UC Funds’ New Closing Kicks Off a Major Redevelopment in Minnetonka, Minnesota

We’ve recently closed another extremely notable deal. I’m delighted to announce our investment of $20 million preferred equity for the ground-up construction of RiZe at Opus Park, with a total deal capitalization of approximately $73 million. RiZe, located in Minnetonka, Minnesota, will be converted into a 322 unit, Class A multifamily asset with premier amenity and unit packages, a main clubhouse, and a two story parking garage.

With the first stages of construction now beginning, RiZe at Opus Park will soon come to life

The sponsors, our longtime partners and friends Sal Lecesse of LeCesse Development Corp., and Bob Morgan of Morgan Management, recognized the great potential for redevelopment in the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) area, and jumped at the chance to take on this project.

Sal and Bob are two of the brightest in their industry, and I’m proud to say this will be the third transaction between our companies. It is the first to take place in Minneapolis, an extremely vibrant hub for business, technology, and education, with one of the strongest multifamily markets in the country.

RiZe at Opus Park is located within the Opus Business Park in Minnetonka, an affluent suburb just nine miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The Southwest LRT Management Committee has recently approved an extension of MSP’s rail system, which will include a stop at Opus Park, a quick five minute walk from RiZe. Our redevelopment couldn’t be coming at a better time, as residents will now have easier access to downtown MSP.

The booming area of Minneapolis-St. Paul is just nine miles from RiZe at Opus Park’s Minnetonka location

The property, currently an office park, is now undergoing demolition with the first phase of leasing expected to begin in 15 to 18 months. Two additional phases of leasing will follow, and we expect the project to reach completion within 21 to 24 months.

Just like the team at UC Funds, Sal and Bob are true entrepreneurs. Their ability to seek out profitable opportunities is something that I greatly admire, and is one of the many reasons I enjoy working with them. I have no doubt that RiZe at Opus Park will exceed expectations, matching the success of our previous collaborations.

On October 22, I will be running in the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money through the Palmier Foundation for InterVol, a not-for-profit whose mission is to recover viable unused medical supplies from hospitals and clinics and distribute them to those in need. We’re hoping to raise $26,200 for InterVol—a rate of $1,000 per mile. If you’d like to help us reach our donation goal and assist this great organization, you can make a pledge on The Palmier Foundation’s CrowdRise page.

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Making a difference through The Palmier Foundation

Some of you might not know that the “U” in UC Funds stands for “Ubuntu.” It’s a South African word that means “I am because of you.” Ubuntu perfectly embodies my philosophy when I started UC Funds back in 2010. I knew that without our clients, employees, and the relationships built over the past 20+ years, we would not be as successful and I would not be in the position I am today.

With that in mind, I established the Palmier Foundation in 2014 to give back and make a difference to those less fortunate. I believe that giving is God’s will and therefore not a choice, but an obligation.  Being able to help others is truly a blessing that comes from him.

We were recently able to make three large donations to worthwhile causes. First up, we have announced an additional $100,000 in donations to the Asian Christian Academy (ACA), bringing our total donations to $325,000. We have long been involved with the ACA, which provides post-graduate theological training and Christian education in India.

The ACA gives individuals in India the opportunity to study and earn their degrees in an educational environment.

This $100,000 will be used for the construction and opening of the first building for The ACA College of Arts and Sciences in Bangalore, India, the first Christian college of its kind in the country. It will also fund needed infrastructure, classrooms, and educational design of ACA’s curriculum. The first incoming class is expected July 2018.

Additionally, we continue to support the newly created Perspectives Ministries, which cares for widows and the fatherless, through mentoring, assistance in daily activities, and prayer.

We’ve also announced a donation of $16,000 to The Children and Athletes Regenerative MEDicine (CHARMED) Foundation, a non-profit organization whose goal is to discover new ways to help the body heal itself in order to save children’s lives and extend athletes’ careers.

Look to this blog in the next few months for updates on the new college, and other pursuits of our work at The Palmier Foundation.

On October 22, I will be running in the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money through the Palmier Foundation for InterVol, a not-for-profit whose mission is to recover viable unused medical supplies from hospitals and clinics and distribute them to those in need. We’re hoping to raise $26,200 for InterVol—a rate of $1,000 per mile. If you’d like to help us reach our donation goal and assist this great organization, you can make a pledge on The Palmier Foundation’s CrowdRise page.


