Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Hoyt Fellows / Pizza-Drink Thing Monday May 16 / End of the school year / Hot town, summer outside the city / What are you waiting for ? / IMN Conference / Women's Leadership Workshop

The Hoyt Fellows – Commercial Real Estate’s Think Tank

This past Thursday, I attended the annual meeting of The Hoyt Fellows in North Palm Beach, FL.  It’s a wonderful group of senior real estate academics, researchers and some real real estate guys. It’s an honor to be a member of Hoyt Fellows which many believe this is the only true think tank in the commercial real estate community.

There were some fascinating topics discussed. Here are some of things I heard that made me sit up, in my swivel chair, and take notice:
  • Multifamily:  even if U.S. goes into recession, people still need a place to live and apartments traditionally hold up better during downturns; secular changes in demand favors apartments.
  • Value-add in multifamily is HOT! You can get returns in 2 years; long line of buyers but in 4 years that line will be cut in half
  • Leading metro areas for acquisitions Q12016
    • NYC Metro
    • LA/ So. CA
    • San Francisco Bay Area
    • Miami / South Florida
    • Washington, DC
    • Boston
Acquisition Volume By Buyer Type Q12016
  • Private: net seller
  • Institutional:  net buyer
  • Cross-border investors:  net buyer
  • REITs / Public companies: net seller
Largest category of investors was “Private Buyers.”  Purchases made by this group represented 42% of 1Q2016 total.

REITs have public/private market arbitrage opportunity:  as stock prices drop, they can sell property and buy back their stock and increase the price per share; there have been very few IPO’s (Initial Public Offerings) or follow-on offerings

  • $19Bn issued in 1Q2016
  • Risk: new regulations on B-piece buyers; rules are changing
  • Issuer has to hold B-piece for 5 years
Only 4 U.S. cities mention driverless technology in their plans but everybody has plans to build more roads

Point of reference:  the oldest millennials are now 35; youngest are just starting college

Raleigh, NC is projected to be the fastest growing metro area by 2020

Public and private mobility systems – 2020
  • By 2030 public transportation will begin to deploy driverless technology (Europe is doing it already)
  • One issue with progress: laws have not kept up with technology (i.e. flying cars)
  • Alternative transportation (by largest # of cities) – 2015 data
    • Bike sharing: 5000+
    • Car sharing: 1000 cities
    • Complete streets: 500+
    • Car-free zones:  360

Pizza / Drink Thing - Monday, May 16, NYC

This coming Monday evening I'm hosting one of my now rare Pizza / Drink Things. I believe that those of you who have stopped   by over the years will agree that it attracts a very eclectic group of commercial real estate professionals. For example, at the last 'event' we had people from the following: pension funds, consultants, brokers, developers, media, consulting, recruiting, leasing, property management, banking, PR, data providers, research and more. The role I play is, well, connector so if you come there be prepared for me to introduce you to someone you haven't yet met (and possibly where I see some potential synergy) or drag you away from lengthy chats with your industry friends and push you to meet new people. I love watching the interaction amongst the attendees. As always, I encourage those invited to bring others and as a result I have made some new connections as well. 

So, with that promotional introduction, I invite you:
  • Monday, May 16
  • 6ish - 9ish pm
  • Joe G's Restaurant - 244 W. 56th St. (bet. B'way and 8th Ave.) and downstairs from the DaVinci Hotel.
  • The deal: I supply the famous Joe G pizza (for years Joe was located in the Ed Sullivan Theatre building and occasionally brought a large pie on stage to David Letterman - who is a big fan of the pizza.
Stop by - even if you can only stay a while.
Hope to see you Monday night.

End of the school year

As the school year winds down, I've been speaking with friends whose children are graduating from high school. These are exciting times.  While it was some time back, I remember the excitement of attending my sons' graduations.  And, as they got older, going out for what has become the traditional celebration meal of The Felix Family - enormous quantities of sashimi and sushi! Many of these young people are going directly on to college. Some are, as I wish my parents had let me do, are taking a year off between high school and college. What's the hurry?

Congratulations to all of you who have members of your immediate or extended family graduating from all levels of schooling. It's these occasions that remind us how quickly we're moving through time.

Hot town, summer outside the city

Do you have any special plans for this summer? I've been thinking about doing something special and would love to year your thoughts. Here goes: get in my car (loaded with my tennis gear, Keyboards and amp) and drive around North America. Doing what, you may ask? Well, for one thing, stopping in state capitols to visit folks working on the real estate investment side of state pension funds. While in some of those state capitols I plan to (when there on a Sunday) visit some of those wonderful classic churches to hear the pipe organ and choir (usually at the 11am service). I'll also make plans to visit industry friends along the way as well as doing some sightseeing. In all the drives back and forth across America I have taken very little (or maybe no) time to see the sights, visit national parks, etc. - I think it's time! I'm open to suggestions - about places to go, things to see, clubs with open jam nights where I can sit in on keyboards, etc. Thanks.

What are you waiting for?

Yes, I'm on my soapbox once again.
The motivation for recording my first album of original songs, ‘Finally…Felix’ in 2006 was the unexpected death of a long-time friend (and lead singer in our summer camp band, The Arcade Love Machine)

Recently, on my trip back from Amsterdam, where I attended the funeral of Erwin Stouthamer, one of the most well-liked people in the global institutional real estate world, I made a decision: the book that I've been working on, on and off for years, is going to be self-published in 2016. I may have mentioned it here – the title of the book is 'Driving With Your Knees' and, to help me I've hired a long-time college friend to edit the book. Andrea has already gotten me on the right track and is, very gently, cracking the whip!

Is there something you've been talking or thinking about doing? What are you waiting for?

IMN Opportunity and Private Funds Investing Forum

In a few weeks I'll be moderating what has become my signature panel called ‘A Day in the Life of an LP.’ The event is IMN’s Opportunity and Private Fund Forum in NYC on June 13 -14. The panelists (Ione WIlsmann, US Steel and Carnegie Pension Fund; Beth Thomas, Harvard Management; Judy McMahan, UPS; Brian Boyer, Wespath) will talk about what it's like to be in the shoes of a person working for a pension fund, endowment or foundation; how do they prefer to be communicated with (and what not to do); what they're looking for when considering a new manager or JV partner and other 'revealing' topics. The conversations are free flowing (I don't feel I need to micro-manage a panel).  I look forward to seeing some of you there. If you are attending and we haven't yet met please find me and say hello.

Felix / Weiner Women's Leadership Workshop - NYC - May 18
My partner Liz Weiner and I still have some seats remaining for next Wednesday's Women's Leadership Workshop in NYC.  Women from more than 70 commercial and institutional real estate industry firms have attended our 14 previous workshops across the country.  This will be the last session before the summer.  The workshop runs from 12:30 - 4:30pm with wine and cheese networking immediately following.  The fee is $479. Here's the link if you'e like to learn more and register.  

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