Managing Partner, Maurice Malfatti, Interviewed by NYC Accounting, Audit, Tax, and Advisory Firm, EisnerAmper on Private Equity Real Estate Trends

We recently spoke with Maurice Malfatti, managing partner at Blue Heron Asset Management LLC, regarding the latest trends in real estate private equity as well as his outlook for the future.

Mr. Malfatti began by discussing the change in underwriting trends from the recession to today. He noted that six to eight years ago, investment returns were able to be generated simply by buying deeply discounted assets. Lenders were required to shed assets; therefore, buying well-located assets at wholesale prices and then selling at retail prices had the ability to produce favorable returns. Price appreciation was also driven in part by yield compression as the economy stabilized. Today, it’s a little more complex and relies upon operational expertise. Underwriting needs to carefully consider and build a value-creation plan, and good asset management requires diligent execution of that business plan. At Mr. Malfatti’s funds, which focus on multi-family as a property type, the underwriting consists of a target maximum level of debt of 65% at the portfolio level and requires strong property level fundamentals. The belief is that prudent leverage and sufficient capital to weather any future downturns will provide cushion and adequate runway to preserve value and generate returns in the long-term.

In real estate, the common notion is “location, location, location.” Blue Heron focuses on areas such as Raleigh, Charlotte, and Nashville, which over the past 10-15 years have shifted from 12-hour to 18-hour cities. Mr. Malfatti noted that while capital from institutional and foreign sources will always flow into primary gateway markets such as New York due to the liquidity and safety associated with those locations, “secondary” markets are increasingly drawing the attention of institutional investors, as evidenced by two recent multi-family sales by Blue Heron, each of which was purchased by a Canadian REIT. Mr. Malfatti, a former New Yorker, provided some examples of the changes he has seen in these markets, such as the transformation of downtowns to include shopping, entertainment, transportation, and other cultural aspects that have caused areas in Raleigh, Charlotte, Nashville, etc. to be compared with Brooklyn. Mr. Malfatti stated that while some people will still want to be in Brooklyn regardless of the cost, more and more employers and employees are finding the reduced cost of doing business and living, respectively, are very attractive in select secondary markets. 

Mr. Malfatti also touched on instances where Blue Heron has participated in competitive bidding for deals. He talked about the possibility of up to 30 bidders during the process and how, with the competitive nature in mind, 90% of his funds’ deals have been cultivated through Blue Heron’s relationships. He stressed the importance of ‘doing the right things’ – being responsive and thoughtful, sharing knowledge, and providing meaningful feedback. He strives to educate his relationships on his firm’s multi-family focus and investment philosophy. Mr. Malfatti stated it is crucial to “be the person others think of when deals come to their desks.” He stressed that even in the event of a recession, a good reputation and the resulting relationships will help keep a firm strong.

A common theme/question at real estate events is “which inning we are in” relative to the current real estate cycle. Mr. Malfatti and his team at Blue Heron are currently in the process of starting their third fund. He said regardless of what inning we are in, if underwriting is conservative, the asset-level business plan is well structured and executed to unlock/create value, and prudent leverage is used, there will be ample opportunities for good investments.

Full Blog Post HERE

Source: EisnerAmper

Raleigh is second-best performing city for jobs in U.S., report says

Raleigh is the second-best performing city in the United States, according to the latest index released by the Milken Institute.

In its report “Best-Performing Cities: Where America’s Jobs are Created and Sustained,” Milken points to Raleigh’s comparatively low business costs and thriving research and development-driven industries as major reasons for the high rank.

A number of metrics were considered in the overall ranking, including job growth, wage growth, GDP growth, etc. Raleigh ranked in the top 10 in several categories such as 5-year wages/salary growth, 1-year job growth and high-tech location quotient.

Raleigh climbed four spots from last year’s report. “The region has experienced strong job and wage growth in recent years, and short-term job gains indicate that economic momentum remains strong,” the Milken report stated. “In the 12 months ending in August 2017, the rate at which new positions were created in Raleigh was 2 percent higher than the U.S. average.

Full Article HERE

Source: Triangle Business Journal

9 real estate markets to watch in 2018

#5: Nashville: Music City matures

Across the street from the Ryman Auditorium—former home of the famous Grand Ole Opry and a link to Nashville’s past—a new development looks toward the city’s future. 

