Thursday, February 05, 2009
Sykes Named to Responsible Property Investing Council
Council formed at Urban Land Institute annual meeting
MIAMI (October 30, 2008) - The Urban Strategy America (`USA`) Fund, a New Boston real estate investment fund, announced today that Kirk Sykes, president of the fund, has been named to the leadership committee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Responsible Property Investing Council. The Council was officially announced at the Urban Land Institute`s Annual meeting in Miami this week.
Responsible Property Investing, or RPI, is a new real estate investment methodology, emerging out of the smart growth and sustainability movements, that takes green to the next level by marrying business interests with environmental and social needs. RPI tenets cover multiple social and environmental dimensions of real estate investment including: smart growth, social equity, community development, urban revitalization, energy conservation, environmental protection, worker well-being and more. The purpose of the council is to provide a forum for industry leaders to discuss RPI and how growth can be catalyzed in today`s market.
Given the current market conditions it is encouraging to remind ourselves that innovation like RPI can weather the market cycles. There are financial benefits for both developers and residents, said Kirk Sykes, President, Urban Strategy America Fund. RPI balances economic returns with environmental and economic sustainability; promotes up zoning, or increased density, not solely because it`s better for the environment, but because it can increase profitability; emphasizes the premium pricing that transit-oriented development leverages, again, not just for the environment, but for the value of the assets or rents being charged; and finds subsidies or gap financing for the use of energy efficiency or improved infrastructure, all of which aligns with our fundamental principles at the USA Fund.
RPI is being introduced at a time when more and more states, such as New York and Florida, and municipalities, such as Boston and Washington, are making the development approval process contingent on a project`s environmental sustainability; more banks are offering to finance projects that do well by doing good while meeting their Community Reinvestment Act requirements and developers are looking to generate more profit through increased density of smart growth projects.
The formation of the council is building on the academic work of Gary Pivo of the University of Arizona and David Wood, Director of the Boston College Institute for Responsible Investment, and is a way to help practitioners tackle practical implementation. The leadership committee of real estate, academic and investment professionals includes Stephen Blank, Senior Resident Fellow, ULI of Washington, D.C.; Roger Platt, Real Estate Roundtable of Washington, D.C.; Geoffrey Dohrmann, CEO, Institutional Real Estate, Inc. of San Ramon, California; Ron Roberts, Executive Vice President, Kennedy Associates Real Estate Counsel of Seattle; Kirk Sykes, President, New Boston-Urban Strategy America Fund of Boston; and Phil Payne CEO of Babcock & Brown Residential of Charlotte.
The USA Fund has been operating on the principles of a triple bottom line since 2004: generating solid returns to investors, spurring economic development and creating workforce housing as well as promoting environmental sustainability. The following three developments represent the RPI criteria for the fund: an urban mixed us downtown development, in Winooski Falls, Vermont, a mixed-use residential development, Olmsted Green, located on the historic 42-acre site of a former state hospital and a mixed-use retail and office economic development project, The Quonset Gateway, at a former naval base in Rhode Island.
About the USA Fund
The Urban Strategy America (`USA`) Fund is a New Boston real estate investment fund that executes on the promise of a triple bottom line- generating solid returns to investors, spurring economic development and workforce housing, and promoting environmental sustainability.
About New Boston Fund
New Boston is an independent, privately owned real estate investment manager and an industry leader in providing real estate investment, development and management services with a history of strong sponsorship and oversight of its investment funds. New Boston has developed or acquired commercial and residential properties with a cumulative market value of about $4.4 billion, including 23 million square feet of commercial real estate and 7,500 residential units. Our investment vehicles cater to institutional and high-net worth investors by offering value add and urban real estate investment funds with a focus on diversification and capital preservation. The New Boston Fund: People, Values, Returns.
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