ATL. HIGHLANDS - It takes about two minutes of conversation to conclude that Suzanne Adams, in addition to being attractive, soft-spoken and direct, is also a top notch professional who not only doesn’t let any grass grow under her feet but is also already seeding another farm for bigger and better growth.
The owner of the Kalian -built facility on Hennessey Blvd bought the building from the owner…then turned around and had him sign a contract with her for that firm to manage the complex, which includes both apartments and offices, one business of which she also owns, Office Share.
Besides her strong background in both experience and education, Suzanne certainly has it in her genes to work hard, excel, and keep moving. The only daughter with two brothers of a highly successful attorney and brilliant mother who loves history, the family grew up in Essex Fells where her dad was an attorney but also dabbled in real estate as a hobby.
When Suzanne went to College at Rollins in Winter Park, Fla., it was originally with an aim of being an attorney like her dad and she earned a degree in political science. After graduation, she worked in Washington, DC long enough to realize she certainly did not like politics and headed to Manhattan where she worked for a businessman in real estate. That’s when she realized it was her father’s hobby, not his profession, that tempted her most.
The real estate developer for whom she worked in New York trusted her, Suzanne says, both because of her interest and her confidence in herself and what she had to accomplish. As a result, he taught her all areas of the real estate business, from the legalities and management to building and mixed uses.
In 1998, Suzanne married Sam Adams, who is with a title company, and the couple now have three sons, ranging in age from 16 to 21. Wanting to spend time raising her family, she left her New York office and instead worked for her father, with her first job managing 62 units in a building in Montclair, later sharing investments with her brothers and father…family ties run deep and are vitally important to all Suzanne’s family for generations.
Over the next few years, Suzanne remained active buying, selling, managing, always aware of trends, markets, and needs. The Hennessy Avenue building she owns backs up to a First Avenue building she also owns, one where the Little Chicken, a quality retail clothing and accessories shop for children’s needs, is opening soon. (The clever sign in the window lets you know something is hatching.)
In the two properties in the borough Suzanne owns, she has 28 units, both commercial and residential, with her own OfficeShare in the Hennessey Blvd complex.
OfficeShare is a popular, but new in this area, professional concept where several businesses, each with its own privacy, also shares open space with the other tenants in OfficeShare. Here, each of the private offices has an open feeling with its glass walls that let in the idea of more space but still maintains privacy. Then all businesses. There are five in the six offices in the complex, share common space in a fully equipped kitchen and reception area, together with a large furnished room for conferences and meetings for larger groups and presentations. Suzanne had originally co-owned the business, but took it over on her own when that partner moved on to something else and she wanted to remain and continue to see it grow.
Always the professional, always the mother, Suzanne is bringing her own sons up to work as hard and be as professional as she and her brothers learned from their parents. It’s important to her to teach them what she has learned, she smiles, namely that grace and kindness always work in business, and once you learn to manage yourself, you can be successful in any phase of management.
Why Atlantic Highlands for so much investment and a business with so many challenges? “I love the town, the people are friendly, and I love to bring things to life,” she explained. “I love the beauty of old and historic things and areas, and I love playing a role in blending it all together.” She heard the building was for sale, she liked it, and she wanted to do more with it, so she bought it. It was as simple as that.
You can tell the family ties are paramount in this family. Suzanne’s dad, because of his size, his holdings, and his generosity to others, has always been known as the Big Guy. So her company, reminiscent of all she has learned from her dad, is entitled simply TBG.
It stands for “Thanks, Big Guy.”