How Multifamily Developers Can Do Well and Do Good
There may be no one more bullish on the multifamily market than Bobby Turner, who says we're in the first inning of the cycle. But there is a difference between making good money and just making good, and he told the more than 500 attendees of Bisnow's Annual Multifamily Conference in LA all about it.
Our event started off with Bisnow co-founder Elliott Bisnow interviewing Bobby, who says there's room to help supply workforce housing to underserved populations, all while turning a nice profit. His Turner Impact Capital is on course to $1B under management by the end of the year.
Bobby partnered with such deep-pocketed and well-known celebrities as Andre Agassi and Magic Johnson to make it happen. The former CEO of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors is focused primarily on schools and apartments for the working class. And he's got some outside-the-box ideas, including subsidizing rent to police officers who live on premises and "patrol the complex when they're not patrolling the community."
But even before Bobby and Elliott took the center stage, hundreds of eager professionals participated in Bisnow's speed networking.
On our Western US Multifamily Titans panel, speakers spoke of the unprecedented rent growth landlords have enjoyed over the last three years. But Forest City West CEO Kevin Ratner says CEQA remains a major hurdle, "stopping us from building out of our problem." Kevin was joined on the panel by Emerald Fund chairman Oz Erickson, Highridge Costa Housing Partners CEO Michael Costa, UDR VP of West Coast Development Don MacKenzie, Berkadia senior managing director Dean Zander, and CohnReznick managing director Richard Hollowell, who moderated.
Oz (right with Kevin) says job numbers will continue to create a need for more multifamily development. In booming S.F., Emerald Fund has a 162-unit project working at 101 Polk and a 400-unit project at 100 Van Ness.
Dean (here with Richard) also is bullish on the future. He says rising prices won't dampen the market, as the demand for rental housing isn't slowing down. In fact, it's still heating up.
Champion Real Estate CEO Bob Champion, who spoke on our Developer's Outlook panel, says there's a lot of money to be made in value-add investments. A couple of years back, Bob bought a small multifamily building adjacent to another property he owns in Hollywood, and after investing about $10k improving the individual units, he doubled rent on smaller units, and saw a two-thirds increase on larger ones.
Bob was joined on the panel by Fifteen Group founder Mark Sanders, The Laramar Group VP Matt Levy (here), MJW Investments founder Mark Weinstein, Morgan Group president Alan Patton and Allen Matkins partner Mark Hartney (here), who moderated.
Matt says his firm isn't focused on trophy assets. Instead, he sees great opportunity in picking up buildings that are near main corridors, but can be offered at a discount to all the new construction.