Real Estate Advice
PRnewswire | August 16, 2023
Zenerate ,an innovative AI startup in the Proptech space, has entered into a strategic partnership with SoLa Impact ,the leading private real estate developer of affordable housing in California. Zenerate has developed a powerful platform that employs generative design, artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics to optimize the feasibility analysis process for real estate projects, reducing turnaround time and maximizing development returns.
In a groundbreaking move to revolutionize the affordable housing sector, SoLa Impact has partnered with Zenerate, to streamline and automate the feasibility analysis process for their affordable and modular housing developments. The collaboration brings cutting-edge AI technology to the modular construction industry and dramatically accelerates the speed of planning, configuration, design, and the permit approval process for a wide range of SoLa's affording housing projects.
SoLa Impact has been at the forefront of addressing the affordable housing crisis in Los Angeles over the last decade, consistently demonstrating its commitment to creating sustainable, community-focused housing solutions. SoLa currently has over 35 projects with almost 3,000 units at various stages of construction, the majority of which are dedicated to affordable housing. With the increasing demand in the affordable segment, the need for swift and accurate feasibility, configuration, and design analysis has become paramount in the real estate development landscape.
Martin Muoto, the Founder and CEO of SoLa Impact, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, "We are thrilled to collaborate with Zenerate in our mission to dramatically scale the development and delivery of high-quality affordable housing in California. By leveraging Zenerate's cutting-edge technology combined with our proprietary standardization processes, we can bring significantly more units to market more cost-effectively and more quickly, with the vast majority of our projects to house people that are currently homeless and living in tents. Equally important, these are units that are an order-of-magnitude more energy efficient than the aging housing stock they are replacing. All units are fully electric, use water-efficient fixtures, and have ENERGY STAR-certified appliances, dramatically reducing GHG emissions while providing cost savings to California's low-income Black and brown communities."
The integration of Zenerate's software into SoLa Impact's modular operations will facilitate data-driven decision-making, allowing for a more efficient and comprehensive evaluation of potential development sites, construction costs, and market demand. By automating the feasibility and design analysis, SoLa Impact's team will be able to evaluate more sites, repurpose vacant and sub-optimized locations, and build for maximum density and affordability.
The Co-Founder and CEO of Zenerate, Benji Shin, echoed Muoto's sentiments, emphasizing Zenerate's commitment to providing housing more quickly and affordably by leveraging Artificial Intelligence, particularly expert systems for code compliance and machine learning for rapid massing, configuration, and design. "We are thrilled to partner with SoLa Impact, whose deep commitment to creating sustainable, scalable, and affordable housing aligns perfectly with our mission. By automating key parts of the feasibility, configuration, and eventually, the permitting process, we aim to enable developers to run thousands of financial and design scenarios instantly, ultimately contributing to the advancement of affordable housing initiatives."
The innovative approach undertaken by SoLa Impact and Zenerate is expected to have a significant impact on the speed and scale of affordable housing development in California, starting in Los Angeles – the largest affordable housing market in the United States with the most acute homeless problem – and then expanding to other local municipalities, and eventually, other states.
About SoLa Impact
SoLa Impact is a family of real estate funds with a double bottom line strategy focused on preserving, rehabbing, and building high-quality affordable housing in low- and moderate-income communities. SoLa's proven track record leverages data-driven social impact strategies to deliver superior financial returns. SoLa Impact's fourth fund, the Black Impact Fund, has invested $1 billion in affordable housing in Southern California. SoLa Impact was ranked as the 7th fastest-growing minority-led private company by Inc. 500 and was awarded the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) Emerging Manager ESG Award for SoLa's demonstrated ability to deliver on its commitment to positive changes in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters.
Zenerate, a member company of Born2Gl obal Centre, is a venture-backed innovative AI startup in the real estate development space, providing consulting services and web-based products for feasibility studies; Z-maps is a real estate development map that weekly updates all the latest projects in Southern California, and Zenerate App is a design automation tool that generates development scenarios with floor plans in real time for feasibility studies.
Real Estate Technology, Mortgage and Lending
PRnewswire | July 21, 2023
FirstClose, Inc., a leading fintech provider of data and workflow solutions for mortgage and home equity lenders nationwide, announced today that its home equity origination platform—FirstClose Equity— is now integrated with Encompass® by ICE Mortgage Technology®, part of ICE, a global data, technology and market infrastructure company that designs, builds and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity.
Through the new integration, Encompass users can seamlessly originate home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and home equity loans (HELs) within their LOS and complete the application through closing process in as few as 10 days versus the industry average of 45 to 60 days. Encompass will continue to be the system of record because all data is secured through the LOS and stored there. Each call to action initiates a data map and an audit trail to Encompass.
FirstClose's one-of-a-kind home equity solution reduces operational touchpoints to elevate the overall customer experience for borrowers. The solution also enables lenders to automate data collection, verification, and continue to order settlement services through FirstClose's existing order management module.
"Home equity lending has become a go-to option for millions of homeowners and is expected to be a significant growth opportunity for the foreseeable future," said Tedd Smith, Chief Executive Officer at FirstClose. "Our integration with ICE Mortgage's platform will give Encompass users a simple, efficient way to either enter this market or to differentiate themselves by significantly improving the customer experience that they are offering."
The end-to-end platform was built modularly so lenders can implement one, two or all modules based on the approach that's right for their organization.
