ULI Washington News

2014 Trends: Capital Markets SHARK TANK: A Peek into the Investment Committee

By Jennifer Bottomley

This session was one of the most entertaining I’ve seen in a long time.  Worthy of being compared to reality TV it had it all – humor, suspense, intelligence, innovation and of course a surprise ending.

Expertly moderated by Simon Ziff (Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group), the “tank” included: Michael Cooper (Brandywine Realty Trust); Alex Gilbert (Artemis Real Estate Partners); Matt Kelly (The JBG Companies); and Mark Shoenfeld (The Carlyle Group).

First up in front of the sharks was Rick deGorter from the Linked Economic Development and Affordable Housing, Inc.  He presented his project Park Place Condominium Development – a development with a lower price point to make owning more feasible for first time buyers, policemen, teachers, etc.  His “ask” was for $1.5M.  After an intense question and answer period, Alex offered $750K; Mark offered to pre-buy all the units; Michael was “out”; Matt was “out”.

Next to enter the tank was Brice Leconte of iUnit.  His project, “Eliot Square”, is a development in Denver, Colorado.  It is a “smart” and very sustainable micro-unit community built from modular pieces. The units feature wireless charging for smart devices and furnished by a partnership with IKEA.  Brice’s “ask” was for $1M for 50% of the deal.  Another intense question and answer period occurred.  Michael was “in”; Alex, Matt and Mark were “out”.

Just when you thought this show was over – Simon threw the audience a curve ball.  Because he had already seen the presentation decks prior to the session, he actually made a deal with Rick deGorter on his project in the wee hours before the presentation session!  Although they would not disclose the details of the deal, it wrapped up the session perfectly.

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