How Jay Glickman Is Growing Vero Sade’s Texas Multifamily Brand From Manhattan

The ex-tennis ace serves up an offense of data and debt to cut deals in fast-growing Houston and Dallas.

reprints


Everything is bigger in Texas, including profit potential apparently.

A 3-year-old company named Vero Sade is getting into the Lone Star multifamily market in a big way, and it brings a little New York chutzpah thanks to the firm’s second home base at 650 Fifth Avenue, the Midtown Manhattan office location of parent company Vero Capital. That’s where Jay Glickman, who turned 30 in November, has spent much of the last three years and counting thinking about the next up-and-coming neighborhoods in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW). 

SEE ALSO: Tower Capital Grows New Capital Markets Team With 3 New Hires

The population of these two cities is growing at triple the national rate, according to Oxford Economics. Although investor interest in the region has cooled over the past year, the 11 counties that comprise the DFW metroplex had the most active rental construction pipeline in the nation, with 69,370 units underway out of a total inventory of just over 924,000 units at the end of 2023, Colliers reported.

Before Glickman became Vero Sade’s precocious chief acquisition officer, he worked for its progenitor, Admiral Capital, a real estate and private equity investment firm founded in 2008 by Goldman Sachs alumnus Dan Bassichis and National Basketball Association Hall of Famer David Robinson, who won two world championships with the San Antonio Spurs. From the beginning, the pair committed to donating a part of their profits to Robinson’s budding philanthropic efforts with the San Antonio school system.

“We started because I wanted to raise money to put toward the schools,” Robinson said, referring to Carver Academy, which he founded in San Antonio in 2001 and which has since grown into a network of 30 public charter schools. As business partners, Robinson and Bassichis were just getting started.

The new firm meanwhile spread its wings, bringing Glickman on board in 2017 after a short stint on RXR’s New York investment team, where he worked on the $1.7 billion acquisition of a 49 percent stake in One Worldwide Plaza with Frank Patafio, Russell Young and David Kelly. (Glickman toured every floor of the 55-story building to report on its conditions and current tenants.)

Bassichis was struck by Glickman’s attention to detail and his aptitude for spotting patterns in data. A former college tennis star, Glickman was a good fit for the firm. 

Glickman grew up in Chappaqua, just north of New York City, and traveled the country to compete in tennis tournaments as a teenager, visiting 44 states before he finished high school — “some more desirable than others,” he said.  

He continued to dominate on and off the court at Tufts University, where he majored in quantitative economics while helping lift Tufts from 25th place to 11th place in Division III men’s tennis.

A man sitting on a windowsill.
Jay Glickman at Vero Capital’s office in New York. Photo: Emily Assiran/for Commercial Observer

These days, Glickman wears a vintage Rolex GMT-Master watch and has been known to break out in midday calisthenics sessions at the office with anyone who’s willing to join. At one point, Philadelphia 76er Mo Bamba visited the office and tried out the pull-up bar Glickman had installed, but, according to Bassichis, the 7-foot basketball player’s feet dangled to the floor.

In between visits from famous athletes, Admiral’s staff was busy making big deals. The firm went on to deploy about $700 million in capital and saw more than $3 billion in transactions over its decade-plus run before the firm rebranded to create Vero Capital in 2022.

Glickman was part of the team that saw Vero through that transition. Along with managing partner Andy Stone, he helped launch a new core-plus office platform the company dubbed A2R.

Vero Sade — a multifamily developer, owner and operator based in Houston — is another platform Vero Capital spawned around the same time. It’s now Glickman’s main focus.

In September 2021, Glickman signed off on a $91.3 million deal to buy AMLI Residential’s 2221 West Dallas Street, a four-story, 404-unit apartment building wrapped around a parking garage in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood. 

Vero Sade has since spent about $16 million renovating the property, which was built in 2008, into Us Bayou Park, a branded rental community aimed at Houston’s affluent millennial workforce. Net effective monthly rent at the property is $1,851, about 47 percent higher than the $1,261 Houston renters pay per month on average, according to Colliers (CIGI)

But at Us Bayou Park, your monthly rent check also buys you access to such on-site extracurricular activities as rooftop yoga classes, outdoor film screenings and regularly scheduled wine tastings. There’s a clubhouse, two pools designed by Casa Companies and a coffee shop. Not to mention the air of exclusivity.

