HOUSTON, TX - Real estate industry veterans Chetan Davé and Martin Lamb recently closed on the first multifamily property acquisition of their new investment fund, Clearlake Urban Transitions Multifamily Fund I.
The 67-unit, Class C property, the Delta One Apartments, is in the gentrifying greater Oak Forest neighborhood, just northwest of The Loop in Houston.
"This first fund acquisition, while on the small side for us, is consistent with our strategy to acquire infill, under-invested Class B and C apartments properties in neighborhoods undergoing positive transition, implement exterior and interior improvements, and offer an enhanced value proposition to tenants," said Davé.
The strategy is familiar to them. Previously, the pair were involved in a down-to-the-studs renovation of a 48-unit complex in the nearby Heights area of Houston, where they nearly doubled their investment in less than two years.
Overall, the investment is Davé and Lamb's fifth multifamily investment together since they both returned to the US four years ago. Both are Wall Street veterans; Davé was an executive at JPMorgan Partners in New York for 8 years, while Lamb worked at Northstar Capital, the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds and AIG Global Real Estate.
Davé was also Chief Investment Officer at Transwestern in Houston before helping launch and lead the $630 million Sun-Apollo Real Estate Fund, the first institutional opportunistic investment fund focused on India. Lamb subsequently worked in senior roles in development and real estate investment management with Morgan Stanley and Russell Investments in Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney, Australia.
Davé and Lamb met twenty years ago in Manhattan and reconnected later in Singapore; collectively they embody more than 50 years of institutional real estate investment experience. Now, with their Fund's first closing accomplished, they are seeking similar investments through Texas and southeastern US, including Florida.
Lamb added, "We feel there is a lot of opportunity out there, as many well-located older properties need fresh capital and a well-thought-out business plan to achieve their potential. All new supply is Class A, so new competition is less of a worry for us than hitting the sweet spot between improving the properties while not pricing yourself out of your target tenant market."
The Fund, sponsored by Clearlake Management LLC, has offices in Houston, TX and Naples, Florida, and continues to raise capital. Davé said, "Our high-net-worth and family office investors are telling us that, when facing a volatile equity market and a bond market battling rising interest rates, hard assets like real estate with low volatility, strong current return and some inflation hedging characteristics are attractive to them, and we do agree."