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Jason Kinnison featured in REBusiness Online: Omaha’s Strong Multifamily Market Fundamentals Drive Investment Sales Activity

The Omaha multifamily market’s occupancy, rents and new construction activity remain stable despite the economic uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a solid Midwestern market, Omaha’s apartment sector remains strong due to its healthy market fundamentals, including a strong employment base and a highly educated workforce.

Omaha boasts an approximate 94.9 percent occupancy rate and consistently has a steady supply of roughly 1,500 new units delivered annually. New construction activity has historically been at an absorbable pace, however, there has been a slight lag in absorption recently, which has the potential to compress occupancy levels as well as asking rents.

Multifamily rent collections remained strong in the second quarter, supported in part by the increased unemployment benefits offered to renters who lost jobs and the government-sponsored stimulus initiatives. Additionally, federal eviction bans were enacted.

Omaha’s multifamily real estate property values continue rising and capitalization rates remain low. Over the last five to seven years, Omaha has experienced an increase in multifamily investment sales activity. Historically, the market has been controlled by local investors with a buy-and-hold mentality. However, as valuations have risen and activity has increased in investment sales, there has been a shift to more owners selling assets. This shift is also attracting more out-of-town investors.

Between 2015 and 2019, Omaha’s average multifamily sales volume was $130 million, including its peak year of $160 million in 2016. This year, the market is on pace to hit the five-year average with year-to-date sales volume of $124 million. That includes the July sale of the 314-unit Steeplechase on Maple Apartments for $39 million to a Colorado-based investor. What was significant was its 5.25 percent cap rate.

Activity also includes the recent sale of the 258-unit Valley View Estates across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa, that was purchased by a Utah-based investor for $30.1 million. The asset previously had been under contract with a different group but fell out of contract due to the pandemic. This new buyer swooped in and made an offer.

Both transactions had a value-add component. The drivers behind these transactions include the multifamily sector’s healthy fundamentals and attractive financing rates. Despite uncertainty, multifamily remains one of the safest asset classes for investors and is favored among lenders.

Who is lending?
On the debt side, government-sponsored agencies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD remain very active and have been the shining stars this year. They are consistently the go-to lenders in providing liquidity.

Additionally, life insurance companies stayed active in financing multifamily assets and remain a preferred lender. Although various programs hit a brief pause button, they are back in the market and quoting business. Each life company is taking its own approach to evaluating loans; most are selective and want a good story.

Another trend is the strength of the refinance business in this historically low-rate environment.

Trends on the equity side
Equity continues seeking good opportunities in multifamily. Investors are pursuing distress, although few opportunities exist in the market. Equity is also returning on the value-add side with renewed interest by lenders and investors.

Lenders are also looking at new construction. Roughly 3,000 new units are projected over the next two years in Omaha. One future development is the 500-acre Heartwood Preserve in West Omaha. Located west of Boys Town, it will include a mix of uses including multifamily.

Outlook
The Omaha multifamily market is holding its own despite uncertainties around the pandemic. While there were measures propping up the multifamily market in the first half, the second half has more ambiguity. It is difficult to forecast due to the inability to fully contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, unemployment benefits expired, and there has not been a resolution on how they may be replaced.

While rent collection has been steady in Omaha, that could be a question mark moving forward. That said, Omaha’s multifamily investment sales market is expected to remain solid. With cap rates compressed and values rising, transaction activity is poised to continue at a steady pace as more out-of-town investors pursue assets.

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John Reed recognized in Midwest Real Estate News Magazine 2019 Hall of Fame

OMAHA, NEBRASKA (January 31, 2020) – Midwest Real Estate News released its list of inductees for the Commercial Real Estate 2019 Hall of Fame. John Reed, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s Omaha office earned a spot in the class of 2019 alongside a select group of real estate professionals who have impacted both their industry and community.

Reed has arranged more than $1 billion of long-term financing for his clients in the Midwest. Alongside his ability to secure financing, Reed has served as the leader of his Omaha office. He oversaw the growth of his team with the acquisition of Daisley Ruff Financial Corporation in 2017. The firm added a $660 million servicing portfolio to NorthMarq, in addition to 25 life company correspondents.

