DALLAS, January 7, 2009 – Criterion® Development Partners announces the launch of a specialty practice, Criterion Real Estate Services, which is now providing comprehensive multifamily services to lenders, owners, institutional investors and other equity partners seeking to optimize the performance of distressed real estate assets.
Criterion Real Estate Services offers extensive multifamily expertise to real estate owners, lenders and asset managers in need of immediate assistance with under-performing assets in times that are likely to get more difficult. “Our core role as a multifamily developer has always been that of a problem solver, so we are confident that we can offer strategies, solutions and value creation ideas to investors, lenders and owners facing challenges in today’s marketplace,” said Pretlow Riddick, president and principal of Criterion.
The first client to engage Criterion Real Estate Services sought help for a portfolio of 10 under-performing multifamily projects including raw land, disputed land contracts, a project undergoing a renovation and another under construction in the Boston, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Austin metro areas. Responsibilities included realistic underwriting to determine a go/no go decision, contractor qualification, and value engineering and plan analysis.
“We can add value at every stage of development,” Riddick explained. “We take the time to thoroughly understand clients’ needs and goals. We then apply the same rigorous approach that we utilize with our own development portfolio. Criterion Real Estate Services assures clients of results based on a customized strategy and disciplined execution.”
Drawing from a wealth of industry experience, Criterion offers a variety of services including underwriting analysis, design development, entitlement processing, repositioning and exit strategies, project financing as well as construction management and lease-up management.
“A thorough and independent underwriting is critical to the successful resolution of any distressed situation,” noted Riddick. “Market fundamentals have changed so significantly in the last year that many assumptions underlying today’s real estate models may no longer be valid.”
Feasibility analysis conducted by Criterion Real Estate Services focuses on market analysis, regulatory requirements, entitlement risk assessment, site and design assessment as well as project underwriting associated with capitalization, construction, operations and disposition assumptions. Additionally, Criterion Real Estate Services provides a recommended action plan including detailed timeline and budget.
“While most assignments require a feasibility analysis, additional services are often needed and vary according to the life cycle of the asset,” noted Jack Englert, a partner based in Criterion’s
Northeast regional office located in Boston. “Some owners need to know if it’s worth it to hold on to land until the market stabilizes; others, if design changes are possible that might improve the viability of an over-budget project. We are often called upon for complete asset management services. We have the capability of taking over a job at any stage, including those that are in the midst of construction.”
“Assistance with capitalization is clearly at the top of the list of most owners and managers of real estate today,” said Chris Harris, principal and chief financial officer of Criterion. “Finding project financing is extremely challenging, but Criterion Real Estate Services is confident in its ability to help owners craft new capitalization strategies.”
In forming Criterion Real Estate Services, Criterion leverages its many years of successful development of multifamily and multi-use projects, primarily in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southwest. The partners at Criterion have developed over $2.0 billion in new multifamily development including garden style suburban product as well as mid-rise and high-rise urban developments. As with its own portfolio, Criterion Real Estate Services seeks to partner with institutional investors, financial institutions and other owners and managers of real estate.
Criterion® Property Company (www.criteriondp.com) is a real estate operating company specializing in the development, construction management, asset management and disposition of multifamily communities. Dedicated to conducting all business with the utmost honesty and integrity, Criterion’s mission is to maximize the value of its assets for partners, lenders, investors and employees. With offices in Dallas and Boston, Criterion is actively seeking multifamily investment and fee development opportunities in Dallas, Austin, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C. and, Atlanta metro areas. In these markets, Criterion seeks to identify multifamily development opportunities in smart-growth locations offering convenient access to mass transit and core employment.