MORTGAGE AND LENDING
First Street Foundation | May 16, 2022
First Street Foundation released the First Street Foundation Wildfire Model, the only nationwide, probabilistic, climate adjusted, peer reviewed, property specific wildfire risk model for properties in the contiguous United States. Detailed in the 5th National Risk Assessment: Fueling the Flames, the model provides a first of its kind analysis of the risk individual properties face from damaging wildfires, and up to 30 years in the future as a result of climate changes.
Nationwide, the report finds nearly 20 million properties face "Moderate" risk, (up to a 6% chance of experiencing a wildfire over 30 years); 6 million properties face "Major" risk (up to 14% risk over 30 years); nearly 3 million face "Severe" risk (up to 26% over 30 years); and approximately 1.5 million face "Extreme" risk (greater than 26% risk over 30 years). Over 49 million properties face less than 1% chance of experiencing a wildfire over a 30-year period, or "Minor" risk in the model.
Wildfire has become one of the most common and dangerous climate perils, increasingly spreading from heavily forested areas to more populous urban and suburban environments. According to NOAA, damage associated with wildfires has grown substantially, with $81.7 billion, or 66% of all direct losses since 1980, occurring in the last five years. Yet today, neither the public nor private sector have developed a simple methodology or tool to help homeowners, buyers or renters understand a property's wildfire risk, and make informed decisions to protect them.
Existing tools like USDA Forest Service's wildfire risk assessment are designed to help fire officials understand how risk varies across a state, region, or county; it is explicitly not meant to help homeowners understand their personal risk. To address this gap, First Street Foundation will make this critical wildfire risk information available to users for free through Risk FactorTM, where Fire FactorTM data will be presented alongside Flood Factor and other future perils, giving users a comprehensive understanding of their homes from physical climate risk today and 30 years into the future. Like Flood Factor, Fire Factor data will be integrated into Realtor.com, providing visitors to the site a property-level wildfire risk assessment in the form of a risk ranking from 1 (Minimal) to 10 (Extreme) for each property on the site. Users interested in commercial real estate can also find this data integrated with Crexi.
"The lack of a property specific, climate adjusted wildfire risk for individual properties has severely hindered everyone from the federal government to your average American," said Matthew Eby, Founder and Executive Director of First Street Foundation. "As a changing climate drives more frequent and severe wildfire events, Fire Factor will prove critical in ensuring everyone has the insights they need to understand their personal risk to avoid and protect against the devastating impact of a wildfire."
According to a recent Realtor.com survey, seven out of ten recent homebuyers considered the risk of natural disasters when deciding where to live. Realtor.com is adding Fire Factor to maps and properties to help home shoppers and homeowners make informed decisions. Wildfire risk information empowers consumers to protect their homes against the increasing threat of wildfire damage."
Sara Brinton, Lead Product Manager, Realtor.com
Building the model brought together top climate and data scientists, technologists, and modelers from other leading organizations; the Spatial Informatics Group, Reax Engineering, and Eagle Rock Analytics who are members of the Pyregrence Consortium as well as the USGS, and architectural design & engineering consulting group Arup. This group combined decades of peer reviewed research and expertise in next-generation modeling techniques to create an open source, freely available wildfire model that accounts for current and future climate conditions.
REAL ESTATE ADVICE
Bowman | July 11, 2022
Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. (“Bowman”) announced that Gary VanAlstyne joined the company as branch manager and principal at its Leesburg, Virginia office.
VanAlstyne has more than 30 years of experience in construction and development. As a Bowman branch manager/principal, VanAlstyne is responsible for providing consistent, effective leadership through stability, innovation, and common-sense solutions.
Before joining Bowman, VanAlstyne served as vice president of Davis Utility Consulting, LLC, as director of design and construction services of the Loudoun County Public Schools, and as a member of the FSM Public Review Committee of the Loudoun County Government. He furthered his career working for Toll Brothers, Inc. as regional AVP and served as vice president of development for both Beazer Homes and Lennar. In addition, VanAlstyne owned and operated a development consulting firm in the residential, commercial, and recreational markets on the Eastern seaboard. He designed and built golf courses working with Arnold Palmer and Rees Jones as well as designing numerous master planned communities and various water parks around the country for Six Flags, Dollywood, and others.
Before joining Bowman, he worked closely with the company as a client and had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with many individuals at the engineering services firm. “The industry has changed since I started working with Bowman in the early 2000s on residential subdivisions,” he said. VanAlstyne’s relationships with Bowman and the industry have allowed him to adapt and learn about different projects and clients and helping assure that Bowman is the “go-to” firm for engineering services in Loudoun County.