The $430 million Fifth + Broad mixed-use project, set to open in 2019, is just one of the more obvious signals that Music City is becoming a bigger financial and business center. Observers counted more than 50 cranes hovering above Nashville last year. 

Analysts have praised the city’s low cost of business, connectivity to the East Coast, and low cost of living—Zillow found median rent was $1,498, and the median home cost $228,900—as key factors driving job growth and resettlement. 

One of Realtor.com’s hot homebuying markets for 2018, Nashville is also witnessing a commercial boom. Capitalizing on the growth of tourism, numerous hotels have broken or will soon break ground, including boutiques like the Joseph and the Printing House. New projects in the River North neighborhood are drawing tenants, and the gargantuan, billion-dollar Nashville Yards project has started taking shape.

#7: Raleigh-Durham: An affordable center for innovation

While they may not house the corporate headquarters of other growing cities, Raleigh and Durham have first-rate universities and booming economies that are vaulting the Research Triangle area to first-tier status. 

Tech hubs like American Underground, part of the massive redevelopment of the American Tobacco historic district, have become centers of a resurgent tech scene, and the area’s median rent of $1,441 offers affordable living for budding entrepreneurs. 

In addition to larger projects—like the Dillon, a mixed-use project opening in Raleigh’s Warehouse District this fall, and Mosaic, a large, $800 million mixed-use commercial and retail space—housing and suburban developments, especially in Apex, Cary, and Wake Forest, are rolling out at a breakneck pace. More than 600 new subdivisions have been built or greenlit in region in the past seven years, adding 40,000 new homes. Even with that new inventory, home prices have spiked: In Raleigh, the median home costs $314,900, according to Zillow, up 16.9 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Full List HERE

Source: Curbed.com

Charlotte — and Raleigh — among nation's 'hottest' housing markets for 2018; Here's why

North Carolina's two largest cities — Charlotte and Raleigh — are home to the "hottest" housing markets for 2018, according to a new prediction from residential real estate site Zillow.

Both housing markets ranked among the top five on Zillow's list of the nation's hottest during the current year. Raleigh placed at No. 2, while Charlotte landed at No. 4. 

In order to compile the rankings, Zillow measured six components for the 50 largest U.S. metro areas. That includes weighing home value and rent forecasts, income estimates, population growth, current unemployment rates and job opening data from Glassdoor to create a "hotness" score. 

Western housing markets and tech hubs largely dominated the list. San Jose, Calif., had the "hottest" projected market, while Seattle ranked third and San Francisco ranked fifth. Austin, Texas; Denver; Nashville, Tenn.; Portland, Ore.; and Dallas rounded out the top 10 markets.

"This list shows that just because a market is smaller or more affordable doesn't mean it isn't dynamic," said Aaron Terrazas, Zillow senior economist, in a statement. "Growing cities in the Sun Belt, places like Raleigh, Charlotte and Nashville, offer plenty of opportunities in health care and finance, while providing a less-expensive, but still-convenient, alternative to the larger and pricier markets in the Northeast."

In Charlotte, as is the case with Raleigh and seven of the other top markets, home values are expected to increase at a higher rate than the national forecast of 3.2%. Charlotte is expected to see a 4% increase in home values in 2018, compared to a 3.7% increase for Raleigh. Meanwhile, rents should climb 1.9% in Charlotte and 1.2% in Raleigh, says Zillow.

Charlotte's expected income growth of 9.4% — from a household estimate of $59,979 — registered as the highest of the top 10 markets ranked by Zillow. Raleigh trailed closely with a projected rise in income of 9%. Its recent household income was estimated at $71,685.

Raleigh's population growth of 2.3% from 2015-16 slightly outpaced Charlotte's 2% rate.

Both unemployment rates were also somewhat similar: 3.6% in Raleigh and 3.9% in Charlotte. Raleigh has 29,136 online job postings compared to Charlotte's 49,736.

This is the second time in as many months that high expectations have been placed on the Queen City's housing market in 2018.

Full Article HERE

Source: Triangle Business Journal

Millennials Prefer These 5 Tech Hubs To Silicon Valley

Raleigh, NC #2 on the list!

