Friday, May 31, 2013

Quotes from IMN / Utopia in NYC?

IMN U.S. Real Estate Opportunity & Private Fund Investing Forum

This week I attended the Information Management Network conference in New York City (along with 899 of my closest friends!).  This event is one of the few in the industry that attracts a true cross-section of commercial real estate industry professionals.  

A sampling of the panel topics included:  Fund Raising, Acquisition Due Diligence, Mezzanine Loan Origination, GP/LP Relations, Regulatory Trends, Multi-family financing, and - my own panel - A day in the life of an LP.  Consider attending their next event if you’re looking for an immersion experience and useful takeaways on the art of raising and investing real estate funds. 

In keeping with my practice of publishing non-attributable quotes, here are some I heard at this conference:
  • “When real estate goes up there’s nothing better; when it goes down you’re depressed.”
  • “We use 100 basis points as our theme; buying at a 5 cap and selling at a 6 cap is ideal.”
  • “Everyone is searching for yield.”
  • “The next stop on the capital train is suburban nodes.”
  • “We’re going to invest our own money [vs. institutional dollars] and our bet is on New York City.  It may be very pricey but that’s where you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck.”
  • “Baring a meltdown in Europe, U.S. pension funds will continue to increase their real estate allocations.”
  • “The risk profile of the cash flow is what determines whether an investment is defined as core, value-add or opportunistic.”
The mood and chatter at the conference was optimistic during the breaks.  There’s a lot of positive energy in the commercial real estate space these days.  

Bike to Work (or just around town) 

Manhattan’s very own bike-sharing service called Citi Bike was launched over Memorial Day weekend.  The adoption was instantaneous. Walking the streets over the past couple of weeks, i first noticed the racks appear, and then the bikes arrived.

The scale of operation is in line with the city it serves, with up to 40 bikes available in some locations.  This is awesome!  

An article in Crain’s New York on May 5 offered these comments: “The program sold thousands of memberships last month within the first 12 hours of their becoming available. Landlords are touting proximity to docking stations as a selling point. And while plenty of individuals plan to use the bikes to commute, some companies are even offering annual memberships as a newfound benefit for employees.”  While this may sound utopian I see this program having the potential to positively impact the human body, the city streets and ultimately the planet.  

Curiously, there is no bike helmet law in New York (or 28 other states for that matter) but annual Citi Bike members receive a $10 coupon to purchase a helmet.  Why someone would ride a bike around Manhattan without a helmet is beyond me but I’ve seen a bunch of people doing just that already.  Go figure!

Under Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, designated bike lanes have increased the safety of cyclists. Living in California I learned about the ‘rules of the road’ hierarchy:  Pedestrian, bicycle, car. While I don’t know if that is universally accepted it seems to make sense. Don’t you think?  Several times a cyclist has nearly struck me believing that I should make room for them.  Now people on foot need to be even more alert crossing a city street as it’s not only the aggressive and competitive taxi drivers who are threats but also an increased number of very assertive cyclists who are sharing the road.

I’d love to hear some feedback from anyone who has used Citi Bike.  
Check out their site. 

On The Road...

June 11-12:  Chicago, IL

June 13-16:  Felix Family Weekend, Blackrock, NC

June 24:  Spring Pizza / Drink Thing with a new spirited twist!  Join fellow commercial real estate folk at Joe-G Restaurant, 244 West 56 Street (bet. Broadway and Eighth Avenue).  6 – 9pm.  Famous Joe-G pizza on me – drinks on you. I look forward to seeing you there!

June 25 – 26:  NAREIM Asset Management and Acquisitions – Summer Meeting, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Sept. 15 – 17:  NAREIM Executive Officer Fall Meeting, New York, NY

Oct.  23 – 24:  PERE Summit New York


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