“Thanks to his 22 years as a Bowman client, Gary VanAlstyne is a perfect addition to our team and we look forward to his continued contribution to Bowman’s success,”
Bowman Chief Operating Officer Mike Bruen
Bowman’s IPO and subsequent acquisitions compelled VanAlstyne to join the company and return to consulting. “I have come full circle,” he said. “I have been a Bowman client for over 20 years and having that experience as well as being a consultant and an owner’s representative helps me enhance the customer service experience,” he added. “What makes Bowman different from its competitors is its size and depth of specialized skills across the country, providing clients the ability to obtain all the services needed in one place and enhance my goal of bringing the customer experience to a new level.”
VanAlstyne earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) and a geotechnical minor from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and is a registered professional engineer in NY, PA and VA.
He is an active member of the Northern Virginia Builders Industry Association (NVBIA), the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP). VanAlstyne is also a member of the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
About Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. (Bowman):
Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Bowman is an engineering services firm delivering infrastructure solutions to customers who own, develop and maintain the built environment. With over 1,400 employees and more than 60 offices throughout the United States, Bowman provides a variety of planning, engineering, construction management, commissioning, environmental consulting, geomatics, survey, land procurement and other technical services to customers operating in a diverse set of regulated end markets. Bowman trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol BWMN.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Sklar Kirsh LLP | May 20, 2022
Hot off a landmark dealmaking year for the real estate team at Sklar Kirsh LLP, the Los Angeles Times has recognized three of its attorneys as "Real Estate Visionaries."
The firm announced today that Founding Partner Andrew Kirsh and Partners Serineh Baghdasarian and Peter Fischer were honored "for their contributions and leadership within their organizations, the legal field, and the community at large" by the publication's commercial real estate magazine.
In 2021 alone, the firm's real estate team closed on approximately 200 transactions in over 25 states with a total asset value of approximately $7 billion across all asset classes including multi-family, office, retail, hotel, industrial, student-housing and self-storage. Jeffrey Sklar, co-managing partner and co-founder of the firm, said the team's worked hard to keep that strong momentum going in 2022.
It's an honor for the firm's practice to be represented on the list, and given the incredible work they've done, I can't think of anyone more deserving of the title of 'real estate visionary' than Andrew, Peter, and Serineh. This recognition speaks to our group's commitment to clients and to the profession as a whole."
effrey Sklar, co-managing partner and co-founder ofSklar Kirsh LLP
The publication notes that Kirsh, who leads the real estate team, represents a broad spectrum of matters across the real estate industry, "including acquisitions, dispositions, equity investments, syndications, fund formation, development, leasing, financing, note purchases and foreclosures."
Baghdasarian's practice includes extensive representation of real estate equity funds, developers, and investors in all areas of transactional real estate and real estate financing," adds the feature. She has helped various private equity firms grow their investment platform through her practical and hands-on legal approach and is considered an integral part of her clients' team.
Fischer is recognized as an experienced commercial real estate transactional attorney who "routinely works on complex joint venture, fund formation, syndication and other transactions involving multi-family, industrial, assisted living, restaurants, hotels and hospitality, construction and office, as well as mobile homes and self-storage facilities" on behalf of a wide variety of clients.
AboutSklar Kirsh LLP
Sklar Kirsh LLP is a boutique law firm that provides sophisticated and expert advice in the areas of corporate, real estate, bankruptcy, and entertainment law as well as commercial, real estate and entertainment litigation.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust | June 21, 2022
Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust announced that it has agreed to issue, on a private placement basis in certain provinces of Canada, $500 million aggregate principal amount of series R senior unsecured debentures of the Trust that will bear interest at a rate of 6.003% per annum and will mature on June 24, 2032 (Debentures).
Offering of Debentures
The Debentures are being offered on an agency basis by a syndicate of agents co-led by TD Securities, CIBC Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets and Scotiabank. Subject to customary closing conditions, the Offering is expected to close on June 24, 2022.
The Trust intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering (i) to pay for the previously announced early redemption of Choice Properties Limited Partnership’s $300 million principal amount of 3.60% series 10 senior unsecured debentures on June 26, 2022, (ii) to repay all or a portion of the balance drawn on the Trust’s credit facility, and (iii) for general business purposes.
It is a condition of closing of the Offering that the Debentures be rated at least “BBB” (high) with a “stable” trend by DBRS Limited and at least “BBB” by Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services. The Debentures will rank equally with all other unsecured indebtedness of the Trust that has not been subordinated.
The Debentures being offered have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the Debentures in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
About Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust
Choice Properties is a leading Real Estate Investment Trust that creates enduring value through the ownership, operation and development of high-quality commercial and residential properties.
We believe that value comes from creating spaces that improve how our tenants and communities come together to live, work, and connect. We strive to understand the needs of our tenants and manage our properties to the highest standard. We aspire to develop healthy, resilient communities through our dedication to social, economic, and environmental sustainability. In everything we do, we are guided by a shared set of values grounded in Care, Ownership, Respect and Excellence.