“I have always enjoyed the opportunity to help clients,” said Reed. “I take a lot of satisfaction in closing a good deal for our client. We are in the market every day and know the best capital sources and unique deals that are being done. However, there is no cookie cutter solution for a give property type or client. I have been really surprised in my career at how differently clients can view similar situations. This makes our business fun. I am able to get to know our clients really well and we get to be creative in structuring financing.”

Check out John Reeds selection here.

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Jason Kinnison promoted to managing director of NorthMarq’s Omaha office

OMAHA, NEBRASKA (January 29, 2020) – The Omaha office of NorthMarq announces the promotion of Jason Kinnison to managing director. In his new role, Kinnison will co-manage the daily operations of the Omaha office with managing director John Reed. Along with his new leadership duties, Kinnison will continue to originate financing through NorthMarq’s correspondent life insurance companies, CMBS lenders, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD and local banks, primarily in Nebraska and Iowa.

“I am extremely excited to take this expanded role within the Omaha office. Being able to reflect back on my career path with this company is truly humbling. We have a great team here in Omaha, and I am really looking forward to seeing how we can continue to grow our business, recruit and retain the best talent, and continue to be the best source for our clients’ financing needs,” said Kinnison.

“Jason is an industry veteran and one of the best in the business,” said Reed. “Jason’s promotion and trajectory at NorthMarq are indicative of our company’s commitment to fostering our talent internally and providing our employees the opportunity grow their careers here. This is a win for our office and our clients.”

Kinnison joined NorthMarq in 2006 as the senior analyst of the Omaha office. In 2010 Kinnison was promoted to an associate producer role and became a full time producer in 2012. In 2015 Kinnison was awarded the title of senior vice president of the Omaha office. During his tenure at NorthMarq, Kinnison has arranged more than $750 million in financing.

Prior to joining NorthMarq, Kinnison worked as an investment analyst for Capmark Finance (formerly GMAC Commercial Mortgage).

Kinnison spends a great deal of time involved with St. James parish, where he sits on the Total Board of Education, School Finance Committee. He is also active with the Knights of Columbus. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a BBS in Real Estate and Land Use Economics.

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John Reed discusses Omaha’s steady market in REJournals

Three questions with … NorthMarq’s John Reed

There’s something about Omaha. This market remains one of the steadiest in the Midwest, with brokers closing a solid number of big deals each year and new companies flocking to the city’s downtown core and surrounding neighborhoods. What’s behind Omaha’s success? That’s what we asked John Reed, senior vice president and managing director of the Omaha office of NorthMarq, as part of our Three Questions With … series.

Here’s what Reed had to say about the remarkable resiliency of Omaha’s CRE market.

Omaha remains one of the steadiest CRE markets we cover. Why do you think this is, and what are some of the reasons for the strong commercial real estate market throughout the Omaha market?

John Reed: Reliably, the theme of Omaha as a solid, steady market comes up in many conversations we have with investors and lenders. This characterization has a lot of merit. Certainly Omaha doesn’t experience the large swings upward, but that protects the city from significant corrections. When the national unemployment rate reached 9.9 percent in 2009, Omaha unemployment was significantly better at 5.9 percent.

Among the major reasons for Omaha’s consistent growth is a strong and diverse economy. The employment base is anchored by Union Pacific, Peter Kiewit, Mutual of Omaha and Berkshire Hathaway. These Fortune 500 companies have deep roots, with all (except Berkshire Hathaway) having been established in Omaha more than 100 years ago. Other large Omaha-based companies like First National Bank of Omaha, Green Plains Energy, HDR, Tenaska, Valmont, Woodman of the World and Werner Enterprises are leaders in their respective industries. These great corporate citizens have underpinned Omaha’s long track record of growth.

Moreover, the owners and CEOs of Omaha’s major companies have shown extraordinary vision and leadership in making Omaha a great place to live. For example, Walter Scott Jr.(Kiewit) and Robert Daugherty (Valmont) established the non-profit Heritage Services to lead and fund important civic projects like the CHI Arena, TD Ameritrade Ballpark and Holland Performing Arts Center.

The latest example is Heritage Services’ public private partnership with the city, led by Ken Stinson and Mogens Bay, to significantly improve downtown public spaces. The Gene Leahy Mall and Riverfront Redevelopment will reinvigorate the core of downtown Omaha and will cost $290 million, largely donated from Heritage. These are the kinds of projects that keep the city vibrant and attractive for talented young people.

