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Adam Neumann Looks To Shake Up Multifamily Sector As Apartment Magnate

Then-WeWork CEO Adam Neumann at the Creator Awards launch in Washington, D.C., in 2017.

Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has become a major investor in multifamily properties, with entities tied to him acquiring stakes in more than 4,000 units, mostly in the Southeast, The Wall Street Journal reports. The ownership interests are valued at more than $1B. 

“Since the spring of 2020, we have been excited about multifamily apartment living in vibrant cities where a new generation of young people increasingly are choosing to live," D.J. Mauch, a partner in Neumann's family office, told the WSJ, which also cited other unnamed sources, as well as public records, to report on Neumann's latest investment activities.

Neumann is reported to want to "shake up" the rental housing business, presumably an echo of what WeWork promised to do for the office sector, but how that might happen isn't clear.

Though no longer associated with coworking giant WeWork, the aftermath of his departure in 2019 following a failed IPO has left Neumann with a considerable amount of cash to play with.

WeWork majority owner SoftBank Group paid Neumann nearly $200M for consulting and other fees to give up control of WeWork, along with buying $578M worth of his shares in the company. The payments to Neumann were enough to be a major part of the over $2B in losses that WeWork recorded in Q1 2021.

Neumann has made other real estate-related investments since departing WeWork. In 2021, 166 2nd LLC, Neumann's family office, participated in a round of funding for Valon Mortgage, formerly known as Peach Street. In 2020, the family office led a $42M investment round in Hello Alfred, which provides concierge services in residential buildings.

In moving into apartments, Neumann is entering a crowded field as investors jockey for prized assets in a property type that has seen high demand in many markets, but not always enough supply.

Even so, the prospects for the sector are strong. CBRE predicts that U.S. multifamily occupancy levels will remain above 95% for the foreseeable future and that the sector will enjoy nearly 7% growth in net effective rents in 2022.

Related Topics: WeWork, Adam Neumann