Tech jobs in Raleigh have grown 38.5% from 2010-2015. The sector is growing almost as quickly as it is in Silicon Valley. Raleigh also has several accelerators and incubators such as Innovators Program and First Flight Venture Center.

Raleigh has a relatively lower cost of living too, compared with other established tech hubs. “I was attracted to Raleigh by the growing urban area, great weather, and overall amazing ratio of quality of life / cost of living balance,” said Will Bernholz, VP, Marketing for Dropsource. “Having lived and worked in expensive and hyper-fast-paced cities before (Beijing and NYC), I was ready for a smaller city experience. I also wanted a city that would provide the right balance of activity (nightlife, sports, restaurants), space (sick of living in a broom closet), and affordability. The clean natural environment and easy access to nature here was also a big draw. ”

Full article HERE

Source: Forbes

Charlotte Ranks #5 Among Cities Luring Tech Talent from Silicon Valley

Tech is booming in North Carolina’s biggest city, which expanded its job count by 62 percent from 2013-2016 — the fastest pace in the nation. Over the past decade, Charlotte has increased STEM workers by 23 percent, largely due to its thriving health care, environmental, and banking sectors. Its breadth of industries, influx of tech jobs, and affordable cost of living make Charlotte a city to watch.

Full article HERE

Source: Entrepreneur.com

 

From the ‘Gen Z effect’ to the housing crunch: It’s a good time to invest in Triangle real estate

The Triangle has moved up three positions to No. 4 on an authoritative national ranking released Thursday that identifies emerging trends in real estate investment.

The survey by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the Urban Land Institute say the region is among a robust market of smaller and secondary cities with young, educated workforces and diverse economies that are reshaping investment opportunities. Joining the Triangle in that trend are Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale and Nashville. Seattle topped the list.

“It’s a major shift we’ve been observing,” Mitch Roschelle, a PwC partner and author of the report, said in an interview Wednesday. “Raleigh-Durham has been a beneficiary. If you go back 10 years and look at the average size city in the top 10, they were two or three times the size of the cities in the top 10 today.”

Young, skilled workers are driving the economic growth in these secondary cities, the report says. The Triangle benefits from the universities in the region, an influx of new residents and growth in 15- to 34-year-olds that is more than six times the national average. The cost of doing business, which is below the U.S. average, and disposable income growth that is 40 percent above the average are also attractive, the report says.

The report included other trends:

▪ The “Gen Z effect”: Traditional stores will have to understand the “gadgeteria” attraction of this post-millennials demographic group, the oldest of whom are now turning 19. The report contends Gen Z rejects the millennial’s embrace of open, collaborative work spaces in favor of more personal and private offices.

▪ Housing shortage: There’s been an increasing housing squeeze that’s only going to get worse with more than 150 million millennials and Gen Z youth, exacerbated by baby boomers who are staying in their homes longer. But that’s an opportunity for developers to build smaller, more energy-efficient houses, townhouses and condominiums that are affordable starter homes.

▪ Apartments: With demand for affordable rents from the younger generations comes a strong market in multi-family housing.

▪ Senior squeeze: There isn’t enough housing for seniors, a segment expected to grow across the country by 25 million in the next 15 years.

This is the 39th year the emerging trends report has been issued. It incorporates the views of 1,600 real estate experts.

Full article HERE

Source: News and Observer

12 NEIGHBORHOODS ACROSS AMERICA THAT ARE ABOUT TO GET CRAZY POPULAR

It's about time we stopped calling hip, up-and-coming areas "the Brooklyn of blank,right? Not just because few people outside of New York can relate, but because when it comes to the stages of gentrification and being the next cool place to live, Brooklyn has pretty much run its course. Have you tried living in Brooklyn lately? “Cheap” and “under-the-radar” it is not.

For the cash-strapped among us who are looking to make a change, there are still some actually fun small towns in this country, and some truly cheap, underappreciated cities you should consider moving to. Or maybe you’re just looking for the next mildly affordable neighborhood that has something to offer young creatives -- that is, cool kids like you.

We tapped trendsetters, developers, and real-estate professionals -- folks with their fingers on the pulse of America's cities and towns -- for their predictions of the country's next hotspots. From South Beach (not the one you’re thinking) to the North Shore (also not the one you’re thinking), here are the neighborhoods to keep an eye on.

