As of this writing, the United States is still reeling from the impacts of COVID-19, along with the rest of the world. New York has taken its knocks, but it is showing itself to be as resilient as ever. There’s even a new slogan that has been circulating lately: “New York Tough.” That gives me a lot of hope for the future–not just for our city, but for the rest of America.
I’d like to recognize our team for its incredible show of care and commitment. After the virus hit, we worked together to quickly draw up an emergency plan that ensured safety for everybody–always our top priority–while also allowing us to maintain continuity of service and support for our tenant communities. It was an amazing display of personal sacrifice, resourcefulness and teamwork.
To each and every one of our employees, may I simply say: Thank you.
Our business, meantime, has continued to grow, along with our enthusiasm for multifamily investing. As the year wound on, it was clear to us that there was a historic gap between cap rates and financing rates. We viewed this as an opportunity to buy, and proceeded accordingly. As a result, between June and September we successfully acquired 710 apartments in Virginia and 256 apartments in Memphis, Tennessee. We also bought out our partner at Pier Village in Long Branch, New Jersey, making us 100% owner of this beautiful and historic oceanfront property consisting of 500 apartments.
Our presence in the South Florida market has continued to strengthen. After successfully opening a satellite office in Miami last year, and in recognition of the growth we see ahead, we welcomed Gabriela Toledo as our Head of Development for the region. By the end of 2020, we’ll have started construction on two centrally located development sites that we acquired in Wynwood in the heart of Miami’s famed Arts District. In addition, the first of two towers in development in Edgewater, located at 2000 Biscayne Blvd., is set to break ground right after New Year’s. Last but not least, just to the north in Fort Lauderdale, we entered into a contract to acquire three central development sites. Our lending platform has also been active in this market, as we completed close to $125 million of financing to an owner in Miami.
On the home front, we hired a new General Counsel, Christopher W. Smith. Our longtime New York headquarters at 666 Fifth Avenue recently closed for renovations, and we have relocated a few blocks up the street to the GM Building, where we are occupying the top floor. And so a new exciting chapter of Kushner begins.
Here’s to a bright and prosperous 2021—and to a return of Local Law concerts soon!
Laurent Morali, President