REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. | June 15, 2022
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced that it arranged $162,400,000 in construction financing for Mandarin Oriental Residences, Fifth Avenue, New York City's first turn-key branded residences available for sale. Located directly on Fifth Avenue at the intersection of East 54th Street in the heart of Manhattan's Plaza District, the property will be managed and operated by Mandarin Oriental, providing owners with access to luxury, five-star hotel services, without the hotel guests. Manhattan-based Northwind Group provided the whole loan solution through its discretionary debt fund. Northwind Group has originated in the last year $840 million of loans secured by 76 properties in NYC, Houston, Miami, and Chicago.
Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Schwartz, Sean Bastian and Michael Ianno, led Walker & Dunlop's team in arranging the financing. The team served as exclusive advisor to their client, SHVO, the culture-defining real estate development and investment firm headquartered in New York City. Proceeds from the loan allowed SHVO to refinance the existing debt and capitalize for remaining construction costs to complete the conversion of the former Gucci NYC headquarters.
This transaction highlights the current demand – among both lenders and consumers – for uniquely-branded, turn-key condominium product located in one of Manhattan's most iconic neighborhoods. This financing will reinforce the project's swift completion, with closings anticipated later this year for this world-class, luxury product that is unavailable to buyers in today's market"
Aaron Appel, Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of New York Capital Markets for Walker & Dunlop
Ran Eliasaf, Founder and Managing Partner of Northwind Group said "We were able to curate a flexible financing solution for this once in a lifetime asset, that will assist our Borrower to achieve its goals, and complete the transformation of this property into one of Manhattan's most beautiful residential buildings. This financing fits well in our strategy and marks another step in our growth as a company. Northwind intends to deploy this year close to $1 billion in debt transactions in NYC and other major gateway cities."
SHVO has developed a forward-thinking best-in-class offering with residents having access to hotel-inspired living, encompassing the legendary service of Mandarin Oriental with the added security and privacy of a residential-only building. The Mandarin Oriental Residences feature 69 fully-furnished and accessorized homes ranging from junior suites to two-bedroom residences appointed with Molteni kitchens and fitted closets, Miele appliances, chevron oak floors, Juliet balconies, custom upholstery, and comprehensive wall coverings as well as Frette sheets, Georg Jensen silver, and custom champagne fixtures by Dornbracht gilded in 22 karat galvanized gold. In addition to white-glove Mandarin Oriental service, the suite of unparalleled amenities includes a state-of-the-art fitness center with steam, sauna, and treatment rooms; a private rooftop pool, with a lounge and bar, featuring views of Central Park; and a private restaurant by Michelin-Starred chef Daniel Boulud – Boulud Privé.
About Northwind Group
Northwind Group is a real estate private equity firm with offices in Manhattan and Cleveland that has transacted on $3.0+ billion worth of debt and equity investments covering a portfolio of over 100 properties and nearly 6M square feet. Northwind currently manages three discretionary debt funds providing acquisition, bridge, condo-inventory, construction, predevelopment and land loans secured by real estate and healthcare properties.
About Walker & Dunlop
Walker & Dunlop is one of the largest providers of capital to the commercial real estate industry, enabling 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 makes 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.
Walker & Dunlop is the third largest provider of capital to the U.S. multifamily market, originating $49 billion in transactions in 2021. With one of the strongest networks in the industry, the firm's 2021 brokered loan originations totaled $30 billion, a 170% increase over 2020.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Pixiu Real Estate | May 26, 2022
Pixiu Real Estate, Woodbine Development Corporation and a collective of Austin-based investors have acquired the capital city’s first and most iconic hotel, The Driskill, from Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.
Woodbine Development Corporation is the Dallas-based real estate investment firm behind many notable hotel properties in Texas and beyond. Pixiu Real Estate is part of Pixiu Investments, an investment firm owned by Eddie Margain, co-founder of several ventures, including local MLS club Austin FC. Among the investor group is Bryan Sheffield, founder of Parsley Energy and fellow investor in Austin FC.
As a destination, The Driskill Hotel has been a shining star for Austinites and Texas-bound travelers since it opened its doors in 1886. As new owners and stewards of this historic property, we’re excited to work with Hyatt, Pixiu and the local investor group, who have a common goal of enhancing this hotel and ensuring its legacy for years to come.”
