Commercial Property Executive February 2015 : Page 35

ROCO Real Estate David Colman , 26, Principal Michael Colman , 29, Principal Tyler Ross , 29, Principal It’s been three years since brothers Michael and David Colman joined their longtime friend, Tyler Ross, to form Bloomfield, Mich.-based ROCO Real Estate, and each year has been better than the last for the multi-family real estate company. A particularly special high point came in 2014 with the achievement of a major milestone: The compa-ny’s portfolio reached—and quickly surpassed—the 10,000-unit mark, with a fair market value of more than $425 million. The company’s speed of growth has been turning heads. But it’s a story of suburban Detroit high-school buddies utilizing a solid friend-ship as the foundation for a successful business. Michael and Tyler, who also possesses a law degree, launched ROCO after working together at Edward Rose & Sons, a residential and multi-family development and management company founded by the Ross family. Meanwhile, David had decided on a life in New York City. He worked for global invest-ment manager Blackrock Inc., first as an analyst and later as a product strategist, before diving into real estate at ROCO. The team also in-cludes Evan Ross, Tyler’s younger brother and an accomplished opera singer of the bass-baritone variety, a silent partner and fellow principal. Today, Michael, Tyler and David have the respective responsibilities of overseeing acquisitions sourcing, financial analysis and financing, and asset management for the firm, which targets undervalued multi-family properties, including seniors and student housing. Together, they are steering ROCO as the company grows at lightning speed, and no one is about to put on the brakes. In December, ROCO announced the completion of four transactions involving apartment communities in Georgia, Michigan and Mississippi. The company also has assets in Alabama, Florida, Ohio and Texas. The deals just keep coming; how-ever, David Colman noted, “success is a journey, not a destination.” ROCO has made quite a name for itself in the industry. As Ross noted, the company’s reputation as a well-funded entity with a track record of getting deals done has paved the way to “attract off-market sellers looking to dispose of their assets quickly and quietly.” As they continue to build up their collection of assets, the Colmans and Ross take advice from one of their property managers to heart: “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready,” David Colman said. They have adopted this philosophy across every asset in their portfolio. Memorable Achievements: Doubling the portfolio to 10,027 units. Among 2014 acquisitions was a 1,873-unit collection of six apartment properties in the greater Detroit area, undervalued at a fair market value of $90 million but with a 94 percent occupancy. Other nota-ble purchases since inception include the 933-unit Regal Towers in Southfield, Mich., which the company snapped up in 2013. Goals: “We set our properties apart from the competition by ob-sessing over small details,” Ross noted. “We are focused on being the best, not the biggest.” —B.M. Mathew Crosswy, 32 President, Stonehill Strategic Capital At 32, Mathew Crosswy has already achieved something many peo-ple dream of: becoming his own boss. With partners, he launched Stonehill Strategic Capital in early 2014, raising a $50 million first fund, Stonehill Strategic Hotel Credit Opportunity Fund, to make hotel purchases and finance or recapitalize debt. Stonehill is aligned with Peachtree Hotel Group, Crosswy’s former employer, which owns and operates hospitality properties. Crosswy has put together $250 million in hotel financing since striking out on his own. “When looking at deals in the hospitality space, (Crosswy is) al-ways one of the first calls I make and sometimes ends up being the only call,” said Dinesh Sakhrani of Prosiris Capital Management, who worked with him on several hotel financing deals. “I know that when I sign up to work on a deal with Mat that it’s highly likely we’ll get a deal done and both sides will walk away from the table happy.” Crosswy was introduced to the hospitality funding space while working at Specialty Finance Group from 2008 to 2010, climbing from un-derwriter to asset manager. After leaving SFG, he landed at Peachtree, where he handled more than $600 million in hotel debt financing. Memorable Achievements: Crosswy managed a $1.8 billion portfolio for SFG, including Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and InterContinental Hotels Group properties. He closed on $175 million in debt financing with his newly launched Stonehill Strategic Capital last year. Goals: Continue rapidly ramping up business, with a target of $500 million in 2015. —L.E. CPExecutive.com | February 2013 35

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