Hudson Pacific Launches Investing Platform for Women and People of Color
Los Angeles-based Hudson Pacific Properties has launched a new impact investing platform named EquiBlue to leverage commercial real estate as a way to create economic opportunities and upward mobility for women and people of color.
EquiBlue’s Black- and women-led team will manage a series of private funds, starting with an initial capital investment target of $300 million. The team will focus on redeveloping what it deems obsolete properties into amenitized office and mixed-use space with direct benefits for under-resourced communities, while also generating strong financial returns.
“Commercial development plays a key role in shaping the makeup of a community. The last few years inspired a renewed focus for businesses to attract and retain diverse talent beyond city centers and to empower communities,” Hudson’s Chris Pearson said in a statement. “With EquiBlue, we hope to create a new blueprint for real estate investors and corporate tenants alike to be more intentional in promoting holistic economic inclusion and avoiding gentrification.”
EquiBlue hopes to create a virtuous cycle focused on engaging the community around property construction, leasing and operations. The team aims to deliver and lease high-end office space to leading tech and media anchor tenants, including many of Hudson Pacific’s largest tenants, some of which share a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The new leasing will target local community businesses owned by women and people of color, and partner and vendor selection will also prioritize diverse populations.
EquiBlue’s initial fund is set up with what the company calls a “community carry share,” which will return 25 percent of its carried interest profits to federal Community Development Financial Institutions and partners that will establish small business loan and grant programs to be invested with businesses owned by women and people of color. The team will look for investment opportunities in what it views as under-resourced markets proximate to Hudson Pacific’s core markets in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Vancouver.
HPP and strategic partner CBRE (CBRE) will commit at least 20 percent of the total capital commitment for EquiBlue’s initial fund. Pearson and Chris Lewis will serve as co-managers of the fund and oversee EquiBlue’s day-to-day operations. Hudson CEO Victor Coleman will serve as investment committee chair and Laura Campbell will be head of investor relations.
“EquiBlue is a natural extension of our industry-leading Better Blueprint ESG [environmental, social and governance] program, through which we’ve consistently found innovative ways to leverage our expertise to bring positive change to our business and industry, and strengthen the communities in and around our core markets,” Coleman said.
CBRE’s Lew Horne said EquiBlue is a vehicle that will spur “crucially needed investment and economic activity in under-resourced communities.”
“Our team is energized about helping EquiBlue in its mission to diversify the commercial real estate industry while creating positive social impact, and we’ll bring the full scope of CBRE’s services and expertise to this exciting endeavor,” he added.
Gregory Cornfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.