Dupree Scovell, managing partner and chief investment officer at Woodbine
The Driskill anchors the Sixth Street Entertainment District in downtown Austin. The new ownership group is looking to maintain and elevate the appeal of the 189-room luxury hotel while also helping to stabilize and revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. The group has expressed initial plans to invest a substantial amount of capital, which is intended to help spur momentum for revitalization along Sixth Street.
“We are thrilled about this important acquisition because of what it represents for Austin and for Pixiu Real Estate,” said Eddie Margain. “As an Austinite, I know and appreciate the historical significance of this more than 130-year-old property. And, as our community continues to grow, I believe we need to preserve and revitalize landmarks like The Driskill that have contributed to the making of Austin’s distinct character and spirit.”
Margain added: “We made calls to good friends who have the same interest of preserving Austin and a desire to work on a legacy project, and an amazing group came together. Partnering with Woodbine Development has been an incredible experience; they are world-class hotel operators, and they know the hotel industry like none other.”
Dallas-based Woodbine brings nearly 50 years of hospitality development and asset management experience to the hotel’s ownership group. The company’s portfolio of work includes Austin’s Hotel Magdalena and Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa; San Antonio’s Hotel Emma and Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa; Hyatt Regency Dallas and Reunion Tower and Hilton Dallas/Park Cities; and many other properties throughout Texas and the United States. Woodbine specializes in developing select- and full-service destinations in urban, suburban and inspiring out-of-the-way settings as well as office/mixed-use projects – always creating places people want to be.
Just a few blocks from the Texas capitol, The Driskill opened its doors in 1886, quickly becoming known as the Grande Dame of Austin. A confluence of opulence and luxury, the hotel has been the destination of choice for an array of guests over the years – for overnights, special events, SXSW sessions, election-night watch parties, political drink-sipping and deal-making, weddings and engagements (future president Lyndon B. Johnson proposed to Lady Bird during their first date, which took place at the hotel) and much more.
While no longer owners of the hotel, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts will continue daily management of the property.
About Woodbine Development Corporation
Woodbine Development Corporation is a full-service real estate company with nearly 50 years of development, investment, acquisition and asset management experience. With offices in Dallas and Phoenix, Woodbine specializes in hotels, resorts and mixed-use developments throughout the United States. The company’s hospitality portfolio features major brands, independent hotels, full-service destinations and select-service stays alike. Since 1973, Woodbine has been involved in more than $7 billion in commercial real estate projects, including the development, ownership, asset management, repositioning or renovation of over 17,000 hotel rooms.
About Pixiu Real Estate
Pixiu Real Estate was founded in 2010 and is comprised of an expanding portfolio of real estate properties around Austin and Texas. Among the iconic properties of which Pixiu has ownership are the Littlefield and Scarbrough buildings adjacent to The Driskill. The firm also has ownership in several other buildings downtown. Pixiu Real Estate’s parent company, Pixiu Investments, is a prominent investment firm based in Austin, Texas with investments across multiple industries including real estate, technology, hospitality, energy, and professional sports.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Taconic Capital Advisors | May 23, 2022
Taconic Capital Advisors, a global institutional investment firm, announced that it has closed its third real estate fund, Taconic CRE Dislocation Onshore Fund lll (TCREDF III), with $500 million in capital commitments. The fund comprises investments from a diverse group of existing and new investors with flexibility to tap into an overflow vehicle for more concentrated transactions.
One year into its investment period, TCREDF III has already committed or closed on $300 million of investments across 15 distinct transactions. Taconic believes the COVID pandemic accelerated pre-existing trends and distress in the CRE market. A combination of aggressive pre-COVID financing and transaction assumptions, oversupply in specific markets and COVID-related societal and demographic shifts should continue to apply significant pressure on the CRE market providing ample investment opportunities. Taconic anticipates that hotel and office assets will comprise the majority of the fund’s investments.
We are pleased to build on the performance of Funds l and ll with the close of our third real estate fund, TCREDF III. Our team has a proven ability to identify inefficiencies and dislocated investment opportunities across a host of market sectors, positioning our funds to maximize value for new and existing investors."