1. Mills 50, Orlando, FL

2. Southwest, Washington, DC

3. W Nashville, Nashville, TN

4. South Beach, San Francisco, CA

5. North Shore, Chattanooga, TN

6. Little Haiti, Miami, FL

7. Downtown East, Minneapolis, MN

8. Warehouse District, Raleigh, NC

9. Downtown Bellevue, Bellevue, WA

10. W Greenville, Greenville, SC

11. East 11th St, Austin, TX

12. Warehouse District, Phoenix, AZ

Full article HERE

Source: Thrillist

 

ULI/PWC's 2018 Emerging Real Estate Trends

Raleigh/Durham (#4), Nashville (#9), Charlotte (#12), Charleston (#14) and Orlando (#16) all ranked in the Top 20 of US Markets for Overall Real Estate Prospects as reported by by PWC and Urban Land Institute's in their 2018 Emerging Real Estate Trends. Nine of the top 20 are located in the Southeast as this region "continues to see the benefits of a mobile population."

Full Report HERE

Source: Urban Land Institute and PWC, October 2017

Raleigh (#10) and Charlotte (#26) Rank in the Top 50 Best Places to Live in the US by USA Today

As the land of opportunity, the United States has attracted people from around the world for centuries. Yet not all parts of the country are equally desirable, and some cities are far more livable than others.

On an individual level, subjective measures often override other, more objective, considerations. Sometimes, we live in a place simply because it is where we grew up — it is familiar and where we feel at ease. Still, a range of factors can help compare U.S. cities objectively. Low crime, a healthy economy and affordability are just a few examples of universally desirable attributes in any community.

24/7 Wall St. created an index of over three dozen socioeconomic measures to identify the 50 best American cities to live in. The most livable cities span the country — from the Deep South to New England and from the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest.

Full List HERE

Source: USA Today

Raleigh-Durham Listed as on of the Six Best Apartment Markets in the US Projected by Ten-X Commercial

·        Sacramento, CA

·        Las Vegas, NV

·        Phoenix, AZ

·        Raleigh-Durham, NC

·        Jacksonville, FL

·        Riverside, CA

*Top markets were selected based on projections as reflected in the Ten-X Research Long Term Forecast

METRO SPOTLIGHT

Southeast – Raleigh-Durham Apartment

Raleigh-Durham apartment market vacancies lowered to 4.6% in the second quarter, per REIS, but remain 30 bps higher than a year ago. Overall, vacancies have declined more than 400 bps from the recessionary peak as heavy construction was met with strong absorption. Effective rents are currently growing in robust fashion, up 5.1% year over year.

The market is faced with heavy supply additions through the rest of 2017 but completions will cool in years to follow. Absorption is also forecast to remain vigorous through 2018 and resilient amid our 2019-2020 stress test scenario. With demand set to keep pace with supply from 2018-2020, Raleigh is one of the few remaining US markets not forecast to see substantial vacancy increases during the forecast period, and a subsequent decline in the first recovery year. Strong rent growth is likewise forecast through 2021.

Full report HERE

Source: Ten-X Commercial Capital Markets Update

Raleigh: Solid Fundamentals Round Triangle’s Edges

Raleigh-Durham, a life science hub and educational hotspot, has a booming rental market. Local universities are producing highly educated workers, and the metro’s low cost of living draws young professionals from across the nation.

Raleigh-Durham, a life science hub and educational hotspot, has a booming rental market. Local universities are producing highly educated workers, and the metro’s low cost of living draws young professionals from across the nation. Furthermore, many local university graduates prefer to remain in the area and work in the Research Triangle’s expanding technology and biotechnology industries.

Raleigh-Durham added roughly 27,000 jobs in the 12 months ending in June 2017. Professional and business services (10,800 jobs) and education and health services (5,900) led employment gains, followed by hospitality (3,100) and government (1,800). Employment will continue to grow, as Credit Suisse recently signed a lease at the 1.8 million-square-foot Parmer RTP research park in Raleigh, where it plans to add 1,200 new jobs. Information Technology juggernaut Infosys also announced 2,000 new jobs in Wake County.

Population growth and steady rent gains—2.8 percentyear-over-year as of July—are luring multifamily investors and developers to the Triangle. Roughly $760 million in multifamily properties traded in 2017 through July, and more than 29,700 units are in the metro’s development pipeline. The overall performance of the market is strong: Demand is outstripping supply, but with more than 5,000 units scheduled for completion by year-end, that trend is likely to moderate. As a result, Yardi Matrix forecasts a 3.0 percent rent growth in 2017.

