On August 19th, OZ FundHub hosted our first OZFH Connect Multi, a new format for our pitch session webinar that features three different Opportunity Zone funds going head to head. If you missed it, you can watch video highlights on our OZFH Video page.
For our August webinar, we were honored to have Silicon Real Estate legend Tom Tognoli as a guest host. Tom is currently a partner at an early stage Venture Capital firm, and he previously co-founded and sold the largest real estate firm in the Silicon Valley (Top 10 in the nation), Intero Real Estate Services, to Berkshire Hathaway. Tom is also a seasoned real estate investor and developer, and an OZ investor.
Presenting for our participating fund was Peter Ciganik, the Head of Capital Markets at GTIS Partners, who has recently been promoted to a partner.
Peter Ciganik kicked off the pitch session for GTIS Partners. GTIS is a seasoned real estate investment firm, managing $5 billion in capital mostly on behalf of large institutional investors, pension plans and endowments. Formed in 2005, GTIS has invested over $12 billion in total project costs, via 175 different investments. They currently have $2.5 billion in equity invested in about 60,000 housing units and 6.5 million square feet of industrial space. Prior to the introduction of the Opportunity Zone program, GTIS already had roughly $180 million of equity invested in areas that became designated as OZs. They view the tax benefits of the program as icing on the cake to investments that stand on their own.
GTIS is largely focused on residential and industrial properties in the sunbelt region. They look for large regional market areas in the sunbelt states because their demographics show a strong migration trend with consistent job growth, governments that are business friendly, and price points that are affordable. Preferred property types include multi-family, single family (which Peter points out to be relatively unique to GTIS), and industrial logistics.
GTIS acknowledges that not all Opportunity Zones are inherently equal, and given that they have structured their fund to provide diversified commingled assets. GTIS Partners Opportunity Zone Fund II has a $500 million target with a $100,000 minimum commitment. They plan to invest in 10-15 bite-sized assets mainly in multi-family but with some industrial as well, focused in the sunbelt.