As the principal of Anthora Holdings, I've spent 16 years managing, developing, and repositioning commercial real estate. In the course of managing an aggregate portfolio value of $1.5B and nearly 30,000 units of multifamily, I developed a passion for solving the puzzles of underperforming properties and transforming commodity real estate into financially successful "places."
Growing up in Florida, one may reasonably doubt my "placemaking" instincts. Rather than the well known building-in-a-field-of-parking sameness of South Florida, however, I grew up in North Florida, just 5 miles from where my family first settled in the 1790s. A childhood in Florida, followed by college in Vermont, a post-college stay in Osaka, and then a move to New York City, gave me a healthy exposure to different urban designs and philosophies.
After five years of redeveloping architecturally significant properties in Manhattan, I moved to Washington, DC and focused on asset management. Working for a large owner-developer, I managed a $500MM portfolio of 10,000 units and 40 properties, which included affordable housing (LIHTC/Section 42), bond-financed properties, market-rate garden style, and luxury high rises. We were responsible for the property from lease up, LIHTC compliance, to stabilization and disposition. Learning lessons throughout, we consulted with the development teams on and design and development. I also secured nearly $300MM in loans for acquisitions (land, existing residential, office, and retail), construction/development, permanent, and refinancing.
From 2006-2012, I worked exclusively as an REO asset manager for MuniMae Financial, a large affordable housing lender and syndicator, and then for a CW Capital, a leading CMBS special servicer. Both jobs involved extensive travel, the opportunity to work with excellent third party managers, and learning how to manage properties from 1,000 miles away. I also learned that strong listening skills coupled with operational confidence helped me gain the strategic "buy in" from the site team that is essential to rehabilitating distressed properties.
As an REO specialist, I negotiated bond refinancings, term extensions, rate reductions, deeds-in-lieu, friendly foreclosures, and collecting on recourse provisions. Working with attorneys, receivers, property managers, and brokers, I oversaw the foreclosure of non-performing loans, created business plans and executed operational recoveries for distressed properties, then prepared them for sale. I had direct responsibility for nearly 100 multifamily and manufactured housing communities with an aggregate value of over $750MM and a unit count approaching 20,000. Since 2006 I have completed more than 60 property and loan sales.
In 2013, I left the lender world to advise owners and purchasers on operations and acquisitions, and to form my own multifamily portfolio.
Bad deals occur in different ways but all have the same result: poor cash flow leads to an unsuccessful investment. Shortcomings with the physical property impair rent growth, reduce ancillary income, or cause unexpected capital expenses. Operational weakness lead to low rents, excessive delinquency rates and evictions, low occupancy, or overcrowding. Market events may compound all of these as a neighborhood or area loses its attraction to new or existing renters.
Deals turn around when owners, site teams, and residents unite to improve the community. Anthora leads owners toward the right selling points, the right management focus, and the right residents to staunch the losses, stabilize the cash flow, and begin the turnaround.