Full article HERE

Source: MultiHousing News

Apt. Sector Holds The Line On Vacancies

Even as apartment supply ticked up in many markets, just six of 79 metro areas saw declines in effective rents for the third quarter, writes Barbara Byrne Denham at Reis.

The multifamily sector is containing the effects of increased supply on occupancy, as the national vacancy rate increased by just 10 basis points during the third quarter to 4.5%, a smaller-than-expected uptick, Reis said Tuesday. Even as vacancies rose during Q3, so did both asking and effective rents on a national basis.

The average asking rent grew 1.0% in Q3, just under the average quarterly growth rate of 1.1% seen over the previous six quarters. Similarly, effective rent growth was 0.9% in the quarter, also just below the average seen over the prior six quarters: 1.0%.

Reis notes that the gap between asking rent growth and effective rent growth had widened in recent quarters to 20 bps. Accordingly, the firm’s senior economist, Barbara Byrne Denham, writes that the narrower gap in Q3 suggests that landlords’ offers of free rent have become less aggressive, thanks in part to stronger housing prices that are keeping more potential home buyers in rentals. As a case in point, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday that sales of existing homes were down 3.4% in August, simultaneously with S&P Dow Jones Indices reporting that the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index rose 5.9% in July compared a year ago.

Full Article HERE

Source: Globest.com

Apartment Vacancy Rates Expected To Increase More Slowly Than Expected

McLEAN, VA–Nothing, it seems, can dent the growth story that is multifamily. Despite a pipeline that is expected to peak in the second half of this year and remain elevated into 2018, Freddie Mac believes that while vacancy rates will increase, they will do so more slowly than expected. “Employment growth is expected to remain near 2016 growth levels and demand for multifamily units to stay strong due to lifestyle preferences and demographic trends,” it explains in its mid-year outlook for the category.

Indeed, forecasts of higher wage growth is expected to spur even more housing demand, it said.

The sum of these trends is that vacancy rates for the rest of 2017 have been revised downward to 4.7%. Meanwhile rent growth is expected to remain strong for the remainder of the year, possibly exceeding the 2016 rate, it said.

Full Article HERE

Source:  Globest.com

 

Raleigh (#4) and Charlotte (#8) Rank in the Top 10 Best Markets for Multifamily Investment

Raleigh and Durham, N.C.

North Carolina has plenty of buttresses to support a strong multifamily market, it seems. In addition to Charlotte, the Tar Heel State offers Raleigh and Durham, about 25 miles apart, as markets that are best able to absorb the deliveries of newly constructed units. In its first quarter roundup, JLL found that the cities of Raleigh and Durham were among the cities that absorbed at least 2.0 percent of new construction from 2016. If that sounds like a market able to withstand cyclical challenges, consider that the area is home to three major U.S. universities: Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. Low cost of living contributes to steady population growth, which expanded by 6.4 percent due to net migration from 2011 to 2015, according to the U.S. News & World Report.    

Full list HERE

Source: National Real Estate Investor

Promising Cities for Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate in the U.S. is at a turning point, with primary markets like New YorkLos Angeles, and San Francisco showing signs of overheating—that’s according to online marketplace for real-estate investments RealtyMogul.com. As is common in this phase of a real-estate cycle, secondary and tertiary markets across the country are where the new action is, the firm claims. So Barron’s Penta asked its real-estate team to identify the top commercial real-estate markets that high-net-worth investors should be looking at. Here they are, in order of preference.

Number 3 and 4 on the list: Nashville and Raleigh!

Nashville. The cost of doing business in Music City, U.S.A. is 20% less than in the rest of the country, claims Helman, and that’s attracting new firms to the area. More than 200 companies have relocated to or expanded in the hip city’s metro area, accounting for 25,000 new jobs and 15 million new square feet of commercial real estate coming online in the 24 months leading up to May. Nashville also has one of the nation’s best recession hedges, as the capital of the U.S. health-care management industry, Helman says. “Whether the economy is good or bad, people still need health care,” she says. There is plenty of opportunity building multifamily housing units, as the city’s population growth outpaces the current supply of properties.

