Tiki Barber, Related launch affordable housing
Former New York Giants star Tiki Barber has launched a program with the Related Companies to buy and restore older affordable housing developments around the country. Called Tiki Ventures, the program plans to begin by refurbishing more than 3,500 residential units in Virginia and North Carolina. Centerline Capital Group will provide about $150 million in financing. Most of the units that will be rehabbed could otherwise be converted to market-rate housing. Tiki Ventures plans to do extensive work in New York and New Jersey as well.
REBNY offers new course
The Real Estate Board of New York is looking to give brokers another notch on their belt with a new REBNY-designated course and title — New York Residential Specialist. Graduates will receive REBNY’s honorary NYRS degree and gain the right to use the NYRS logo on marketing materials. The course will put brokers on more equal footing with brokers in other states that have more rigorous continuing education requirements.
Wyndham plans NYC expansion
One of the last big hotel chains is spreading its wings in New York City and revamping its image with at least four full-service, upscale hotels. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, the high-end hotel brand of Wyndham Worldwide, is foraying into the city with a hotel in Chelsea at 119-121 West 24th Street, slated to open in February or March. One or two months later, the franchise is opening another hotel at 20 Maiden Lane. Three months after that, 341 West 36th Street will open its doors and eight months later, in March 2009, a fourth hotel will be completed at 93 Bowery.
Carlton to invest $1 billion in distressed mortgage debt
Carlton Strategic Ventures announced a program to acquire $1 billion in high yield commercial and residential distressed mortgage debt. The principal transaction group of The Carlton Group, in addition to investing its own capital, has formed a joint venture with a major hedge fund with whom it is co-investing. The distressed debt group is led by chairman Howard Michaels, partner Michael Campbell, and Keith Stein, a former Weil Gotshal attorney who ran Kimco’s Opportunity Fund (see related story on page TK).
Brokers Build joins Habitat NYC to build housing
Brokers Build, an organization of New York City real estate professionals that supports Habitat for Humanity New York City, will help build an affordable housing complex in Brooklyn. The development at 1870 Eastern Parkway will consist of three four-story buildings totaling 41 homes, making this Habitat NYC’s largest project to date. The project by Dattner Architects is being constructed energy-efficiently and is designed to qualify for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating (LEED).
Monthly Property Shark foreclosure report debuts
As residential foreclosures rise in New York City, Property Shark has released its first monthly report with those statistics for four real estate markets including New York City. The property research data firm created the report after being inundated with requests for the latest foreclosure information in between its quarterly reports, said Brian Scully, vice president of marketing for Property Shark.