REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
FAIRSTEAD | July 26, 2022
Fairstead, a purpose-driven, vertically integrated real estate company committed to sustainable development and the creation and preservation of high-quality housing, today announced the acquisition of the historic Aurora Apartments (Aurora) tower in the Tobin Hill neighborhood of San Antonio. Located at 509 Howard Street, the 11-story building comprises 105 apartments that are home to low-income senior residents. Fairstead will invest $15 million to rehabilitate Aurora Apartments while preserving Aurora's affordability and historic character long-term.
The renovations will modernize the interior homes of the 92-year-old property and preserve its historic façade as well as original mosaic tile flooring and walls, historical interior doors, and hardware. Renovations will upgrade the infrastructure of the building including a new emergency generator, electrical panels and main switchgear, installing a sprinkler system, two new elevators, and new roofing. The apartments will also be upgraded with new Energy Star appliances, kitchens and bathrooms, and HVAC units. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
"Fairstead is proud to be stewards of historic properties across the country, and we are bringing our approach to preserving both history and affordability to the Aurora Apartments, By expanding our footprint in Texas, we can ensure that its critical affordable housing stock is not only protected but improved and modernized. Our plan to overhaul the homes at Aurora will ensure our senior residents can age in place with dignity – something we are committed to doing nationwide."
Allan Izzo, Director, Development at Fairstead
Fairstead is financing the rehabilitation in partnership with the Las Varas Public Facility Corporation, a nonprofit managed by the San Antonio Housing Authority, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Capital One, N.A., and Boston Financial.
"About half of the residents receiving housing assistance from SAHA are elderly on a fixed income," said Tim Alcott, the San Antonio Housing Authority Chief Legal and Real Estate Officer. "We celebrate partnerships that help maintain affordable housing options for the families we serve and provide a place of security."
"Boston Financial is proud to have partnered with Fairstead on the preservation of Aurora Apartments in San Antonio, Texas. Our investment has helped Fairstead to modernize 105 units of housing for the residents of this historic community, especially seniors, and preserved much-needed affordable homes for the region," said Stephen Napolitano, Senior Vice President, Boston Financial. "We believe in Fairstead's commitment to building vibrant communities across the US, and our work together reinforces our own vision to create a future where everyone has a home, one investment at a time."
"This renovation will help bring transformative change to Aurora Apartments with fully renovated unit interiors and common areas, as well as accessibility and energy efficiency improvements" said Evan Williams, senior vice president of Agency Finance at Capital One. "By leveraging our relationships with Fairstead and Freddie Mac, as well as the rest of the development team, Capital One was able to arrange an index lock, which mitigated the risk of interest volatility and ensured the project benefited from a 2.92% treasury rate."
Fairstead is partnering with the non-profit Rainbow Housing Assistance to provide much-needed social services to residents through the company's commitment to Community Impact.
"Rainbow is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Fairstead at Aurora Apartments. We are excited to bring valuable programs and services to the residents of the community and promote social and economic advancements while ensuring tenant stabilization," said Flynann Janisse, President and Executive Director of Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation. "Rainbow will offer a variety of programs targeting financial literacy, credit enhancements, education, ESL, career development and immediate employment. We will establish tailored programing to meet the unique needs of each individual and family that calls Aurora Apartments home. We look forward to lifting lives in partnership with Fairstead."
Built in 1930 as a luxury hotel in the Neo-Gothic architectural style, Aurora is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Known for its hand-carved fireplaces and grand common spaces, the vintage 11-story apartment building will remain a pet-friendly place to call home. Half of the building's units are reserved for residents making up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and the other half are for households making up to 60 percent AMI.
This news follows Fairstead's recent acquisition of the 160-unit affordable housing complex Gateway Apartments at Lake Jackson in the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Fairstead is renovating and expanding Gateway's amenity offerings, including a fitness room and playground, and is transforming the property's outdoor recreation spaces to create a more connected community for residents.
Fairstead is a purpose-driven vertically integrated real estate developer specializing in creating sustainable, high-quality housing. The firm's national footprint includes more than $6 billion in assets and identified pipeline. With offices in New York, Maryland, and South Carolina, Fairstead's team manages 90+ communities across the country and runs its comprehensive real estate platform, which includes acquisitions and development, venture capital investments in prop tech, design and construction, energy and sustainability, property management, marketing, and leasing. The firm also administers one of the industry's most proactive community impact programs to provide on-site support services to residents.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
QUALIA | August 25, 2022
Qualia, the leading digital real estate closing platform, today announced the release of the Qualia API. The Qualia API provides real estate businesses and PropTech companies seeking to start, optimize, or scale their title agency operations the ability to automatically connect internal software tools, integrate with their commercial partners, and analyze their comprehensive performance data.
