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Related's New Math: Divide to Add Value

Los Angeles Multifamily

With some $2B of market-rate projects under development in the state, Related California has decided it's time to split—into a new division, that is. (They've got the divide part down that just leaves the conquer part to take care of.) The company tapped former MacFarlane Partners president Greg Vilkin as president of the newly created Related California Urban Residential.

Related California chairman Bill Witte tells us the company's brimming pipeline of market-rate and mixed-income opportunities is deserving of its own division. In addition the volume of both market-rate and affordable business makes it logical to "separate the responsibilities, but not the synergies." Greg takes the Urban Residential reins on Oct. 1, and Bill says the 30-year industry veteran's broad and long track record makes him a great asset. (Folks still talk about Greg's transformation of Denver's Stapleton International Airport into a master-planned community when he was at Forest City Enterprises.)

The company's market-rate and luxury pipeline will be rolled into Urban Residential, which includes multiple projects at various stages of development. Projects include The Waverly (above) and Seychelle in Santa Monica, and The Century in LA, where residential sales are underway. That said, Bill tells us the company remains "staunchly committed" to developing, acquiring, and rehabbing affordable housing, including the nearly 3,000 units it currently has under development. COO Frank Cardone was named president of Related California Affordable to lead and grow those activities.

Related is also nearing completion on The Emerson (seen in a webcam construction shot), part of the Grand Avenue development in Downtown LA. So what's this say about multifam? Bill notes we're becoming more of an urban dweller country; more than 70% of US households are without children, including Millennials, Boomers, and other groups with labels. Many of these folks—even young families—want to be able to walk, bike, or take transit, he says. These trends all reinforce the demand for multifamily residential. "We see it on an upward curve over the next 20 years or so."