Raleigh. Highly paid young folks are moving into the city in large numbers, with the 20-year-old to 34-year-old crowd accounting for more than 23% of the city’s total population. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University provide a continuous flow of budding, educated workers to Raleigh’s relatively high paying tech and pharmaceutical jobs, says Helman. They aren’t “going to have the capital to buy [a home], but will rent one,” she says. Investors should target rental apartment buildings and multifamily housing units. Homeownership is relatively affordable with the ratio of median home price to median household income higher than the national average, which is also an argument for purchasing multifamily housing units targeted at an older age group.

Full article HERE

Source: Barrron's

Employment and Affordability Driving Growth in the U.S. Southeast

The Carolinas

Job growth is solid in the major metropolitan areas of North and South Carolina, with large metro areas accounting for most of the growth in the two states. Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, rank among the fastest-growing metro areas in the country, says Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte.

“This past decade has seen a move back into the urban centers that has benefited the Carolinas’ larger MSAs [metropolitan statistical areas] the most,” he adds. “Young people are flocking back into the cities, and businesses are moving back toward the city center in order to attract those workers.”

Employment in North Carolina is expected to increase 2.3 percent this year and personal income by 4.4 percent, Vitner says. New single-family home starts will expand by 9.5 percent, but following several years of strong gains, multifamily housing starts in North Carolina remain essentially flat. Employment in South Carolina will rise 2.7 percent and personal incomes by 4.7 percent, with new home starts up 7.7 percent and multifamily starts rising 2.5 percent.

“The Carolinas are being driven by a combination of expansions by new industry into the state and some revival in traditional sectors, including textiles and furniture,” adds Vitner. “Retirees moving to the region are helping drive new home construction and growth in health care and professional services. South Carolina continues to benefit from aggressive economic development efforts. Manufacturing activity has held up solidly, with the automotive sector and aerospace industries leading the way.”

Out-of-state capital is flowing into the Carolinas, says Chang.

“Investors are drawn by more affordable entry costs and the potential for higher returns than are available in their home markets,” he says. “The increasing supply of new multifamily properties near downtown cores is keeping institutional investors active. First-year returns in this tier of the market typically begin in the 5 percent range in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro/Winston-Salem [in North Carolina], Greenville/Spartanburg, Columbia, and Charleston [in South Carolina].”

In the Charlotte city center, an estimated 5.3 million square feet (492,000 sq m) of office space, more than 775,000 square feet (72,000 sq m) of retail space, 9,725 housing units, and 2,600 hotel rooms are either under construction or planned, says Jon Wilson, principal at Raleigh-based consulting firm Kimley-Horn.

Kimley-Horn is involved with a number of developments, including Atlanta-based Portman Holdings’ 19-story, 370,000-square-foot (34,000 sq m) 615 South College, which is scheduled to be completed early this summer.

“The city continues to be a hot spot for a highly educated and skilled workforce—some 17,500 new degreed residents move to Charlotte each year—and improved mobility will play a role in catalyzing future growth,” Wilson says. Later this year, the Lynx Blue Line extension will be completed, allowing people to travel on light rail from Interstate 485 in southwest Charlotte through Uptown to the University of North Carolina–Charlotte in the northeast, he says. The city also broke ground in mid-January on the second phase of the CityLynx Gold Line streetcar.

Walkable urban and mixed-use communities are definitely on the rise in many of the state’s cities, says Gary Cline, president and managing principal at Cline Design Associates of Raleigh.

“As our area rapidly grows, more people are seeking residency in urban cores and mixed-use communities where they can walk or bike to work, dining, and retail,” Cline says. “The Research Triangle office market has also made a large comeback, with less than 10 percent overall vacancy. Some submarkets like downtown Durham report less than 1 percent vacancy in Class A space.”

Demand is strong for mixed-use developments such as Kane Realty’s Smokey Hollow–Peace Street mixed-use project in Raleigh, which will have 434 multifamily units and 61,000 square feet (6,000 sq m) of retail space, with estimated completion in 2019. The project was designed by Cline Design. Another project in downtown Durham scheduled to begin construction later this year is Northwood Ravin’s Van Alen, which will have 418 units in 12 stories.

Read Full Article HERE

Source: Urban Land Institute

 

Where's the Real 'Next Silicon Valley'?