Out-of-state and locally domiciled businesses have expanded in Omaha, as they recognize the strong community and well-educated workforce is a good base for operations. Growth in these businesses is spurring exceptional office development.

Among the major projects:

Lockwood Development is developing the new 200,000-square-foot LinkedIn office building, which brings another outstanding tenant to its Sterling Ridge mixed-use development. The building will house LinkedIn’s customer support operations, which are growing from 450 current employees to potentially 1,000 or more by 2021.

Applied Underwriters will anchor the new Heartwood Preserve development, with a 260,000-square-foot first phase. The building will bring together 500 Omaha employees (currently in three locations) and will provide room to build and accommodate hundreds more employees.

Valmont is also building a new $50 million headquarters at Heartwood Preserve that expands its space by 50 percent and increases its headquarters staff to up to 500 employees.

Kiewit will open a new 180,000-square-foot headquarters on the north side of downtown, which will house 650 employees. This development brings a significant anchor to north downtown, which has benefited from city and private investment but has lacked major employers.

Even further north in downtown, Flywheel will move 200 employees into a newly renovated Ashton Warehouse building. Flywheel is scheduled this year to move into the first piece of Paul Smith’s $300 million Millwork Commons mixed use redevelopment.

The scale of business expansion in Omaha reinforces the city’s solid growth trajectory. Moreover, the mix of urban and suburban development is a credit to Omaha leadership and the sustainability of Omaha CRE submarkets.

As 2020 arrives, what are some of the commercial real estate trends you expect to see in Omaha? Will we see more development of the city’s downtown area and will demand continue for multifamily units in the urban core of the city?

Reed: An interesting Omaha CRE trend in 2020 is the continued investment in large medical facilities and follow-up CRE investments they induce. Omaha is a regional medical hub, serving the acute medical needs of the rural areas that surround the city. To keep up with the needs of the region, Nebraska Medicine just completed the $324 million Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital is in the midst of constructing its nine-story, $450 million clinical facility that will add about 500,000 square feet to the hospital.

The investment of billions in Nebraska Medicine/UNMC’s campus has been critical for Omaha’s medical capacity and today the organization estimates their impact on the Omaha economy at $4.8 billion annually. The economic impact is clear in the Blackstone District, which is adjacent to the east of Nebraska Medicine’s midtown campus. The Blackstone District has realized the development of approximately seven blocks of revitalized retail, 500 apartment units and the $50M Cottonwood Hotel redevelopment.

Nebraska Medicine and UNMC just announced their plans for a $1 billion to $2 billion expansion at its midtown campus, which would be a national hub for the treatment of biological hazards, among others. This is a huge single investment for Omaha, which will spur significantly more multifamily and other CRE development in midtown over the next five years. The concentration of continued CRE investment around the Nebraska Medicine campus is a trend that has a significant amount of room to run.

Another major catalyst in downtown Omaha is the Conagra redevelopment, which is a $500 million multiyear mixed-use development on the current Conagra campus downtown. Conagra selected Hines to redevelop the north side of its existing campus, after relocating the company headquarters to Chicago.

The initial $105 million phase, southeast of 10th and Farnam, will be a two-block-long plaza with restaurants and 375 luxury apartments. Ultimately the seven- to 10-year development envisions about 900 new residences, nine new structures containing roughly 500,000 square feet of office space, 80,000 square feet of retail and a boutique hotel with up to 200 rooms.

Separately, the $290 million Gene Leahy Mall and Riverfront Redevelopment will reinvigorate 90 acres of public spaces leading to and around the Conagra campus, including green areas, an urban beach, tiered botanical gardens, parks, trails and a skating ribbon that shifts from smooth concrete in the summer to ice in the winter.

The redevelopment of downtown public spaces and the Conagra campus reconnects Omaha’s Old Market with the Missouri Riverfront, in the heart of downtown. This significantly expands and improves the Old Market/downtown as an entertainment destination and vibrant submarket. It will spur peripheral investment in multifamily and downtown retail for years to come.

When it comes to financing requests, whether for new developments or acquisitions, what are some of the factors you consider when deciding whether a request makes sense for your company?

