bigger in Texas, and for the World Gym in Texas City, that’s very accurate. It is now the largest World Gyms in existence and replaces an old department store in a shopping center.
For a city like Texas City, this massive project helped the workout scene hit the spot right away. It also kick-started a greater revitalization of the Mall of the Mainland, which turned into Mainland City Center.
Galveston Bay Club
One of Jerome Karam’s first acquisitions is also one that he is most proud of. Being located on the west side of Galveston, he built new homes overlooking Eckert Bayou.
With room for 18 lots, he thinks future residents will see this area as a perfect place for peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
This mall in northeast El Paso was once a top shopping area. It is now over 60 years old and requires several improvements to get back in business.
Jerome Karam was able to secure the mall in 2021† With a history of serving military families, he is confident there is potential to refurbish the mall and add to its existing list of tenants.
Stick to the original plan
Jerome Karam knows that other developers have their plans, but redevelopment remains the central theme for him in Texas and Louisiana. Having an impact on the community makes the projects just that little bit sweeter.
Visit his website to see all the projects under JMK5 Holdings, LLC and find out who Jerome Karam is.