A new report digs into the metrics of America’s emerging tech hubs, and finds some surprises.

High-tech talent is a key driver of the wealth and competitiveness of cities. But it’s highly concentrated in places across the United States and the world, following a winner-take-all pattern and reinforcing the geographic inequality that underpins our broader economic and political divides.

While all of America’s top-ranked tech cities have a highly-skilled and highly-educated workforce, a whole host of other factors could shape which city is best positioned to be the next Silicon Valley. That’s a key takeaway from a new index created by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield that identifies America’s 25 leading high-tech metro areas in 2016. The report covers some familiar ground—but it also contains some surprises.

Full Article HERE

Source: The Atlantic CityLab

 

 

Bring on the millennials: Nashville soars as a top city for new college grads

Nashville's opportunities for young workers are growing, and recent college grads are noticing.

Music City ranked as the third-most attractive city for college graduates this year, according to an annual study by SmartAsset. The city's ranking rose significantly from the previous year, when it came in at No. 12.

Recent college graduates are flocking to Nashville for its employment levels, affordability and character. Improved job opportunities are most responsible for Nashville's increased rank.

The city's unemployment rate for bachelor's degree holders improved from 2.4 percent in 2016 to 1.5 percent in 2017, the sixth-best in the US. Nashville ranks No. 14 for employment overall, with a total unemployment rate of 3.6 percent, up from last year's rate of 4 percent.

Nashville's cost of living improved over the past year as well, although living in the Tennessee capital still costs about 5 percent more than the average American city.

In terms of fun, Nashville boasts the fourth-highest concentration of dining and entertainment establishments nationwide, providing an environment with an upbeat personality and social atmosphere, according to the SmartAsset analysis.

"There are some cities that have a mix of things that make for a great quality of life," said AJ Smith, a vice president of financial education for SmartAsset who led the analysis. "We see cities like Cincinnati, Columbus and Nashville ranking highly in that."

Full article HERE

Source: Nashville Business Journal

Investor looking for deals in Raleigh-Durham, other cities with his $39 million fund

It has been a busy couple of years for Maurice Malfatti and the team that he and partner Ron Strom have been assembling at Blue Heron Asset Management, a real estate management group that flipped its focus in 2011 to investing capital through pooled investment funds.

In addition to moving their corporate office from Chapel Hill to a hip new space at Pilot Mill in downtown Raleigh, they’ve cashed out of nearly all the investments made with their first fund initiated in 2011, the $26 million Blue Heron Real Estate Opportunity Fund I.

Malfatti now confirms that the firm has closed out fundraising efforts for its second fund, Blue Heron Real Estate Opportunity Fund II, with a total commitment of $39 million from 35 institutional investor groups and high-net worth individuals and families.

“We’re taking an opportunistic strategy,” Malfatti says.

In Fund I, Blue Heron had five real estate investments – all in the Triangle – highlighted by the $30 million mixed-use Village at Marquee Station in Fuquay-Varina that Blue Heron helped finance and develop. The fund in March 2016 exited that project with the $41.5 million sale of the 265-unit apartment community.

For Fund II, Blue Heron is spreading its wings with acquisitions so far already in Charlotte; Nashville, Tennessee; and Frederick, Maryland; as well as Raleigh and Durham. “Our big focus in 2016 was achieving our goals for Fund I and identifying good investments for Fund II,” he says.

In Raleigh, Fund II’s portfolio includes the 55-unit Historic Boylan Apartments near downtown, having paid $6.3 million for the property in 2015. The plan is to renovate the apartments.

Blue Heron is also reworking development plans for its property at 539 Foster St. in downtown Durham, its last remaining investment from Fund I. Malfatti says the group plans to deploy some of the capital from Fund II toward future development of the site. Blue Heron had earlier envisioned building a five-story residential condominium building, but it pulled the plug on those plans in September. Malfatti says they are working on a new idea to redevelop the site for a multifamily building with street-level retail.

Malfatti says he and Strom have also promoted Michael Eubanks, who has been with the firm that has grown to eight employees since 2012, as a third partner. “Ron and I couldn’t be more thrilled for Michael to be taking an ownership stake alongside us in Blue Heron,” Malfatti says.

Full Article HERE

Source: Triangle Business Journal