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Another Rewarding Partnership Leads to an Exciting Unveiling in Kansas City, Missouri

After a year-long partnership with Gold Crown Properties, Inc., we are pleased to announce the grand opening of one of our latest projects, East 9 at Pickwick Plaza, a luxury apartment and retail community in Kansas City, Missouri. The team at UC Funds worked hard to structure a loan that would work for such a large-scale redevelopment. The borrower came to us after being let down by previous lenders, and it took us about a year to close the $30 million first mortgage loan for the project. With a total of $57 million capital stack, we were able to cover the redevelopment of four buildings, which take up an entire city block. We also helped the borrower arrange federal tax credits for redevelopment through the National Park Service.

The East 9 at Pickwick Plaza redevelopment covers an entire city block

East 9 at Pickwick Plaza has an incredible story. The four original buildings include an 11-story hotel, originally constructed in the 1930s, which was a home away from home for many presidents who visited Kansas City over the years. The other buildings are made up of a former bus terminal, a former office building, and a former parking garage. Now, after 22 months of construction, all four buildings are completely renovated, and astonishingly upgraded with locally-sourced artwork, chandeliers, sconces, and signage.

The main lobby is elegantly decorated with chandeliers and sconces created by local artist Joe Munson

East 9 at Pickwick Plaza’s first floor consists of more than 35,000 square feet of retail space, which is located directly under 260 apartments. Each small unit is decorated with top end finishes, and residents will be blown away by the amenity package, which includes a fitness center, community rooms, a swimming pool, a business center, wine lockers, and a tasting room. The units are already 60 percent leased, and will likely be fully leased by the end of 2017.  The new asset has attracted many millennials who finally have a place to live in downtown Kansas City that fits their needs. We expect that East 9 at Pickwick Plaza will contribute greatly to the revitalization that this area is currently seeing.

The sophisticated units offer a comfortable living space with luxurious finishes

The 260 units are located directly above more than 35,000 square feet of retail space

The Truman Living Room is just one example of the many amenities that East 9 at Pickwick Plaza offers

This spectacular renovation is sure to wow Kansas City residents, and we are proud of our relationship with Gold Crown Properties and their President, Tom Smith, which brought this redevelopment to life.

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Presenting UC GO – Transformational commercial real estate financing

On behalf of the team here at UC Funds, I’m thrilled to introduce our new UC GO non-recourse commercial bridge loan, the most competitive commercial real estate financing in the United States. By offering an 85 percent LTV, and 0.5 debt service coverage (DSC), UC GO is cheaper, faster, and more reliable than anything else out there. It is a variable rate product, starting at LIBOR +375, and is available for loans as little as $5 million.

This product is two years in the making. UC GO comes at a perfect time for borrowers, thanks to its extreme competitiveness and non-bank restrictions and contingencies. With many projects that began after the recession now cash flowing, they are able to meet our reduced debt service at an LTV that provides for numerous future refinancing options and alternatives. Plus, loan approval with UC GO is 30 days or less.

For investors, UC GO offers the superior returns of equity with the lower risk of debt. The combination of capitalization from both UC Funds itself and outside institutions, as well as real estate developers who are past UC Funds borrowers, certainly speaks to our firm’s integrity and expertise, as well as our steadfast commitment to relationship development.

UC GO is a great match for any type of asset, whether it’s multifamily, hotel, office, industrial, or mixed-use. What truly differentiates UC GO is the fact that most commercial mortgage products provide between 60 and 75 percent LTV, while UC GO is able to provide an 85 percent LTV. UC GO’s 0.5 DSC is twice as competitive as similar products on the market.

UC GO completes our portfolio of commercial real estate products across a wide variety of needs and uses, further establishing us as a one-stop shop for commercial real estate financing.

Think it’s a fit for your needs? To apply for UC GO, contact Domenico Manago, Managing Director of Sales, at 857-288-2811 or email Dmanago@ucfunds.com.

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Another Successful Four on the Fourth!

With the Fourth of July just days away, I’m happy to announce that UC Funds has succeeded in continuing our time honored tradition of closing four major deals just in time for the holiday. While others might be spending their days on the beach or by the pool, we’re still hard at work, as focused as ever on the business needs of our clients.

We began our mission to close four major deals this week, starting with a $5.6 million first mortgage loan provided for Parkside Apartments in West Palm Beach, Florida. We then moved on to an additional opportunity, providing a $19.5 million first mortgage loan to medical offices in Houston, Texas. Next came another first mortgage loan, in the amount of $10.65 million, which was originated for the redevelopment of a vacant four-story building with an adjacent one-story warehouse located in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

To really get the fireworks going, we finished with our fourth deal, the $40 million acquisition and renaissance project of the Residence Inn by Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut. This asset contributes to UC Funds’ overall $100 million commitment to downtown Stamford.

The UC Funds team is inspired by the spirit of America’s founding fathers, and we recognize the values and hard work of clients. This is why we make sure to celebrate their accomplishments with our Four on the Fourth tradition. Closing four deals is a great way for our team and clients alike to kick off the July 4th festivities.

