Gideon Gil, John Alascio, Rob Rubano and John O’Neill
Vice chair; vice chair; vice chair; president of U.S. multifamily capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield
Last year's rank: 16
Completing $19 billion of originations, with the bulk dedicated to industrial and multi-family transactions? Sounds pretty darn envy-worthy, C&W.
That’s not to say it was an easy road, and Rob Rubano describes the current market environment as “the tightest the credit markets have felt since the beginning of COVID.”
Still, as those credit markets pulled back, C&W stepped up.
“We don’t run from these times, we run to them,” Rubano said. “People need real help, and we pride ourselves on being advisers, not brokers. So, in the past year there’s been a lot of positives from the perspective of working very closely with a lot of key clients as they navigate maturity schedules and new business plans, where — depending on where their exposure lies from an asset class perspective — there are often not a lot of straightforward answers.”
With that in mind, and as the pace of new acquisitions slowed, the C&W team has been digging deeper into refinances and also arranging joint venture equity.
“It’s an interesting market, because you have people who have their equity hats on that are confused, because typically you invest in fundamentals, which are signaling a ‘buy’ in some classes, but the capital markets — which play a significant role in cap rates — are screaming the opposite,” John Alascio said. “Navigating that dynamic is really challenging, and I don’t see it getting any easier in the near term.”
On the positive side, “we do believe that rates will start being cut as a result of a recessionary environment, and the liquidity will start returning back to the marketplace probably by year end, or early into next year,” Alascio said. (Phew!)
For now, there is no shortage of impressive deal closings for C&W. In fact, the team recently closed one of the largest Freddie Mac deals in the agency’s history — a $258 million fixed-rate financing for The Beacon multifamily property in Jersey City, N.J., with Greystone as lender.
“It was a fantastic execution on a very large deal which showed that liquidity still exists through Fannie and Freddie,” Alascio said. Further, with Greystone as lender, the transaction only solidified the joint venture between the two firms that was formed in December 2021 (with C&W acquiring a 40 percent stake in Greystone’s agency, FHA and servicing platforms).
The team transacted nationally, sealing notable deals such as a $368 million refinancing for 23 logistics assets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland; a $272 million construction financing for New York’s 160 Water Street’s office-to-multifamily repositioning; and a $196 million refinance for Fiddler’s Green, an office portfolio in Denver. There was also a $147 million construction loan for The District at 15Fifteen, a mixed-use Town Center in Parsippany, N.J., being developed by Claremont Development, Stanbery Development Group and PCCP, which Alascio describes as “transformative.”
“The idea that you could deploy institutional equity, and develop through the current market, and find a balance sheet lender to finance that from a construction perspective in a single loan — I can’t tell you how rare of a bird that is.” —C.C.