Point of Sale (POS): A private-label borrower-facing point-of-sale solution with a unique borrower experience – single sign on, workflow, and customized branding including domain that gives consumers instant online feedback on their home valuation, available home equity, loan options and delivers credit decisions in minutes. (Borrower eligibility is determined by the credit score and CLTV.)
Borrower Portal: A borrower portal that lets consumers provide consents, upload needed documents, interact with originators, select loan terms, and draw amounts. In parallel, the portal's backend is iframed into Encompass, so loan originators never leave their LOS and are rewarded with a consistent process and streamlined functionality including title decisioning via the lenders' business rules and a credit decision that leverages EPPS and Encompass' Dynamic Data Management (DDM) to deliver findings in minutes.
Order Management: Automated workflows, including triggers enable the ordering of settlement services such as flood, title, valuation and more.
Closing: An option to support hybrid closings and recordings that are compliant with state regulations and lender guidelines.
"Our best-of-breed technology dramatically accelerates decision-making and connects lenders to a broad network of preferred providers with one contract, one bill and one support team," said Craig Austin, Executive Vice President at FirstClose. "Lenders currently originating home equity products can onboard in as fast as 30 days; while new entrants can onboard in as fast as 60 days enabling lenders to pivot and capitalize on the current market which is a bright spot for our industry."
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, FirstClose, Inc. provides fintech solutions to HELOC and mortgage lenders nationwide. The company's mission is to increase profitability and reduce cost for mortgage lenders. FirstClose makes this possible through offering systems and relationships that enable lenders to assist the lender's borrowers more effectively, reduce closing costs, and ultimately shorten closing times.
About ICE Mortgage Technology
ICE Mortgage Technology® is part of ICE, a global data, technology and market infrastructure company that designs, builds and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. Backed by ICE's global resources, we offer a truly differentiated digital platform that provides straight-through processing for a more comprehensive end-to-end workflow than any other provider in the market. We reach almost every mortgage in the U.S. by combining the native automation of Encompass® with the e-collaboration and e-recording capabilities of Simplifile®, along with the national electronic registry for nearly 90% of the U.S. mortgage market in MERS®. Ultimately, our technology enables people across the industry to focus on personal connections when they need it most, and support borrowers for a better journey of homeownership.
About Intercontinental Exchange
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company that designs, builds and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. We provide financial technology and data services across major asset classes that offer our customers access to mission-critical workflow tools that increase transparency and operational efficiencies. We operate exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, and clearing houses that help people invest, raise capital and manage risk across multiple asset classes. Our comprehensive fixed income data services and execution capabilities provide information, analytics and platforms that help our customers capitalize on opportunities and operate more efficiently. At ICE Mortgage Technology, we are transforming and digitizing the U.S. residential mortgage process, from consumer engagement through loan registration. Together, we transform, streamline and automate industries to connect our customers to opportunity.
Real Estate Investment
Kimco Realty Corporation | August 25, 2023
Kimco Realty® North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of open-air, grocery-anchored shopping centers and a growing portfolio of mixed-use assets, today announced the acquisition of Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center, a 96%-occupied, 504,000-square-foot, grocery-anchored lifestyle center in Woodbridge, Virginia, for $172.5 million.
The center, which has an estimated population of over 230,000 people and an average household income of $125,000 within a five-mile radius, is anchored by a 138,500 square foot Wegmans, one of the state's top-ranking grocers with a trade area of 40 miles, and the only Apple store in the greater trade area. The center's diverse tenant mix features a complementary blend of leading national brands, including REI, Ulta Beauty, Starbucks, Cava, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, as well as a variety of local shops which include boutique fitness, personal services, restaurants and medical uses.
"We’re excited to add Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center, a premiere grocery-anchored center situated in a high barrier-to-entry location with strong demographics, to our dynamic portfolio,” said Ross Cooper, Kimco’s President and Chief Investment Officer. “This center boasts a robust growth profile that will complement and solidify Kimco’s position as the leading retail player in the suburban Washington D.C. market.”
This acquisition presents a variety of growth prospects, including the potential to develop three outparcel retail buildings, increase density through mixed-use development, and enhance the existing merchandising mix through the recapture of below market leases.
Strategically located at the intersections of I-95, Dale Boulevard, Route 1, and Opitz Boulevard, the center benefits from 5.5 million annual visits, ranking in the 97th percentile nationally. Construction of a municipal park and ride garage adjacent to the center demonstrates continued government investment in the area and is expected to drive additional traffic upon its completion in mid-2024.
About Kimco Realty
Kimco Realty is a real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in Jericho, N.Y. that is North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of open-air, grocery-anchored shopping centers and a growing portfolio of mixed-use assets. The company’s portfolio is primarily concentrated in the first-ring suburbs of the top major metropolitan markets, including those in high-barrier-to-entry coastal markets and rapidly expanding Sun Belt cities, with a tenant mix focused on essential, necessity-based goods and services that drive multiple shopping trips per week. Kimco Realty is also committed to leadership in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and is a recognized industry leader in these areas. Publicly traded on the NYSE since 1991, and included in the S&P 500 Index, the company has specialized in shopping center ownership, management, acquisitions, and value enhancing redevelopment activities for more than 60 years. As of June 30, 2023, the company owned interests in 528 U.S. shopping centers and mixed-use assets comprising 90 million square feet of gross leasable space.