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Three Ways To Go From Investor To Owner


Want to get a jump-start on upcoming deals? Meet the major Chicago players at one of our upcoming events!

Interested in moving up to the majors? Today we bring you a handy guide for passive commercial real estate investors looking to take their involvement to the next level:

1) Build a deep bench.

Three Ways To Go From Investor To Owner

McShane Development vet Mark Saturno (snapped with his family), just tapped as senior principal and COO of Molto Properties, tells us a strong team has been the company's first priority in expanding its 4M SF-plus industrial portfolio in the Chicago area and central US. Entrepreneurial shops have less capital post-downturn and the larger players have consolidated (ex. Prologis and AMB), opening up space for a well-funded startup. Led by managing principal and president Todd Naccarato, Molto Properties recently brought on Mark, Mike Powers from Zilber Property Group, and Hagood Morrison from Vornado.

2) Capital can't hurt.

Three Ways To Go From Investor To Owner

Mark (speaking at a Bisnow event), thinks Molto's biggest differentiator will be its capital. In November the company launched its second fund with a $100M commitment from parent Molto Capital, a longtime industrial user with former bakeware business Wilton Industries. (Like when your dad bought you your first car and then told you to use it to drive to get a job.) While the firm eventually plans to raise outside funding to coinvest along with the family money, this early capital boost lets them pull the trigger quickly on both acquisitions and development, he says. Molto's also not constrained by being publicly traded or part of a larger fund, allowing for creative deals like JVs, short-term leasebacks, note sales, and investing with a building user.

3) Wear many hats.

Three Ways To Go From Investor To Owner

Planning to do both acquisitions and development opens Molto up to more opportunities at each point in the cycle, Mark tells us. He's feeling pretty good about the ever-liquid Chicago market, given its decreasing vacancy rates, steady demand (e-commerce, anyone? Don't get us started on Amazon's drones, above), and restrained industrial pipeline. On the finance side (Molto pays cash then finances after closing), Mark's seeing more aggressive lending for deals with decent credit, low leverage, and functional real estate. Over the holidays, Mark's taking the family to Belize for a week in the jungle fishing, boating, and hiking.