With the Qualia API, businesses can automatically place and track title orders, as well as access comprehensive order, accounting, and contact data on their files in order to build custom notifications and executive-level performance dashboards. API customers can use these capabilities to design custom client experiences as well as track performance, productivity, revenue, and pipeline across clients and settlement agency branches. These insights can then be used to identify areas for improvement operationally, visualize business trends over time when used with their BI tools, and ensure CRM and accounting systems all stay in sync.
“Our mission at Qualia is to create a simple and secure journey to home ownership, As part of that, we continue to develop technology that helps businesses engineer full end-to-end purchase and refinance experiences. The API makes it easy for businesses to expand without an expensive and timely investment in custom built technology.”
-Nate Baker, CEO at Qualia
The Qualia API comes along at a time when the pace of change in consumer expectations for end-to-end purchase experiences has accelerated. Companies with large-scale operations have historically struggled to keep up with these changes and efficiently connect their multiple workflow and business intelligence tools to deliver a unified real estate transaction experience.
Amid these changing expectations, the real estate and mortgage market continue to tighten. After years of growth, the industry faces a market downturn which is predicted to persist well into 2023. The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts mortgage origination levels in 2023 are expected to be half of what they were in 2021. During this shift, companies in the real estate and mortgage industry are simultaneously facing heavy pressure to cut costs by operating more efficiently while also investing in modern client experiences in order to remain competitive.
Qualia’s cloud-based platform is uniquely positioned to meet the various needs of real estate business amid shifting macro environments. A flexible set of pull and push API capabilities and a secure authorization framework enable title agents to connect internal systems for a more streamlined title and escrow operations infrastructure. For businesses without internal title operations, the API also enables direct, digital access to a national network of technology-enabled independent title agents.
We think about Qualia as an extension of the Redfin ecosystem and that’s not possible without the Qualia API, With the Qualia API, we don’t have to spend tens of millions of dollars in R&D to build out ways to streamline our title & escrow experience. The Qualia platform makes it possible for us to package, market, and let our customers have a cohesive experience that would not otherwise be possible as a set of discrete services,shared Mary Pappas, Principal Product Manager at Redfin.
Qualia is the leading comprehensive digital closing platform used by title, escrow, real estate and mortgage lending professionals to transform home buying and selling into simple, secure, enjoyable experiences for millions of homeowners each year. The Qualia platform provides a secure operating system of record for the real estate settlement ecosystem through a suite of workflow, accounting, reporting, and communications products as well as its expansive product and service integrations. Qualia is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and has offices in Austin, TX, and Superior, CO.
LAWS AND ETHICS,REAL ESTATE ADVICE
Kimco Realty | September 09, 2022
Great Place to Work® has honored Kimco Realty® as one of the 2022 Best Workplaces in Real Estate™. This is Kimco’s first time being named to this prestigious list, making its inaugural appearance at number 16 in the ranking. Earning a spot means that Kimco is one of the best real estate companies to work for in the country.
The Best Workplaces in Real Estate award is based on survey responses from over 23,000 employees from Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies in the real estate industry. According to the Great Place to Work® 2021 Global Employee Engagement Study, 94% of Kimco’s employees said that the company is a great place to work, as compared to 57% for a typical US company.
“Kimco’s culture is truly unique. We are a team that values diversity, collaboration, and innovation all of which are a hallmark of our company’s success, I’d like to thank our talented and dedicated associates who have helped us achieve a leadership position in our industry and make Kimco such a special place to work day in and day out.”
-Kimco CEO Conor Flynn
The Best Workplaces in Real Estate is highly competitive. Great Place to Work, a global authority on workplace culture, selected the list using data analytics and confidential employee feedback. Companies were only considered if they had been a Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization, a designation that Kimco has received for the last four consecutive years.
Great Place to Work is the only company culture award in America that selects winners based on how fairly employees are treated. Companies are assessed on the quality of the employee experience they create, with a focus on ensuring that the experience is great for employees of any race, gender, age, disability status, or role within the organization.
These companies have adapted to the challenges of an ever-changing workplace by their commitment to inclusive, high-trust cultures where employees are treated as human beings first and foremost, Congratulations to the Best Workplaces in Real Estate,says Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work.
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, including 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, 2022, the company owned interests in 533 U.S. shopping centers and mixed-use assets comprising 92 million square feet of gross leasable space.
About the Best Workplaces in Real Estate™
Great Place to Work selected the Best Workplaces in Real Estate by gathering and analyzing confidential survey responses from over 23,000 employees from Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies in the real estate industry. Company rankings are derived from 60 employee experience questions within the Great Place to Work® Trust Index™ survey. Great Place to Work determines its lists using its proprietary For All™ methodology to evaluate and certify thousands of organizations in America’s largest ongoing annual workforce study, based on over 1 million survey responses and data from companies representing more than 6.1 million employees, this year alone.
About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees worldwide and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Their employee survey platform empowers leaders with the feedback, real-time reporting and insights they need to make data-driven people decisions. Everything they do is driven by the mission to build a better world by helping every organization become a great place to work For All™.