Strategic Investments with Affordable Rents Ensure Long-Term Profit in Competitive Real Estate Market
Chicago, IL, June 26, 2013
Pangea Properties President Discusses Strategic Investments.
Signs of an improving multi-family housing market are visible with an increased demand for apartments. However, even with the high demand for units, prices for buying buildings are still rising. This is most likely due to the fact that capitalization rates are near their all-time low and rents are higher than ever. According to Al Goldstein, President of Pangea Properties, a private real estate investment trust (REIT), it’s important to make rents affordable to match the incomes of potential residents, while adding value to the community.
“To make a profit investors are continually raising their rent rates without adding additional value to their residents. We are also not seeing enough healthy wage increases in the current economy for residents to keep up with the rising rent,” says Goldstein. “As the market heats up again the result for many investors is an expensive purchase price which is leading to expensive rents, limited property improvement and thus unaffordable units that remain empty.”
Pangea Properties is taking a different approach by evaluating what value they can bring to the building, while looking into the surrounding neighborhood and community initiatives before purchasing properties to ensure they make a sound investment. Their unique focus lies in a specific niche market where distressed, foreclosed or boarded up buildings are all too common. By making sounds investments and even after investing significant money in the complete rehabilitation of the building, including an array of amenities and security features not typically available at their price point, Pangea Properties is still able to rent units at or even below market rents. The added value and superior level of service allows Pangea to focus on the longevity of their investments, while providing ideal renting options within the established market.
“Prior to purchasing any building we look at how our presence will better the community and provide long term quality for our residents,” continues Goldstein. “It can be difficult to rationalize a risky investment, especially for multi-family buildings, if you aren’t able to add value to the property and community. Instead of simply capturing the value of a building investment, we strive to provide affordable apartments and stability to our residents to benefit them in the long run.”
Pangea Properties Announces Mission to Bring Stability to Communities, Block by Block
Chicago, IL, June 19, 2013
Pangea Properties President discusses neighborhood improvements.
With the recent housing crash and down economy, it’s not uncommon to see neighborhoods with a high rate of foreclosures and boarded up buildings. Pangea Properties, a private real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in Chicago, has made it their mission to bring quality units back to Chicago, Baltimore and Indianapolis neighborhoods and restore faith in the communities.
Take for example the Avalon Park and Chatham neighborhoods in Chicago; Pangea owns over 600 units between 79th and 83rd streets with nearly 90 percent occupancy for completed units. 250 of those units had been board ups prior to Pangea’s presence. After more than $10MM in improvement investments, Pangea was awarded with two Good Neighbor Awards for their buildings and community enhancements. Al Goldstein, President of Pangea Properties explains that by providing quality and value to the vicinity Pangea helped turn an area with distressed and vacant buildings into a lively community.
“Our renovation process isn’t meant to be a quick fix as we focus on longevity. Where many purchasers focus on the aesthetics, we choose to focus on the mechanicals. From new plumbing, electric and furnaces to a complete gut of the interiors, we provide long term quality that will stand the test of time,” says Goldstein. “Is it the cheapest route? No, but it’s the best way to provide value and stability to our residents and neighborhoods in the long run.”
By renovating buildings in small clusters, Pangea helps to provide this stability block by block, resulting in units the community can be proud of and creating a strong local presence with a local workforce. They’ve gone above and beyond establishing a link to their communities with programs to clean up empty lots, holding food drives and working with local government and non-profits to provide a better neighborhood outlook.
“Community members in areas with a higher prevalence of distressed or empty buildings can lose hope in change for the better,” continues Goldstein. “Our goal is to rehabilitate buildings and help return areas to the vibrant communities they once were.”
Pangea Properties President, Al Goldstein, Discusses May Housing Trends on CNBC
Pangea Properties Paves the Way for Employment Opportunities Within The Communities They Serve
Chicago, IL, June 10, 2013
While employment levels are finally starting to rebound after reaching their lowest levels in years, some companies are aiming their efforts where it matters most- their own backyard. Pangea Properties, a private real estate investment trust (REIT) headquartered in Chicago, is creating jobs within the communities they serve and benefitting the local economy where unemployment rates have hit hard.
Al Goldstein, President of Pangea Properties explains that in the past three years alone, Pangea has had tremendous growth while most companies across the country were cutting back. “We have grown from 25 employees in 2010 to employing over 300 people,” says Goldstein. “Many of our core communities have unemployment rates as high as 16%; we have made a conscious effort at creating job opportunities in the communities where we have a presence.”