James Jordan, principal and portfolio manager of Taconic Capital Advisors’ CRE investments
About Taconic Capital Advisors
Taconic Capital Advisors is a global institutional investment firm that pursues an event-driven, multi-strategy investment approach designed to generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over multiple market cycles. Taconic was founded in 1999 by former Goldman Sachs partners Frank Brosens and Ken Brody. The company has roughly $8 billion of total assets under management with offices in New York, London, and Hong Kong, and more than 100 employees worldwide.
Taconic’s full-service commercial real estate platform invests in all asset classes and across the capital structure in both public and private markets. The strategy’s broad mandate offers flexibility to capitalize on shifting market opportunities, creating uncorrelated risk-adjusted return profiles for investors. Rooted in distressed and opportunistic investing, the team applies high-touch asset management capabilities to drive strong asset-level performance and capital market executions. Well-established relationships drive Taconic’s unique and diverse transaction sourcing channels which including local operating partners, investor partners and a broad network of lenders, CMBS special servicers, trading desks and brokerage houses. Taconic’s series of closed-ended real estate funds are fully discretionary and have received over $1 billion in capital commitments. Investments to date across all Taconic funds total over $3 billion of gross asset value across roughly 165 distinct transactions.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
HomeJab | July 14, 2022
HomeJab, which provides real estate agents on-demand professional real estate photography services nationwide, is debuting a new and novel marketing method that gives real estate agents a new avenue to promote homes for sale – using an NFT, or non-fungible token.
Real estate agents who use HomeJab for professional real estate photography for their listing can now receive a free real-estate-backed-NFT of the home as part of their order. This new service from HomeJab includes promoting these NFT-backed homes for sale and listing them on the new HomeJab NFT site at nft.homejab.com.
HomeJab founder and CEO Joe Jesuele emphasized that this new service for real estate agents supplements their traditional marketing efforts by exposing them to an NFT-interested audience.
"For real estate agents, we provide an easy way to promote their listings to a new market of potential buyers and it doesn't cost them anything," explained Jesuele. "For crypto enthusiasts, we offer a way to purchase real world assets legally using blockchain," he added.
The first NFT-backed home currently being marketed for sale on the HomeJab NFT site is in Detroit, at 20060 Canterbury Road owned by Daniel McDonald and listed for $415,000 by Lisa Virkus, a real estate agent and founder of Realty in the D.
Team Title Services, owned by Web Raulston and based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, handles the title and settlement services.
McDonald is a Key Advisor at Mortgage Token, which aims to be the first company that allows clients to leverage their home equity to invest in cryptocurrency.
"I'm a firm believer that with digital assets such as NFTs, entire industries will benefit from being built on the Ethereum blockchain by increasing consumer transparency and transaction cost-effectiveness," home seller McDonald said.
McDonald explained that blockchain, like the internet, is the new "great equalizer" and that "Web3 will level the playing field, making information and pricing inequalities a thing of the past."
"Mortgage Token is an autonomous modernized lending platform bridging the gap between real estate and crypto lending. We look forward to launching before the fourth quarter of 2022 as the first lender specifically investing in cryptocurrency."
Jason Yourofsky, Mortgage Token founder
Jesuele noted, "Our customers will get an NFT listing for free with every photo shoot, and direct exposure to a more tech-savvy group of buyers."
With the new service, an agent can bring their buyer, and the buyer would purchase the NFT, which provides them with an option to purchase the property. Buyers purchase NFTs with USD Coin (USDC), a digital currency fully backed by US dollar assets, on the Ethereum blockchain. HomeJab receives 1% on the NFT sale, with the proceeds distributed to the title company who then facilitates the closing and recording of deed. The seller and buyer agent commissions would be part of the settlement statement, like any other traditional transaction.
HomeJab is America's leading on-demand professional real estate photography and video service for real estate pros. Lightning-fast high-end visual production offerings also include immersive 3D interactive tours, floor plan creation, affordable virtual staging, turnkey aerial services, and the creation of real-estate-backed NFTs. Its efficient one-stop-shop for real estate listings promotions at HomeJab.com features affordable and customizable shoots to create the most engaging visual content for faster home sales and enrich the listing agent's personal brand. HomeJab is available nationwide and in the U.S. and Canada.