It’s not especially well known that the retail / e-commerce juggernaut Groupon started life not as a provider of retail savings to consumers but as a nonprofit crowdfunding platform for communities called The Point. Groupon founder and former CEO Andrew Mason’s original software project let communities pool their money online to, for example, get a park built in their neighborhood or to solve some other community problem together. It was only later, after a nudge and a million-dollar check from a venture capital latecomer that Mason applied the same crowdfunding idea and software to coupons. The rest, as they say, is retail history.
As reported here in The Source roughly a year ago, in 2012 the multifamily sector did just about exactly what Dr. Mike Eppli of NAIOP predicted it would: lead the charge into recovery. Rising rents and lowering vacancy rates, Eppli said, were in the cards, driven by the fallout from the housing crisis. Eppli saw a national demographic that broke with its traditional history and headed not into home ownership, but rental.
With lender credit to commercial property remaining shy and sluggish years after the housing bubble, it’s more important than ever to be aware of investment capital options for commercial property transaction finance. The act of raising capital by the offering of securities for such transactions or projects is highly regulated and rightly so, but changes are afoot in key regulations and might provide ways forward for property deals that would otherwise be held up for lack of access to capital markets.