By Jim Hynes
When Rockspring announced its first property exit, the company knew it would provide a hefty profit for its Canadian investment partners over a relatively short seven month hold. What wasn’t realized at the time, however, was the buyer of the property, the international grocer Whole Foods, would win the 2015 “Best Real Estate Deal of the Year Award” in retail for its part in the transaction. This award was presented on January 26, 2016 by the Houston Business Journal at a special ceremony. Members of its newsroom and the business community carefully chose the selections.
The four acre covered land play (underlying land value currently generating cash flow from a building lease) is located just four miles from downtown Houston at the heavily travelled intersection of I-610 and Yale St. The property was acquired in November 2014 from an out of state owner that was looking to sell the property quickly. Rockspring recognized the potential of the site and neighborhood as it was transitioning from an older industrial part of the city to more urban, higher-end retail and residential uses.
The plan was to hold for 24 – 36 months while the area continued to transition and collect the cash flows from the building lease. Approximately seven months after acquiring, Rockspring sold to Whole Foods as they also came to recognize the improving demographics of the submarket and are now planning to build their first Market 365, a new concept store geared for urban millennials.
Travis Stel, Managing Director of Two Degrees Advisory Group, added, “With the success of this first property exit, it shows the management team is off to a great start to executing on its business plan.”
While Rockspring was pleased that Whole Foods was recognized for their “vision” to select this neighborhood for their store, they were more pleased that their investment partners were able to profit from its local market knowledge to identify investment opportunities well ahead of others.
Rockspring continues to look diligently throughout our markets for similar opportunities and appreciate our financial partner’s continued support and valued partnerships.
Jim Hynes has served as Managing Director of Rockspring Capital since joining the company in 2010. Jim is primarily responsible for the structuring of new offerings for both US and non-US investors. In addition, he is an Investment Committee member and plays a key role in the day-to-day management of the investment vehicles. Jim’s background includes over 25 years in real estate in both the private and public sectors where he has held various executive leadership positions. Jim has been involved in more than $3 billion of transactions including all types of real estate assets. Jim holds a BS in Accounting from Merrimack College and an MBA in Finance from Suffolk University.