Profile: Jonathan Rose Companies

New York--Here is an investment strategy with a difference: Jonathan Rose Companies is looking to purchase apartment properties--affordable apartment properties, that is.

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor

New York—Here is an investment strategy with a difference: Jonathan Rose Companies seeks to purchase apartment properties—affordable apartment properties, that is.

Since 2005, the company, which was founded in 1989, has sought to acquire existing affordable housing, green them and preserve their affordability, says Jonathan F.P. Rose [pictured], founder and president. “The goal is to buy at least 3,000 affordable units all over the country,” says Rose. The company has since raised a $25 million fund with Goldman Sachs as the sole investor for this purpose.

Jonathan Rose Companies’ intention to purchase, green and preserve affordable housing dovetails with the type of company it says it is: a mission-based, green real estate policy, planning and development, civic development and investment firm. The company currently manages over $1.5 billion of work, much of it, it says, in collaboration with not-for-profits, towns and cities.

Under its program to purchase affordable housing, Jonathan Rose Companies recently acquired 107-105 W. 135th Street in Harlem, New York City. The property obtained a loan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for greening existing affordable housing. The company also purchased a 300-unit property in Newark, N.J.

Greening these acquisitions involves taking measures such as adding insulation, and installing energy-efficient windows, appliances and HVAC systems. The projects also include the institution of more intensive recycling programs. “We only purchase in great cities,” says Rose. “We focus on locations in great cities that are walkable and adjacent to mass transit.”

The other major area of activity for Jonathan Rose Companies currently is the development of new multi-housing. The company develops only transit-oriented, green and mixed-income properties, says Rose. It currently has projects under construction, or about to start construction, in New York City, Philadelphia, Stamford, Conn., Seattle, Denver and Albuquerque, N.M.

Most recently, Jonathan Rose Companies completed Tapestry in New York City, a 186-unit mixed income development that is certified at the LEED gold level. Another recently completed development in New York City is the 66-unit Silver Gardens, which was funded by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. “Almost every one of our projects have some element of affordable housing in it,” says Rose, and they are funded with the company’s own equity and debt.

The reason for the company’s emphasis on sustainability is that it believes that such practices lead to both better buildings and better environments, says Rose. All its projects are built under Enterprise’s green community guidelines, he adds. “We focus on building or buying buildings that are green and environmentally responsible.”

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