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Happy Fourth of July from UC Funds!

All of us at UC Funds hope you celebrate another Independence Day filled with hope and promise. We are eternally grateful to our founding fathers who were divinely inspired to fight for and ultimately succeed in creating the greatest democracy the world has ever seen. Our United States remains the envy of the rest of the world for our education, healthcare, religious, and social freedoms as well as the ability to create a better life than the previous generation.

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A Great Partnership Leads to a Great Asset

With the June 26 ribbon cutting and grand opening of 329 Pleasant Avenue in East Harlem upon us, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the collaboration and effort that brought this eight-story luxury apartment building to life. UC Funds has worked closely with HAP Investment Developers since we originated the loan for this project in April of 2015. While there have been a few stumbling blocks along the way (like with most multifamily projects of this magnitude), the Class-A building that we’re unveiling is truly a work of art and well worth the wait. Offering 20 studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments, the building illustrates the renaissance that is currently taking place in East Harlem, where commercial real estate is booming.

329 Pleasant Ave adds a modern aesthetic to its East Harlem block

The luxury building offers unique and beautifully designed apartments

Our recent work with HAP is only one example of UC Funds’ mission to develop and maintain long-term relationships with our borrowers in the best interest of each project. We make a strong commitment to each borrower that we work with, and our loyalty and reliability is what keeps them coming back. We stand by them through completion, and as was the case with HAP, provide the time that is necessary to bring each project to market.

We’re always striving to maintain our reputation as a dependable and steadfast resource in the real estate financing market, and 329 Pleasant Avenue’s extraordinary design and high-end amenities demonstrate that our commitment to HAP resulted in something incredible.

We look forward to watching our current relationships continue to flourish, and developing new and lasting partnerships that will undoubtedly lead to many more exciting unveilings.

If you’d like to learn about working with UC Funds please feel free to contact me at 1-844-UCFunds or visit http://UCFunds.com/.

329 Pleasant Ave is a perfect addition to the evolving community of East Harlem

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Celebrating Stamford Downtown’s 25th Anniversary

On Monday June 19, Team UC Funds enjoyed attending the 25 Year Anniversary of Stamford Downtown at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, in, you guessed it, Stamford, Connecticut. Property and business owners, as well as Stamford’s Mayor David Martin gathered to celebrate. The event was hosted by actor and Late Show with David Letterman personality Alan Kalter. I was especially happy to see Brian Cashman, the General Manager of the New York Yankees, as the keynote speaker. Past DSSD Chairmen, founding board members, and commercial office owner Reckson were all honored.

I connected with many Stamford friends over the course of the evening

We’ve invested $100+ million on three assets in Stamford Downtown since September, 2016, and I can certainly attest to the ever-increasing importance of the Stamford market, both in business and residential real estate.

The UC Funds-owned Stamford Courtyard, one of the most lucrative Courtyard’s in the U.S., is Connecticut’s most successful hotel in terms of rate and occupancy.

Park Square West, another one of our assets, is a hip class A, multifamily housing development. It’s an ideal spot for Stamford residents, as well as New York millennials and professionals, who can easily hop on the Metro North to Manhattan.

I’m also excited for the Residence Inn Marriot on Atlantic Street to take shape. This is a project that UC Funds recently acquired. The hotel is set to open in Summer 2018. Abandoned in 2015 when the previous owner filed for bankruptcy, we stepped in to revitalize the project and get it up and running.

I had the chance to catch up with the Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, who spoke at the event

As you can see, I’m very driven to work in Stamford, and to develop and maintain relationships with business and property owners there. The success of Stamford Downtown perfectly illustrates the fast growth of the area and its significant role in the real estate industry as a whole. It was wonderful to celebrate such an important anniversary with Stamford’s finest.

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What America’s Best Suburbs All Have in Common

What America's Best Suburbs All Have in Common

Whether you seek to relocate or invest in real estate, suburbs shine with possibilities! Thriving neighborhoods have distinct characteristics. In fact, you can predict livability by the presence of key beneficial factors. Top American suburbs share these traits. Here are their commonalities. Continue reading

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April’s Hottest Real Estate Markets

April’s Hottest Real Estate MarketsReal estate is a primary component of a healthy economy, and you may be focusing your attention on top markets across the country for various reasons. Whether you are a savvy real estate investor looking for hot real estate opportunities or you are interested in the top real estate markets to make financial decisions on, you may be interested in learning which markets are leading the force this season. Spring is one of the hottest periods in the real estate market, and some local areas in particular are reaping the benefits. Through economic research focused on real estate, you can learn more about hot real estate areas across the country.

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