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New Year, New Investment Activity: Surge Of CRE Capital Continues In First Days Of 2022


The surge of capital into CRE and real estate-related ventures last year has continued into the new year, with investors looking for new-sector action such as build-to-rent housing, distressed properties and other opportunistic deals.

In January, Chicago-based residential real estate developer Core Spaces and investor Harrison Street formed a joint venture to invest as much as $1.5B in the development and acquisition of single-family build-to-rent houses. The JV’s pipeline includes over 6,500 units in markets such as Austin, Texas; Denver; Dallas; Orlando, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee. 

"Affordability challenges in the U.S. housing market and changes in lifestyle preferences are driving demand for single-family rentals," Core Spaces President Dan Goldberg said in a statement.

In another sign of new year activity, major investor Hines has formed a fund to raise as much as $1B in equity, which would translate to a $2.5B war chest for investing in residential, office, self-storage and student housing in the 30 largest U.S. metro markets, targeting struggling or undervalued properties, Bloomberg reports.

The fund is also looking for properties benefiting from the rise in e-commerce since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Thus far it has made two acquisitions totaling $186M toward that end, taking ownership of two logistics sites in California. 

Envoy, a workplace platform that helps companies reopen flexible workplaces, has secured $111M in Series C funding led by Brookfield Growth, with participation from a number of existing investors. This funding round takes the company’s valuation to $1.4B.

The platform can be used to coordinate schedules among co-workers, book desks and rooms, welcome visitors, receive deliveries, and verify coronavirus vaccination and test result status, according to Envoy. The company says that demand for its services is growing despite the pandemic, with Envoy enjoying more revenue in 2021 than in 2019 and 2020 combined.

Investors are even betting on restaurants, one of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic. In January, Enlightened Hospitality Investments closed its second fund with $332M in capital commitments, exceeding its $300M fundraising target.

The fund will mainly seek to make minority equity investments of $10M to $30M in companies focused on fine casual restaurants, as well as in tech companies that support hospitality, Nation's Restaurant News reports

"We are inspired by the resilience of the community of businesses in Fund I that have not simply endured the unprecedented challenges of the hospitality industry, but have adapted and thrived," Enlightened Hospitality Investments Managing Partner Danny Meyer told NRN.