Real estate plays an integral role in the U.S. economy, with the commercial real estate market valued at approximately $20 trillion. Here, Paul Hoffman, president of Hoffman United, which specializes in residential and commercial rentals and real estate investment opportunities in Erie, Pennsylvania and throughout the United States, discusses the importance of the industry here in northwest Pennsylvania and how Hoffman United, LLC is helping to “renovate Erie” heading into 2024.
You founded Hoffman in 2014 and the company has grown ever since. Describe how you got started and your team today.
My company has continually undergone transformative growth since its inception. When I was 12, I aspired to engage in gainful employment and establish my financial independence. With the invaluable support and mentorship of my father, I embarked on a lawn-mowing venture within my local neighborhood. This entrepreneurial endeavor rapidly expanded from servicing three lawns to encompassing eight, then 30, and at its peak well over 100 properties requiring meticulous upkeep.
As I engaged with a diverse array of customers, I discovered the need for a comprehensive spectrum of home improvement services, spanning from deck staining to roof replacements and bathroom remodels. In 2016, recognizing the potential, I forged collaborative partnerships with seasoned contractors. Together, we established a company dedicated to facilitating homeowners in realizing their project aspirations. What had initially commenced as a modest lawn-mowing enterprise swiftly evolved into a landscaping company and subsequently into a general contracting company.
It was during my early years, while overseeing the maintenance of customers’ lawns and projects, that my passion for real estate was ignited. Today, Hoffman United, along with our private real estate firm Blue Group Properties, has undergone a profound transformation, evolving into a real estate investment firm boasting an extensive portfolio of over 200 multifamily and single-family homes, along with nearing 1 million square feet of commercial real estate. Our commercial real estate holdings encompass retail, industrial, and flex space in seven different states. Hoffman United is a team of passionate, forward-thinking individuals who truly love what we do.
Hoffman United has a diverse mix of services, including asset management and development. Tell us more.
Hoffman United bought its first residential real estate asset in 2016, since then we have grown into a real estate investment firm. In 2019, we launched Blue Group Properties which is a private real estate fund with an active focus on acquiring stabilized real estate with a long-term investment horizon, moderate leverage, and well-located assets. Specifically, we are focused on acquiring core retail and industrial assets. Our broad footprint with local and national execution capabilities, and our diverse team of professionals with extensive real estate knowledge, allow us to execute on a full range of investment opportunities.
Our success would not have been attainable without the invaluable mentorship received from distinguished alumni of Cathedral Prep, and in particular, the guidance provided by the Baldwins, who have given me the guidance and principles of acquiring and developing commercial real estate in a manner that aligns with industry best practices.
What drives your commitment to revitalization and where do you draw your inspiration from?
Being a part of Erie is a source of immense pride for my family, spanning generations in this community. My grandfather, Thomas C. Hoffman, displayed great dedication of public service to Erie’s post-World War II rebuilding efforts. One of his most noteworthy achievements was the successful completion and integration of the Bayfront Parkway East and West into the I-90 network. My father, Attorney Thomas C. Hoffman II, a native of Erie, instilled in me, from an early age, the profound importance of uplifting our fellow community members. Hoffman United is a family run enterprise, with a close-knit corporate culture, where our team of 10 operates cohesively. My sister, Christine, has played an important role as a trusted partner since 2016.
I often reflect on the idea that I am standing on the shoulders of giants. Regrettably, certain areas where my grandparents once lived have faced a decline. Observing this negative trend has intensified my resolve to contribute to the revitalization of these communities.
Within our investment firm, Blue Group, we actively secure capital from a diverse pool of investors, encompassing local, national, and even international contributors. As these investors realize returns on their investments, these gains can be reinvested into Erie’s local economy, as an economic driving force for sustained revitalization and progress. We take great pride in this.
What’s ahead for Hoffman United in 2024?
Hoffman United and Blue Group has its sights set on sustained growth throughout 2024 and beyond. Whether it entails the acquisition of a prime retail strip center in a robust community, undertaking development projects in evolving markets, or further expanding our portfolio of quality residential properties right here in Erie, our steadfast commitment to our community and investors remains unwavering. We are passionate in our determination to uphold the standards of a top-tier asset management firm.