MHN Interview: Alexandra Johns will Lead Resmark’s Washington, D.C. Office

"We seek out builders and developers whom we hold in high esteem, and who have unique experience and understanding of the submarkets in which they are active."

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Alexandra_Johns_00115_BWThe Resmark Companies, a full-service real estate investment advisor, has opened a new office, in Washington D.C. and has hired Alexandra Johns to lead it. With over 25 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate financing and development, Johns will serve as Senior Vice President, Investments in Resmark’s Land and Housing division, and she will be responsible for managing the firm’s existing portfolio of investments, as well as originating new projects for Resmark in the mid-Atlantic region. Before joining Resmark, Johns served as Wells Fargo’s Senior Relationship Manager for the homebuilder sector in the Washington DC/Baltimore region, and as Group Vice President of Chevy Chase Bank’s homebuilding unit. She received a B.A. in English with a minor in Business from the University of Maryland.

The Resmark Companies was founded in 1995. It currently manages more than $1 billion in equity capital for investors including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, two of the largest public pension funds in the United States. The company’s new office is located at 5425 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 600, in Chevy Chase, Md. We recently talked to Johns about her new position and plans for the future.

MHN: The Resmark Companies recently opened a new East Coast office in Washington, D.C. What does your company hope to achieve in the region? And how far up or down the coast do you plan to expand from this new base?

Johns: Resmark will be the equity partner of choice for a select group of builders and developers in the Mid-Atlantic region. At this time, our focus remains on for-sale attached and detached single family homes in the Mid-Atlantic, where we are excited to be growing the portfolio.

MHN: We know of three Resmark residential developments in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore regions (N Street Condominiums, Woodmont View and Creekstone Village); but are there any others underway?

Johns: Yes, we are the equity partner in several exciting projects. Our current investments include joint ventures in the following projects:
• N Street Condominiums, a Madison Homes joint venture currently under development in Dupont Circle;
• Woodmont View, a Duball, LLC joint venture that will bring condominiums to Bethesda;
• Creekstone Village, a joint venture with Timberlake Homes to build townhouses in Pasadena; and
• Moncure Valley, a joint venture with Bryton Homes to build a new community in Aquia.

We’re looking forward to new transactions with new and existing partners. Our pipeline projects will remain confidential until closed.

MHN: Does your company plan to start construction on any new projects this year? What are your goals for 2014?

Johns: All of projects I just mentioned will be under construction in 2014. This year, Resmark will continue to expand its reach as a preferred equity provider, bringing the same level of diligence, flexibility and focus to our new partners as we have provided to our long-term partners.

MHN: What is your strategy to accomplish those goals?

Johns: Seek out builders and developers whom we hold in high esteem and who have unique experience and understanding of the submarkets in which they are active. Respond nimbly to our partners’ needs for an established equity partner. Resmark’s disciplined approach has led to long-term relationships and multiple transactions with many of our builder-developer partners. We hope the value that Resmark has brought to those alliances will similarly benefit our new partners in the Mid-Atlantic.

MHN: What challenges do you expect to encounter?

Johns: The housing markets are dynamic and submarkets have recovered, or are recovering, from the recession at differing paces. Resmark maintains strict investment standards, and we are passionate about our investments. We will forgo a marginal opportunity to maintain our focus on opportunities that are right for us. For-sale housing is a local business subject to fluid market conditions. Understanding local dynamics will remain a challenge as well as an exciting aspect of the investment discipline employed by Resmark and its partners.

MHN: The Washington D.C. area is going through a construction boom at the moment. What do you think sets your product apart from those of your competitors? How are you competing as a relative newcomer to the area against more entrenched developers?

Johns: All of Resmark’s partners have decades of experience here, as does our local staff. Each project is built with the local residents in mind, and each reflects the brand of our joint venture partner. Resmark is intentional when choosing its partners. Each Resmark partner has a sophisticated sense of the submarkets within which it operates, and how best to deliver value to and enhance the living experiences of the future homebuyers.

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