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September 2, 2008
 
       
 
LandAm
 
MULTI-FAMILY SLUMP
IS
OPPORTUNITY

We'll be on hand Sat. night for one of the great musical and charity events of the year: the amazing Doo-Wop concert at the Warner Theater to benefit the Lombardi Cancer Center. Even if you didn't live through the 50's and early 60's, you'll recognize the great songs of the era, played live by the original groups. More info.


 

WCI and Comstock may be reorganizing, but usually where there's distress one also finds opportunity. We've wondered who's thriving in this environment, and here at the corner of Connecticut and R last week we found an example: A long-time homebuilder who says this is as great a time for buyers as the RTC days, except there's no RTC to have to haggle with.

 

Steve Coniglio runs the east coast for LandCap Partners, an LA-based investment fund started last October, that has a warchest of $400M in replenishable equity. It uses all cash to skirt the debt markets and buy two things: land and residential units from builders and developers, and loan portfolios from banks. Obviously, it buys them for a fraction of their value, but finds plenty of sellers who want to get risky debt off their books. LandCap's happy to hold the real estate because, as they say, they bought it on the correct basis

 
McKeever
 

We met Steve here because it's near where he lives, and we needed morning coffee; his office is actually in McLean. He says he holds the record for how fast he can run two blocks during TV ads to pick up a dinner order at Sette. As an example of how LandCap operates, he says it's currently purchasing 387 finished single-family lots in San Antonio from a builder that wants to pay off land debt so it can take on construction debt and complete them; LandCap is selling the inventory back to the builder at the rate of 11 lots a month. But LandCap won't buy just anything. For example, it doesn't like high-rise developments because of current construction costs associated with the use of concrete rather than wood, the need to provide structured parking, and market exposure in a single location.

 

A year ago, Steve was VP for land acquisition at KB Homes, and before that spent eight years at Pulte. Steve also knows how to walk across Connecticut Avenue and do other dangerous things: He was in the Army Reserves from '85 to '04, and saw service in Panama when the US invaded during the Reagan Years, in central Iraq during Gulf War I, and most recently in Afghanistan chasing the Taliban. But he also knows how to enjoy tranquility. A competitive golfer at William and Mary, he tries to golf when he can at the Army-Navy club. [Poke Steve.]


CUSHMAN FIELD TRIP!
 

Not all the political action was in Denver last week. Could such well-dressed folks in the Rose Garden actually be from the real estate field? Of course! Invited by a friend to see the President and First Lady return from Crawford were Tishman Speyer's Scott Franklin, and Cushman's Jim Dennin, Dave Dochter, Geoff Kreiss, Lauren LeHew, and Julie Wheatley. We assume they talked with the President about how they could represent him finding a new tenant to lease the White House in '09. (Well, the Cushman people; Scott may think he can persuade Obama or McCain to move a block or two away to one of Tishman Speyer's spiffy new buildings.)

 
 
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