Existing home sales climb 1.9% on low mortgage rates

National Association of Realtors | November 21, 2019

Despite lingering regional variances, the nation’s existing-home sales increased by 1.9% in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.46 million. This means sales are 4.6% above October 2018’s rate.

Spotlight

This edition of Real Estate Strategies analyzes the role of international real estate in the investment portfolios of Swiss institutional investors. Not only does it provide an overview of the current and future importance of international real estate in asset allocation, it also sheds light on how pension funds view the topic.


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INVESTMENTS

RUBICON POINT PARTNERS ACQUIRES HISTORIC "CROWN JEWEL OF OAKLAND" ROTUNDA BUILDING

Rubicon Point Partners | January 25, 2022

Rubicon Point Partners ("Rubicon"), a woman and minority-owned real estate company specializing in transformative investments, announced its recent acquisition of the iconic Rotunda Building in downtown Oakland from Rotunda Partners II, who have owned the building since 1999 and will continue as a minority owner. Featuring some of the Bay Area's best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture, the building also features a four-story parking garage. Rubicon plans to roll out its "Work From Here" program and put in place a sustainability plan to reduce the building's carbon footprint. The "Work From Here" program focuses on creating workspaces that are amenitized in ways not available at home, emphasizing employee health and wellness while enabling employers to better accommodate a hybrid workforce. Rubicon plans to introduce a state-of-the-art fitness facility, upgraded common areas, hybrid digital conferencing and collaboration infrastructure. We are honored and humbled to be the caretakers of the historic and beautiful Rotunda. We look forward to implementing an improvement plan that will honor its history but also modernize it to allow for a new generation of companies to thrive, We are especially excited to work with key stakeholders to activate Frank Ogawa Plaza and integrate it with the building's indoor space. This indoor-outdoor environment is rare in urban settings like downtown Oakland." Ani Vartanian, Rubicon's co-managing partner. Situated at Frank Ogawa Plaza across from City Hall in Downtown Oakland, the property was built in 1912 and originally designed by Bay Area architect Charles Dickey, who fitted a dramatic elliptical glass dome in the interior atrium. At the time, the dome was said to be the largest of its kind. He was also known for developing a diverse architectural style, fusing elements of Hawaiian and Beaux-Arts design. Dickey's most recognizable California creations, the Oakland Rotunda Building and Claremont Hotel, proudly sit on the National Register of Historic Places. In the early 2000s, prior ownership of the Rotunda reinforced its structure with a full seismic retrofit following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, transforming it into one of the safest historic spaces in Downtown Oakland. We selected Rubicon because of their track record in transforming historic assets and are confident that they will be great custodians of this Oakland jewel." Phil Tagami, one of the managing partners at Rotunda Partners II. Rubicon purchased the eight-story property through the Rubicon First Ascent Fund, seeing an opportunity to simultaneously preserve an Oakland treasure while reducing its environmental impact. The firm has been busily transforming similar historic spaces from California to Washington for the past decade such as 450 Shotwell, the Storek building, 1125 Mission Street and Masin Block. Rubicon plans to continue offering the building to be used as an event space for galas and events that benefit the City and are essential to the success of the people of Oakland. Being good environmental stewards is important to us at Rubicon. In addition to modernizing the Rotunda, we plan to reduce the building's carbon footprint in the process. We hope the Rotunda Building will serve as a blueprint for how historic spaces can remain sustainable for future generations, Our playbook at the Rotunda Building involves investments in the building systems and the deployment of our technology stack, including machine learning utility management systems. All of these serve to increase efficiency while reducing the building's carbon footprint." Razmig Boladian, Rubicon's co-managing partner. About Rubicon Point Partners When workspaces call for out-of-the-box innovations, Rubicon delivers creative, environmentally driven, and socially responsible solutions. Since its inception, the San Francisco-based woman and minority-owned investment firm has transformed over 2 million square feet of space to sustainably house companies of all sizes, making way for future generations of talented leaders, thinkers, and creators.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

