If you’re a Geneseo student, chances are you’ve been inside one of Rocco Dragani’s buildings. Dragani is a Geneseo landlord who owns many properties in the area, ranging from University Hots to various student houses.
Dragani grew up locally in Mount Morris and attended high school in York before he attended the University at Buffalo. Following college, Dragani moved to Manhattan where he worked as a market maker dealing and selling stocks.
After living in New York City, he decided to return to the Geneseo area. Real estate always enticed Dragani, inspiring him to start a student housing business in Geneseo.
Dragani purchased his first property in the late 1990s on 11 Orchard St., which is currently home to Omega Beta Psi. He grew his property holdings over the years by purchasing houses on Main, Center, Wadsworth and Court Street—he currently owns 25 properties in Geneseo alone.
Dragani also owns some property beyond Geneseo, but 80 percent of his holdings are devoted to student housing. Many of these properties are affiliated with Greek life such as the Phi Lambda Chi House, Phi Kappa Pi House, Phi Kappa Chi House, Delta Phi Epsilon House, Sigma Kappa House and Alpha Chi Rho House.
Dragani’s student housing business has expanded over the years and has kept him very busy. Student housing has a massive turnover each year since new students move in and old students leave. Due to the convenient location of his properties to campus, they tend to fill up rather quickly.
“The student housing business is a lot of work and requires a lot of time,” Dragani said. “If you’re not getting somebody to fix something or fixing it yourself, then you’re showing an apartment or completing paperwork year-round.”
Dragani employs a full-time staff to assess his student housing business and carry out upkeep, repairs and paperwork.
During the summer, Dragani remodels and upkeeps his current properties. He constantly plans throughout the year to prepare for the following summer. Once students move out, his team gets to work updating and remodeling properties.
“We take the summer as a 90-day sprint,” Dragani said. “We pick a year in advance for what we are going to do for next summer. We have too many places to just do it, we have to have it all planned out.”
Dragani also uses the summer to repair damages to his properties. After remodeling and repairs are completed, he has his properties professionally cleaned in preparation for the upcoming school year.
The Statesmen, which was once a popular bar in Geneseo, is also owned by Dragani. It is currently closed due to a lack of long-term employees. Dragani may reopen it in the future, but he doesn’t have the time right now due to his demanding student housing business.
“It was fun to run it, it was fun to be there, but with my real estate business being so busy I have to have a break,” Dragani said.
Although Dragani’s business is very time consuming, he truly enjoys his work. He supplies housing to 250 Geneseo students. The Geneseo community is appreciative for the housing provided by Dragani—with his properties being the place many students call home.