The majority of the distressed properties Pangea renovates are located in lower-middle income neighborhoods with high unemployment rates, including South Shore, Auburn Gresham and Chatham, to name a few. With Pangea’s rapid growth and investment in the community Goldstein adds that many people who live in these areas are then able to obtain local job opportunities with Pangea such as call center roles, janitorial, maintenance, property management and leasing agent positions. “As our company grows we are looking to add more job positions within these neighborhoods,” says Goldstein. “In particular we are delving into areas that are in need of increased stability. We are thrilled to be in a position to provide continued employment opportunities to a great pool of skilled labor and people ready to work hard.” For more information on this topic or to schedule an interview with Pangea Properties President Al Goldstein, please contact me directly. Full employment statistics are available upon request.
Pangea Properties Rebuilds Baltimore Communities: Real Estate Investment Trust Takes on Local Buildings
Baltimore, MD, June 10, 2013
Pangea Properties, the innovative real estate investment trust (REIT) that first opened in Chicago in 2008, has turned its efforts to Baltimore communities in need of rebuilding. The company is unique among real estate managers for its hyper-local focus on restoration, employment and community-building in the areas where it buys units.
Founder Al Goldstein explains that the Pangea model creates sustainable improvements in the neighborhoods they enter. “We reinvest in communities by fixing old or abandoned properties and offering them with quality service at prices lower middle income families can afford. We strive to give residents the space and opportunity to revitalize their neighborhoods.” Pangea currently owns and manages over 8,000 rental properties in Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore. Of those, more than 350 are in Baltimore, and the company plans to buy between 2,000 and 3,000 properties in neighborhoods such as Mount Pleasant, Walbrook and Mount Holly in the next few years.
Pangea effectively transforms its apartment buildings through drastic restorations and adds value through amenities and services not traditionally available at their affordable price point, including but not limited to: modern appliances, on-site laundry and industry leading resident benefits. Residents enjoy Pangea Loyalty Rewards, a free program that includes increased referral bonuses, on-time payment rewards, appliance upgrades and one-time gifts. They also benefit from the Refer-A-Resident program, online payments, 24/7 maintenance access and raffles and giveaways throughout the year.
Pangea has continued to add employees even in this slow economy, and makes a conscious effort to hire local. Maintenance, janitors, property managers and leasing agents live and work in the same areas as their residents. “Focusing on local employment is just one element of our push for neighborhood development,” says Goldstein. “We’re always seeking ways to get residents involved, as with our collaborative education and community beautification initiatives.” Pangea works closely with residents, local governments, and non-profit organizations to arrange food drives, educational enrichment opportunities, school supply giveaways and neighborhood clean-ups.
“Our goal is to make Pangea Properties the best possible places to live in Baltimore, and in our view that encompasses all aspects of community life—quality affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, and enthusiastic and involved residents,” continues Goldstein. “We’re thrilled to be working in Baltimore, and we are confident its residents will continue to join us in this mission.”
Pangea Properties Restores Indianapolis Buildings: Real Estate Investment Trust Takes on Local Communities
Indianapolis, IN, June 10, 2013
Pangea Properties, a unique real estate investment trust, is taking on Indianapolis communities through the rehab and restoration of vacant or distressed properties. First opened in Chicago in 2008, the company provides a hyper-local focus that aims to rebuild the communities in the areas it enters, property by property.
The Pangea model creates sustainable improvements in the areas where they purchase units, explains founder Al Goldstein. “We reinvest in communities by fixing old, abandoned or neglected properties and offering them with quality service at prices lower middle income families can afford. We strive to give residents the space and opportunity to revitalize their neighborhoods.” Pangea owns and manages 2,100 units in Indianapolis and plans to continue buying properties in Indianapolis’s east and west sides over the next few years.
Buildings purchased by Pangea go through a complete transformation process, including drastic restorations and additions to amenities and services that are not typically available at their affordable price point. Resident perks include modern appliances, on-site laundry and industry leading resident benefits. Residents enjoy Pangea Loyalty Rewards, a free program that includes increased referral bonuses, on-time payment rewards, appliance upgrades and one-time gifts. They also benefit from the Refer-A-Resident program, online payments, 24/7 maintenance access and raffles and giveaways throughout the year.
Despite a slow economy, Pangea continues to hire new employees and makes a conscious effort to bring on local workers. Maintenance, janitors, property managers and leasing agents live and work in the same areas as their residents. “Focusing on local employment is just one element of our push for neighborhood development,” says Goldstein. “We’re always seeking ways to get residents involved, as with our collaborative education and community beautification initiatives.” Pangea works closely with local governments, residents and non-profit organizations to arrange food drives, educational enrichment opportunities, school supply giveaways and neighborhood clean-ups.