Reed: NorthMarq is a correspondent for a wealth of lenders in Omaha. We can accommodate a wide range of deals from a $1 million office building to a $50 million multifamily asset or a large industrial portfolio.

We are in the market every day and know the best capital sources and unique deals that are being done. However, there is no cookie cutter solution for a given property type, or client.

We concentrate on each client’s priorities, i.e., fixing a great rate for 20-plus years, maximum leverage or flexibility. There is always a trade-off between objectives.

Ultimately, we need to have conviction that we can accomplish our client’s objectives. Our reputation with our clients and lenders is paramount. Therefore, we only take on deals that will lead to long term success for everyone involved.

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John Reed interviewed by Multi-Housing News: What multifamily borrowers need to know

John Reed, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s Omaha-based regional office, was featured in a video interview produced by Multi-Housing News during the recently held MBA CREF 2019 conference in San Diego. During the conversation, Reed discussed what investors should know about the continually changing capital markets for multifamily real estate.

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John Reed featured in Midlands Business Journal: As development market expands, NorthMarq positions itself locally

Responsiveness to opportunities and access to capital at reasonable rates has positioned NorthMarq Capital’s financing operations favorably in Omaha. A recent merger and expertise that reaches around the block to across the country have solidified the Minneapolis-based company as a partner of choice among developers.

“The commercial real estate market across the board has been growing, particularly in the last three years,” said John Reed, Omaha office managing director. “We’ve got plenty of clients in need of capital and institutional capital right now is very abundant.”

Reed said the average loan size generated by the Omaha operations is currently in the $10 million range with the largest single deal of late being $80 million to finance Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska’s project at Aksarben. Portfolio deals at the national level—involving multiple national assets—can easily run into the billions of dollars.

Read the full story as printed in Midlands Business Journal.

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John Reed recognized in 2018 Class of MBA’s Commercial/Multifamily Future Leaders Program

John Reed, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Omaha regional office, was recognized on stage at the MBA’s Annual Conference & Expo 2018 as a member of the 2018 Class of MBA’s Commercial/Multifamily Future Leaders Program. The new class will join a national network of more than 100 real estate finance professionals who have been acclaimed by the industry as its next generation of leaders.

Last month in Washington, D.C., Reed and other participants presented their final business strategies to a panel of industry experts. This was the final step in a year-long executive leadership development program which delivers a comprehensive curriculum for selected middle- and senior-level managers who have shown leadership interests and potential. Graduates of this program exemplify the knowledge and expertise required of future industry leaders.

 

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Rodrigo Lopez featured in MBA Newseek: Technology ‘Challenges and Opportunities’

NorthMarq Capital Executive Chairman/Mortgage Bankers Association Chairman Rodrigo Lopez, CMB, noted during the MBA National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference & Expo that the real estate finance industry must promote opportunities to help consumers, advance the real estate finance industry and grow the broader economy.

“Technology is one of these critical areas, and one that poses some of the biggest challenges, while at the same time presenting a new frontier of opportunity for the business of real estate finance,” said Lopez. Read the full story here.

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Rodrigo Lopez recognized as one of the country’s most succesful Hispanic real estate titans

rlopez_150px_blueA View from the Top

Rodrigo López, founder of Nebraska-based AmeriSphere Multifamily Finance and executive chairman for NorthMarq Capital Finance, was highlighted in a recent special report from Bisnow. The report highlighted three Hispanic titans of the commercial real estate industry and their perspectives of the future. Rodrigo detailed his transformation from a 17-year old immigrant from Columbia who couldn’t speak English and had nothing to his name into the current chairman-elect of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

While the commercial real estate remains dominated by the white, male demographic, Rodrigo shared his optimism about the potential for a more diverse industry. “The sheer force of the demographics over the next decade or two will change things,” he said. “So a Hispanic loan originator is going to be far more successful in a Latino community than someone who does not understand the culture or perhaps doesn’t speak the language.”

To serve this new wave, the industry has to become more inclusive, raise awareness among minority audiences about the broad range of career options, actively recruit and mentor, encourage ethnic gains in advocacy and leadership, and start viewing diversity in the workplace as a business opportunity. Read the full story here.

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