“We’re still in the process of getting our liquor license,” Glickman said. “And once that happens, we’ll roll out the cocktails.”

With Us Bayou Park, the world is catching its first glimpse of Us Living, an apartment community concept Vero Sade is bringing into being in Texas and beyond.  

“It’s really a branded residential concept that fosters connection among residents and the community,” Glickman said. “I can go into a lot of detail on the resident events that we have and everything that we’re doing to create a better living experience for the millennial generation. That’s our target renter.”

Not long after the September 2021 acquisition in Houston, Vero Sade had another property in its sights, this time in Dallas.

In February 2022, the firm paid $143 million to buy 3700 McKinney Avenue, a 381-unit, 21-story high-rise apartment building about 10 minutes north of Dallas’ central business district. 

Brookfield Properties inherited the property in 2018 when it acquired Forest City Realty Trust, which developed the building in 2014. 

“We’re targeting mid-rise and high-rise buildings that are structurally sound, typically built after 2000, but still have, you know, room to improve,” Glickman said. “And we look for large amenity spaces.”

The McKinney Avenue property fit the bill.

Eastdil Secured’s Phoebe Brent, who brokered both the 2021 and 2022 sales, said Glickman made Vero Sade’s investment thesis clear to her from the get-go: a focus on quality assets in locations with a tangible growth story.

“Taking a step back, Texas — DFW in particular — has really become the epicenter of growth in the U.S.,” Brent said. “Despite the volatility in the market, DFW has prevailed as a leading growth market as it relates to employment, population and demand, both from a single-family and multifamily perspective.”

Units at the McKinney Avenue property, now known as 3700M, are currently fetching an average $2,503 net effective monthly rent.

Renovations are continuing, according to Glickman, and will soon include turning half of the lobby into a coworking space.

Bassichis, for his part, drew the inspiration for Us Living from sundry sources over the past decade, but he said the success of his Philadelphia social club, Fitler Club, was particularly influential. “If you took Soho House, Equinox and WeWork and blended them, that’s Fitler Club,” Bassichis said.

Founded in 2019, Fitler Club is a 115,000-square-foot multipurpose space on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. 

“We wanted to take everything we learned there and combine it with multifamily living,” Bassichis said. “So we created a new company called Us Living, which is kind of the integration of social clubs with residential living.”

He saw that Glickman was ready to mastermind the new firm’s acquisitions and gave him the reins. Up to that point, Vero Capital had a track record of success completing about 45 more traditional multifamily deals in its history.

But Vero Sade’s strategy, which Bassichis describes as “long-term patient capital,” is new territory for both Glickman and Vero Capital. It coincided with a turning point for young professionals who started their careers in real estate over the past decade and have now witnessed all the inflection points in the cycle. 

Glickman said he saw early signs of a pivot in the 2010s as real estate became flush with institutional money and cap rates were compressing. 

“As demand for the sector increased,” he said, “it became difficult for our capital to compete with some of these other groups for the deals. And so we were thinking, ‘Where’s the world going?’ ”

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the long post-recession boom to a screeching halt.

The multifamily occupancy rate shot into the stratosphere a year into the pandemic, hitting 97.1 percent in DFW at the end of 2021 and 91.6 percent in Houston. And Dallas-Fort Worth is now the nation’s No. 2 financial mecca, Bloomberg reported in December, employing more workers in the sector than any other urban center except New York.

So it’s really no surprise that Vero Sade returned to its Texas roots. Bassichis brought Yoni Sade, a longtime partner in Houston, on board to help run the new vertically integrated operation.

The way Bassichis sees it: “Maybe people in New York and San Francisco or L.A. are used to incredible rooftops, or beautiful gyms or bars in the building. But that’s not commonplace in Texas and the Southeast. And so we thought these markets were ready for something like this.”