“We strive to make our properties the best possible places to live in Indianapolis, and in our view that encompasses all aspects of community life—quality affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, and enthusiastic and involved residents,” continues Goldstein. “We love working in Indianapolis, and we hope its residents will enjoy the increased neighborhood stability our properties bring to the table.
Pangea Properties President is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Finalist
Chicago, IL, May 25, 2013
Pangea Properties President is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Finalist.
Pangea Properties announced today that President Al Goldstein was named a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 program in the Midwest. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Goldstein was selected from a strong pool of nominations by a panel of independent judges. Awards will be presented at a special gala on June 27, 2013 at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois.
Now in its 27th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 140 cities in over 50 countries throughout the world. Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year Program. The winners of the Overall Award and several other national categories will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 16, 2013. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.
Goldstein, who was born in Soviet Uzbekistan, immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 8. His first entrepreneurial project, an online specialty lending service now operating as Enova International, was so successful he was able to sell it for $265 million after only two years. In the four years since he opened Pangea Properties, the Chicago-based REIT has invested over $100 million to rehab distressed properties in sections of Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore. Goldstein explains, “Our goal is to revitalize underserved areas in two ways. First, by making affordable, high-quality rental units available, and second, by partnering with community organizations that encourage residents to enrich and take ownership of their neighborhoods.”
“It is an honor to be considered for this award,” continues Goldstein. “I came to the United States with little more than a dream; my experiences have shown me that there are always opportunities open for those who are willing to charge forward and challenge themselves. We are looking to bring opportunities to the communities that need them most through our latest endeavor, Pangea Properties.”
Pangea Properties Wins 2013 Chicago Good Neighbor Award in Recognition for Community Commitment
Chicago, IL, May 23, 2013
For the second year in a row, Pangea Properties was a recipient of the 2013 Good Neighbor Award in recognition for their efforts to improve the quality of life for the Chicago community. The annual award presented by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, acknowledges those who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making the Chicago area a better place to work and live through rehabilitation and redevelopment efforts.
“We are thrilled and honored to receive this award two years running,” says Al Goldstein, President of Pangea Properties. “From the beginning of this venture, our mentality has been to rehabilitate neighborhoods building by building; bringing them back to the thriving communities they used to be.”
Four of Pangea’s buildings won the Good Neighbor Award, including those located at 8000 S. Paulina in Auburn Gresham, 7263 S. Coles in South Shore, 8251 S. Ellis in Avalon Park/Chatham and 3324 Western in Park Forest, IL. In addition, Pangea was one of three top finalists for the Bruce Abrams Good Neighbor Award for their exceptional work at 7263 S. Coles.
Pangea effectively transforms its apartment buildings through drastic restorations and adds value through amenities and services not traditionally available at their affordable price point, including but not limited to: modern appliances, motion sensor security cameras, free heat, on-site laundry facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi capabilities.
“Our goal has always been to provide an ideal rental option for community members that is also within their means,” continues Goldstein. “We’re fixing old or abandoned properties, renting units at affordable prices and providing superior service to rehabilitate the neighborhoods, not overturn them.”
Over the past four years, Pangea has invested over $100 million into renovating more than 250 distressed properties throughout Chicago’s South, Southwest and West neighborhoods. As Pangea continues to expand its footprint in Chicago neighborhoods, the company hopes to invest time and money into properties that will become cornerstones of the community, continually going the extra mile to improve the neighborhoods for their residents and communities.
Pangea Is Reviving Neighborhoods, Building by Building
Chicago Magazine - Wednesday - May 16, 2012
“We don’t want to fix up just a building,” says Al Goldstein of Pangea Properties. “We’re fixing neighborhoods, bringing them back.”
Goldstein and I are standing at 82nd Street and Ingleside Avenue in Chicago’s Grand Crossing neighborhood. Pangea bought the apartment buildings on three of the corners when they were foreclosed, rundown, and, in one case, occupied by squatters. The company’s goal? “Making [the buildings] into places where people want to live again,” Goldstein says.
The company owns 17 more buildings within several blocks of these. Since early 2009, Pangea—which Goldstein founded with two partners, Steve Joung and Nick Joung, and funded via institutional investors—has bought about 4,000 apartment units in 150 city and suburban buildings. It bought them all in distressed condition—and at distressed prices—and then gave them a complete overhaul. The repaired apartments have all new mechanical systems, appliances, energy-efficient windows, and security systems, as well as free Internet.
The clusters of revived buildings “make the surrounding neighborhood feel safer,” says Chris Milliner, a Pangea regional manager who oversees properties in Grand Crossing, Chatham, and other neighborhoods. “The tenants who come here know that we’re stabilizing things and won’t let it go.”
Next week, Pangea will receive a Good Neighbor Award from the Chicago Association of Realtors. Click through the photos below for a look at the company’s projects.