After 25 years as a television weatherman, John Bolaris is pursuing a career in real estate.
"When you're making a new direction in life, the best way to succeed is to go with what you love, and real estate is my other passion," said Bolaris, 58, who lives at 2116 Chestnut Street and has a property in East Hampton, Long Island.
On Wednesday, Bolaris, who is licensed in Pennsylvania and New York, officially joined The Condo Shop, the brokerage that handles sales and rentals of a number of Center City apartment and condominium buildings.
"We are ecstatic," said Benjamin Oller, principal of the firm. Oller's father, Richard, is chairman of Multifamily Management Services, which manages 32,000 properties nationally.
Benjamin Oller said that after Bolaris received his real estate license from Temple University two weeks ago, "he interviewed at a number of other brokerages in the city before he decided to come to work for us."
"They gave me the opportunity to sell in New York and Philadelphia, when a few other companies I interviewed for would not," said Bolaris.
Bolaris will be spearheading the firm's relocation division, Oller said, which includes TCS Fine Homes, both headquartered in Philadelphia.
Oller said Bolaris' contacts with entertainment and sports personalities would be a major asset as the Condo Shop continues to expand its operations here and elsewhere.
"Ninety percent of real estate is connections, and I've been laying down a big foundation over the years," said Bolaris, who was the weatherman on FOX 29 from 2008 to 2011. Bolaris then worked for two years as a weather contributor for Philly.com. In 2014, he founded his own weather wire service, weathersavior.com, which lasted about a year before he pulled the plug this June.
Bolaris has also tried his hand at acting. He'll be featured in a new indie horror flick, American Exorcist, slated to come out Halloween of 2016.
In real estate, he is currently working with director Meera Menon who is filming a new movie called Equity with Anna Gunn and James Purefoy, at one of TCS's properties, 1352 Lofts. "We are reaching out nationally, and John is key to that expansion," Oller said.
The firm is licensed in New York and Florida as well as Pennsylvania.
"I'm extremely excited like a racehorse that's been locked up in a stable and kicking to get out to explode on to the fast track of the real estate market," Bolaris emailed.
Right now, Bolaris is listing agent for a property on Long Island's north shore that he said was the estate where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby.
The original mansion was torn down, and the 14-acre site is listed at $60 million to $75 million. There is also a spec house being completed there for $12.9 million more.
Bolaris landed the deal from long-time friend, Bert Brodsky, who owns the estate.
"Bert gave me a wonderful opportunity and I know I have to perform for him," said Bolaris.
Bolaris and his team, including Judy Munroe, Richard Oller and his business partner Jeffrey Goldstein, will present their plans to Brodsky later this month.
The property is co-listed with Michael Berman of Automatic Real Estate Associates.
Bolaris has also signed three agreements of sale at a condo-hotel in Anguilla that Richard Oller and Goldstein are building as Gold-Oller Real Estate Investments, Benjamin Oller said.
The first phase of the 130-unit, $60 million-plus project is being completed, Benjamin Oller said.