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BISNOW EXCLUSIVE: CONTINENTAL LOCKS IN $27M FOR THIRD FUND

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BISNOW EXCLUSIVE: CONTINENTAL LOCKS IN $27M FOR THIRD FUND
Continental Realty Corp's CRC Fund III hit $78.6M, after closing another $27M. And it could hit $100M thanks to the relationships CEO JM Schapiro has made through eight months on the road and across oceans. (We'll finally figure out which president is on the $100M bill?)
Gene Parker, Lauren Wayne, JM Schapiro, and Nick McCoy on July 24, 2012
JM (front and center, snapped today with president Gene Parker, investor reporting director Lauren Wayne, and general counsel Nick McCoy) tells us the equity will go toward 10 to 20 multifamily and retail value-add properties from the Mid-Atlantic to South Florida. The firm has checked out hundreds of properties and already bought three. Continental isn't the only firm looking, so to get out in front, most of its deals will come from existing relationships with lenders and brokers (or even brokers with relationships to even smaller lenders). The trick is finding properties where Continental can restructure the debt, manage the property differently, or save an owner that's run out of equity—and then act fast.

Parkwood Court, Alexandria, Va.
In November, Continental bought Alexandria, Va.'s 189-unit Parkwood Court apartments for $23M from Christian Relief Services Alexandria Housing Corp for the fund. Since then, Gene and the residential management team upped occupancy from 84% to 96% and increased rents.
The Shops at Verandah, Fort Myers, Fla.
The fund also owns the 91% leased, 73k SF Shops at Verandah(above) in Fort Myers, Fla., and a 31k SF Office Depot and Mattress Firm-anchored shopping center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla. Continental completed that last acquisition in 25 days. JM tells us nine other investors also put in full-price offers the same day, but Continental, with Nick in-house, worked all weekend (i.e., ordered lots of Chinese) to lock in the deal. Since fundraising took him to London last month, we asked JM about another kind of competition, the Olympics. The big event he'll be watching: tennis at Wimbledon.