Neuberger Arm Commits $320 Million to Asia Capital Real Estate

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Almanac Realty Investors, an arm of Neuberger Berman, has committed $320 million to Asia Capital Real Estate, a private equity firm focused on workforce housing.

The investment, led by Almanac managing director Justin Hakimian, is set to anchor ACRE debt and equity funds that target multifamily properties catering to tenants who don’t qualify for subsidized housing but don’t earn enough to afford homes where they live and work.

It’s a corner of real estate that, unlike hotels and malls, hasn’t been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the firms said Tuesday.

“The uncertainty of the current economic climate has had acute effects for commercial real estate, which is causing many investors to seek out funds with a more secure risk-return profile,” ACRE founding partner Michael Van Der Poel said in a statement.

Since the onset of the pandemic, ACRE has made loans to borrowers such as City Club Apartments for properties in Detroit, Michigan and Cincinnati, Ohio, and to Sovereign Properties for a multifamily project in North Richland Hills, Texas. It has also sold buildings in Atlanta and Athens, Georgia, to Fillmore Capital Partners, among other exits.

“Middle-market multifamily assets offer a more stable long-term outlook than many other areas of the market,” said Van Der Poel, who leads ACRE alongside founding partners Les Menkes and Blake Olafson.

ACRE, which manages more than $1.8 billion, has more than 20,000 apartments in its portfolio. Almanac will own a minority stake in ACRE and anchor its fourth equity fund, which will make bets on multifamily properties in the Southeast, Midwest and Texas.

Other institutional investors have also stepped up their bets on workforce housing. Bobby Turner’s Turner Impact Capital in December said it raised more than $350 million for its second fund, garnering backing from billionaire Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Foundation, among others.

Neuberger last year acquired Almanac, which spun out of Rothschild in 2007, to bolster its real estate efforts. The firm has backed dozens of real estate owners and operators including Mack Real Estate Group, RXR Realty, Slate Asset Management and ReNew Senior Living.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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