ULI San Francisco Blog

Shark Tank SF 2014: More Than Just Dirt and a Prayer

On January 23, two presenters at the ULIsf 2014 Shark Tank event gained invaluable feedback from a ‘shark’ panel of experts that even delivered a few sharp-toothed yet constructive comments. With last year’s Shark Tank presenters reported to be moving forward on their projects, and one actually under construction, this year’s participants were buoyed that the Shark Tank experience might propel them too toward a successful capital raise.

With a panel comprised of three of the region’s most accomplished real estate investors, Shark Tank is the closest the packed house of observers may ever get to a real investment committee meeting, unless they’re doing deals themselves. “I love the underlying real estate,” said one shark, “but the numbers are tough, as I look at it today as an institutional investor.” The audience got the impression he might personally invest, just not on behalf of an institutional firm. Said another, rather than seek the full investment amount, the more palatable approach would be to seek equity upon obtainment of entitlements. The Sharks dissected deals and decks in spirited discussions.

The three shark panelists, Doug Abbey of Swift Realty, Robert Gray, Jr. of Rockwood Capital, LLC and Joshua Myerberg of Morgan Stanley played the role of mock Investment Committee evaluating the following proposals while moderated by John McNellis of McNellis Partners:

Richard Hannum, Hannum Associates, presented a proposed redevelopment of an existing church site in Downtown San Francisco. His innovative plan would also leverage revolutionary technology to construct high rise apartments using modular techniques that significantly reduce construction cost / time and operating expenses. The ground-floor would provide space for the existing church in a concept that is new to San Francisco.

Bill Huck, Common Bond Capital Partners, LLC, proposed to acquire distressed paper lots and the muni bonds they back by purchasing both at steep discounts and utilizing muni bond nuances to unlock value and reduce carrying costs. The site, located near the new University of California campus in Merced, offers multiple exit strategies including purpose built student housing or selling single family residential lots.

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