EMPIRE STATE REALTY TRUST SIGNS PROGYNY, INC. FOR 70,573 SQUARE FEET ACROSS THREE FULL FLOORS AT 1359 BROADWAY

Empire State Realty | March 03, 2022

Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT) today announced a new lease with Progyny, Inc. a leading fertility benefits management company, at 1359 Broadway. Progyny has committed to occupy 70,573 square feet across three floors, which includes one floor that it previously subleased, one floor that Progyny will occupy in late 2022 and a third floor that they will occupy in early 2024. We are growing rapidly as more and more employers recognize the value of Progyny's comprehensive fertility and family building solution, We look forward to expanding our presence in our corporate office in New York City with Empire State Realty Trust." Pete Anevski, CEO of Progyny. Located along the updated Broadway Pedestrian Plaza, 1359 Broadway offers convenient access to major transportation hubs, subway lines, dining, lodging, and shopping. The fully modernized office building features industry-leading energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality measures at a fraction of the cost of newer buildings. Our premier indoor environmental quality measures and energy-efficient practices continue to attract high-quality tenants who appreciate our value proposition, Progyny is a welcome addition to our excellent tenant roster at 1359 Broadway after a successful sublease." Thomas P. Durels, executive vice president, real estate at Empire State Realty Trust. David Falk, Kyle Ciminelli, and Dylan Weisman of Newmark Knight Frank represented Progyny, Inc. in the lease negotiations. Property owner representation was provided by Shanae Ursini and Jordan Berger of ESRT, and Paul J. Amrich, Emily Chabrier, Neil V. King III, and Meghan Allen of CBRE. About Empire State Realty Trust Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT) is a NYC-focused REIT that owns and manages a well-positioned property portfolio of office, retail, and multifamily assets in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area. Owner of the Empire State Building, the World's Most Famous Building, ESRT also owns and operates its iconic, newly reimagined Observatory Experience. The company is a leader in healthy buildings, energy efficiency, and indoor environmental quality, and has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per square foot of any publicly traded REIT portfolio in New York City. As of Dec. 31, 2021, ESRT's portfolio is comprised of approximately 9.4 million rentable square feet of office space, 700,000 rentable square feet of retail space and 625 units across two multifamily properties.

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INVESTMENTS

Home Warranty of America Joins the Choice Home Warranty Family

Choice Home Warranty | February 08, 2022

Choice Home Warranty ("Choice") announced today that it has acquired certain assets of Home Warranty of America ("HWA") from Home Warranty of America, Inc. to enhance Choice's position as a leading provider of home warranty service contracts and to accelerate Choice's mission to become the US' largest and most respected home warranty provider. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1996 and based in Illinois, HWA is recognized as a top national provider of home warranty service contracts to real estate professionals. Choice will continue to operate HWA as a stand-alone brand; but would complement HWA's strong brand and experienced employees with modern and improved customer service utilizing Choice's advanced technology. HWA's experienced team and strong reputation with real estate professionals combined with Choice's advanced technology, is an excellent fit with Choice's overall growth strategy, The combination of HWA's real estate channel experience with Choice's direct to consumer business and high-tech administration platform will be complimentary and will improve customer service, be great for our partners, and accelerate our path to attaining our goal of become the US' largest and most respected home warranty provider." Victor Hakim, Chairman, and founder of Choice. Home Warranty of America has been a trusted and recognizable brand in the home warranty space for more than 25 years, We welcome the team and are excited to bring new technology to improve and grow HWA and Choice." Hakim.

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INVESTMENTS

CONTI Capital Pens Another Multifamily Deal in Austin, Texas

CONTI Capital | February 03, 2022

Dallas-based CONTI Capital, a real estate investment company providing capital solutions to acquire, manage, and sponsor real estate investments across the U.S., has acquired Pioneer Hill in Austin, Texas. Austin, known as America's "Silicon Hills," is home to many top, global companies and is arguably one of the leading real estate markets in the nation. Pioneer Hill, a 300-unit new construction asset in northeast Austin, benefits from convenient access to interstate 35 and is less than 10 miles north of Downtown, providing residents access to virtually all of the city's major employment and entertainment drivers. The property is located at 1625 Edgeworth Bend, Austin, Texas 78754. Austin's recent growth has spurred new developments north of the urban core, directly benefiting Pioneer Hill's northeast Austin location. Austin is one of the fastest growing large metros in the country and is #1 on CONTI's top 10 markets for multifamily investment in 2022, The CONTI Index, CONTI Capital's proprietary market evaluation tool, analyzes dozens of weighted indicators covering six primary factors. It is an invaluable tool and, in combination with our dedicated team and investment committee, provides yet another CONTI difference for our investors." Carlos Vaz, CEO of CONTI Capital. The asset is CONTI's first asset in its $150M RE High-Growth Fund IV. The Fund will seek a target return of 10-14% ROI with a 3-5-year hold period. It is structured as a private offering for accredited investors, wealth managers, and institutions. About CONTI Capital Founded in 2008, CONTI is a real estate investment company, investing capital on behalf of individuals, wealth managers, and institutions. Our mission is to create outstanding value for our investors through an active stewardship of their capital. We provide capital solutions to acquire, manage, and sponsor real estate investments across the U.S. Our efforts are backed by years of industry experience, strong company culture, and a relentless drive to perform. In order to better serve our clients, CONTI has offices in Dallas, Miami, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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Spotlight

This edition of Real Estate Strategies analyzes the role of international real estate in the investment portfolios of Swiss institutional investors. Not only does it provide an overview of the current and future importance of international real estate in asset allocation, it also sheds light on how pension funds view the topic.

Resources