Chicago Real Estate's Rising Stars
In collaboration with Aries Capital, we hosted an invitation-only cocktail event at Kirkland & Ellis' uber-chic office space in River North late last week, featuring a collection of Chicago commercial real estate's next-gen leaders. It's one of many we're holding around the US in anticipation of the Escape Ascent retreat in South Beach this November.
Here's Pearlshire Capital Group's Rana Rehan Zaid with Welbic Investments' Matt Lewandowski. Rehan co-founded Pearlshire, an opportunistic investment fund structured as a family office (soon offering full-service construction and management), in 2013, with a focus on secondary and tertiary markets. It's been particularly active in hospitality with 700 keys in the Midwest, and recent deals include the Holiday Inn William Tell in Countryside and the redevelopment of a Holiday Inn Express in Roselle (with a 24k SF conference space leased to India House). Outside of work, Rehan sits on DePaul's School of Hospitality advisory board, Elgin Academy's education committee and Development in Literacy's national board.
Revision Group's Mark Waligora and Blackbird Investment Group's Todd Vender. Mark tells us Revision just sold a Starbucks it developed in Evanston and is marketing a 7-Eleven-anchored center for sale in Avondale via Baum Realty Group. Revision is currently focused on value creation in its portfolio via leasing and construction, and has made great strides with retail leasing in Edgewater, Bucktown and Jefferson Park, restaurant leasing in Pilsen and finishing up the leasing/build-out of flex/office product it owns in the Kinzie Corridor. Mark can't wait to hit Portugal and Spain later this month, with stops including Lisbon, Sevilla, Barcelona and more. He may get used to the siestas and opt not to come back, he jokes. The investment community is eagerly waiting to hear more about what Todd and Greg Adler are doing over at Blackbird.
Highgate Capital Group's John Kinzelberg and Waterton Associates' Max Peek. John tells us Highgate is schedule to close its second deal in Tampa in mid-March, which will complement its portfolio of 940-plus units, and it's actively pursuing value-add opportunities in the Southeast, Central Florida and major Midwest markets. Highgate feels strongly that the rising tide of multifamily will not float all boats and a patient, disciplined approach is paramount, John says. He's taking the family (two kids) to Door County over Spring Break and then for their seven-year anniversary, he and his wife are taking a no-kids trip to Vegas for some pool time and relaxation.
Shiner Capital Partners' Sam Ankin and Bucksbaum Retail Properties' Jason Olt. Sam tells us Shiner recently closed on two properties in downtown Raleigh: one is a mixed-use development of a historic power station and one is a full city block slated for redevelopment. He just got back from a company/partner ski trip in Aspen. At Bucksbaum, Jason is working to complete New City in Lincoln Park and Liberty Center (a 1.2M SF project in Cincinnati), both scheduled to open this fall. Bucksbaum is also pursuing a mixed-use project in Wrigleyville and the retail portion of a development in the Illinois Medical District. Jason continues to see interest from restaurant, entertainment and experiential retail tenants for space in urban settings.
Aries Capital's Rushi Shah and Equity Group Investments' Tim Pettit. Rushi tells us Aries is seeing a lot of CMBS activity. Capital is back for real estate, rates are low and it's fun again in the markets. Non-recourse money is back into deals at healthy leverage and Rushi's not seeing signs of "stupid debt" like the last bubble. He just closed an $11.6M deal in Ohio where three hotel properties were cross-collateralized and the sponsor was able to leverage two existing assets to acquire a third, along with some cash returned at closing. Rushi will be speaking at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association conference in Long Beach next month.
Morgan Management's Chase Chavin, flanked by Aries Capital's Eric Jones and Jeff Bucaro. Eric tells us he recently closed a CMBS retail deal and a Freddie multifamily deal, both 10-year, non-recourse. He's also closing a couple of Fannie deals next week and has several CMBS hotel loans in process. Outside of the office, Eric recently returned from a cross-country road trip from Phoenix. Chase says Morgan's active with multifamily acquisitions, particularly in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and it's also working a portfolio deal in Harrisburg, PA, and a smaller deal in the South Shore of Chicago. After two weeks this past winter in Argentina, he and the family (wife, 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter) are heading to Tuscon for Spring Break. Jeff says that a variety of non-CMBS debt and equity capital continues to migrate into the hospitality sector for both flagged and boutique hotels. He recently closed on two boutique hotel financings, including a $46M bridge loan on a destination resort property and a $7.2M preferred equity investment for a flagged hotel.
Property Markets Group's Noah Gottlieb with Oak Grove Capital's Ryan Cahalan. (You may remember our recent story on their flurry of deals together.) Noah's busy looking to execute on a few neighborhood TOD deals. It's "trying to be a big fish in a small pond without running out of water," he says. He's got trips booked to Sea Island, GA, for golf, Austin for BBQ at Salt Lick and Croatia for some R&R under sails. Ryan recently arranged construction financing for PMG's new luxury, Class-A rental project in Logan Square. He's also ramping up Oak Grove's Chicago presence, sourcing deals from bridge lending to permanent financing for all types of multifamily product.
Bisnow's own Michael Mazzara with one of our gracious hosts, Kirkland & Ellis' Josh Hanna. Josh tells us K&E is currently involved in several large JV transactions involving foreign pension investors, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds from Australia, China and the Middle East investing alongside US operators, REITs and other institutional capital. Office and retail investment remains focused on trophy assets in gateway cities, multifamily interest is spreading to secondary markets and hospitality investment is trending up, he says. On weekends you'll find Josh at basketball and soccer games with his 10-year-old son Lucas and 7-year-old daughter Olivia, and he's still basking in the glory of OSU's national championship run. He and his wife, Justine, are planning Spring Break with the kids in SoCal and he's trying to get one last ski trip in at Powder Mountain.
To really set the scene, check out the river view we had from K&E's seventh floor office, as well as the interesting nautical light fixtures and delicious desserts (from our sponsor Aries Capital). To learn more about Ascent, click here.