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.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Zillow | March 25, 2022
The housing market is expected to return to pre-pandemic, 2019 norms — at least in terms of inventory and the share of purchases made by first-time home buyers — by 2024 according to a panel of housing market experts polled in the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey.
The dwindling supply of homes for sale has been a key driver of the recent explosion in U.S. home values, which have risen 32% in the past two years. Total inventory has fallen from a monthly average of 1.6 million units in 2018 and 2019 to just over 1 million in 2021, and monthly figures in 2022 are lower still.
Inventory should return to a monthly average of 1.5 million units or higher in 2024, according to the largest group (38%) of respondents to Zillow's survey. But many are more optimistic — the second-largest group (36%) believes supply will bounce back to pre-pandemic levels in 2023, while 2025 earned the third-highest share of votes with 12%.
Inventory and mortgage rates will determine how far and how fast home prices will rise this year and beyond. We are seeing new listings returning to the market, slowly, as we enter the hottest selling season of the year, but this supply deficit is going to take a long time to fill."
Jeff Tucker, Zillow senior economist
Return of the first-time home buyer
The pandemic ushered in record-breaking price growth alongside rent hikes that made saving for down payments even more difficult. As a result, the share of first-time home buyers dropped from 45% in 2019 to 37% in 2021, according to a Zillow survey of recent buyers.
First-time buyers should regain their pre-pandemic share of the market in a couple of years, according to the majority of experts polled, with 26% pointing to 2024, and 25% liking 2025. Eighteen percent of the experts polled did not believe the share of first-time buyers will rise above 45% until after 2030, despite millennials — the largest U.S. generation ever — aging well into their prime home-buying years before that time.
Inflation has already begun eroding the bottom lines of American households, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics noting rising costs for energy, housing and food as prime factors driving it to a four-decade high.
Of the six categories considered, survey participants expect energy prices to increase the most over the course of 2022, followed by house prices, residential rents and food costs. Employee wages and stock prices were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, rounding out the list.
Price growth projections
Pulsenomics founder Terry Loebs said the panel's average projections for home price growth in 2022 have been revised upward, from 6.6% three months ago to 9% in this survey.
"Against the backdrop of tightening Fed policy and increasing mortgage rates, this more bullish outlook for home values suggests that home inventory shortages will remain the dominant price driver this year," Loebs said. "If price increases this year for homes, rents, energy, and food each exceed wage growth – as the panel expects – home affordability challenges will intensify further, especially for low- and moderate-income renters."
Zillow economists forecast a 16.3% rise in typical home values from February through December.
1 This edition of the Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey surveyed 109 housing market experts and economists between February 16 and March 2, 2022 to gather their predictions for the outlook of the housing market in 2022 and beyond. The survey was conducted by Pulsenomics, LLC on behalf of Zillow, Inc. The Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey and any related materials are available through Zillow and Pulsenomics.
About Zillow Group
Zillow Group, Inc. is reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life's next chapter. As the most visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow® and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience for selling, buying, renting or financing with transparency and ease.
Zillow Group's affiliates and subsidiaries include Zillow, Zillow Offers, Zillow Premier Agent, Zillow Home Loans, Zillow Closing Services, Zillow Homes, Inc., Trulia, Out East, ShowingTime, Bridge Interactive, dotloop, StreetEasy and HotPads. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287.
Pulsenomics LLC is an independent research firm that specializes in data analytics, opinion research, new product and index development for institutional clients in the financial and real estate arenas. Pulsenomics also designs and manages expert surveys and consumer polls to identify trends and expectations that are relevant to effective business management and monitoring economic health. Pulsenomics LLC is the author of The Home Price Expectations Survey, The U.S. Housing Confidence Survey, The Housing Confidence Index, and The Transaction Sentiment Index. Pulsenomics, The Housing Confidence Index, The Transaction Sentiment Index, and The Housing Confidence Survey are trademarks of Pulsenomics LLC.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Armada Venture Partners | December 30, 2021
Armada Venture Partners, a local boutique commercial real estate investment and development company, announced it has purchased a 46,000 square-foot warehouse in Park Hill.
The vacant Denver warehouse, located at 3939 Kearney Street, will be renovated and leased in 2022.
We are being intentional in acquiring and redeveloping in-fill opportunities across various asset classes to support growing companies and drive economic growth in our city, Park Hill is one of the gems of Denver. It is known for its architectural diversity, relaxed suburb-in-the-city vibe, and the easy access it affords to major thoroughfares, transit and downtown."
Ryan Arnold, principal of Armada.
Evan Makovsky, Byron Johnson and Craig Myles of NAI Shames Makovsky facilitated the transaction on behalf of the seller. The purchase price was $6,320,000.
About Armada Venture Partners
Armada Venture Partners, a creative boutique commercial real estate company founded in Denver in 2021, brings value to properties and investors by integrating acquisitions, capital markets and structured finance, in addition to offering asset management solutions for projects in Colorado and other high growth regions. Armada's principals have acquired, developed and asset managed over $200M in real estate assets since 2014.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Walker & Dunlop | March 01, 2022
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that it closed on the previously announced acquisition of GeoPhy, a leading commercial real estate technology company.
We are excited to officially welcome GeoPhy founder and CEO, Teun van den Dries, and his entire team to Walker & Dunlop. GeoPhy's technology capabilities will allow us to dramatically accelerate the growth of our digitally driven businesses, including Apprise, our tech-enabled appraisal business, and our small balance lending (SBL) platform as we continue to differentiate the Walker & Dunlop platform through our people, brand, and technology."
Aaron Perlis, Walker & Dunlop Chief Information Officer.
Walker & Dunlop acquired GeoPhy for $85 million in cash paid at closing with an additional $205 million of cash earn-out potential structured to directly align with Walker & Dunlop's Drive to '25 goals surrounding growth in appraisal revenues, SBL volumes, and mortgage banking gains.
About Walker & Dunlop
Walker & Dunlop (NYSE: WD) is the largest provider of capital to the multifamily industry in the United States and the fourth largest lender on all commercial real estate including industrial, office, retail, and hospitality. Walker & Dunlop enables real estate owners and operators to bring their visions of communities — where Americans live, work, shop and play — to life. The power of our people, premier brand, and industry-leading technology make us more insightful and valuable to our clients, providing an unmatched experience every step of the way. With over 1,000 employees across every major U.S. market, Walker & Dunlop has consistently been named one of Fortune's Great Places to Work® and is committed to making the commercial real estate industry more inclusive and diverse while creating meaningful social, environmental, and economic change in our communities.