Major Consulting Assignments at
Hugh Kelly Real Estate Economic
and at Landauer Associates
Archon Group/Goldman Sachs:
Provided Market Quality Ratings for 50+ Metro Areas (US), a bond-like rating system of supply/demand conditions current and forecasted, for five property types: Office, Retail, Industrial, Multifamily, Hotel
East Brooklyn Congregations:
Advised 50 local religious congregations on the revitalization of extremely poor neighborhoods of Brownsville and East New York, Brooklyn NY. Performed market study supporting development of 3,500+ single-family homes. Advised on implementation and initial orientation of first homebuyers. Provided research support on NYC finances during negotiations with city government.
Fairfield Communities, Inc.
Performed annual Going Concern Valuation of land assets for NYSE-listed resort and retirement community developer. Developed long-range revenue and cost model for land utilization, including excess inventory, and financial projections of installment sales of development lots and timeshare units. Full narrative report on each of nine assets in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee.
General Motors/Saturn Corporation
One of three team leaders on nationwide site search for multi-billion dollar automobile manufacturing plant, eventually locating in Spring Hill, Tennessee. My team also studied proposed locations in Kentucky, Texas, and Wisconsin. Research included elements of economic basis analysis, physical and social characteristics of locations, logistical issues, and political variables. While quantitative rankings were employed, research design included intensive interviewing process of local business, government, and civic leaders. Assignment was executed with 100% confidentiality, despite nationwide interest in the project, such that our teams were deemed “the Secret Service of Real Estate Consultants” by the client.
HQ Real Estate Capital Partners
Hugh has served as consulting economist to this client since March 2001. Services include the production of a quarterly client newsletter, development of presentations for ongoing capital sources, personal presentations at investor conferences, and periodic briefings for investment and asset management staffs, as well as availability for ad hoc consultation.
Preparation of a landmark review of 125 North American metro areas, identifying those that (in 1991, the time of the study) had the greatest potential to rise in the urban hierarchy. Termed the “Cities of Tomorrow” study, Hugh led a four-person team of specialists in designing research methodology, data collection and analysis, and a detailed two-volume narrative report. The study was notable not only in breadth and depth, but was well in advance of market perceptions in seeing the US urban revival as well as identifying several of what would become known as 24-hour and 18-hour cities (before these terms were employed in the industry). The study helped the client in its decision to acquire the real estate investment portfolio of the Equitable Life Assurance Society.
Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan
Prior to its significant entry into the US markets, LTCB required advice as to the most advantageous niche in the real estate banking space, and the network which might be required to compete successfully. Hugh led a small team (3 specialists) that investigated the commercial property banking activity of twenty (20) US institutions, including traditional lenders, merchant bankers, and investment bankers. The study involved documentary and quantitative research, as well as personal interviews of senior bank officers. The conclusion pointed to the opportunity for profitable activity in any of the sectors, or the potential for failure in any as well. The critical distinction was identified as the development of a detailed strategy for the bank, and the discipline to pursue that strategy withstanding the temptation to match short-run overperformance by competitors. In other words, immediate yield-seeking behavior outside the strategic plan led to risk-taking without adequate compensation.
Hugh was retained with a two-fold assignment: the participation in monthly conference calls with senior management on developments affecting NPV’s business opportunities, and the preparation of periodic white papers for circulation to the firm’s client base positioning the firm as a “thought-leader” in its space (largely valuation, counseling, and technical services to institutional investors). Growing out of the first element was the opportunity to lead a two-day retreat for senior management focusing on a business plan for a 2-3 year period. Growing out of the second element was the development of an analytical tool identifying the adequacy of risk premiums in cap rates, debt rates, and equity yield rates over the course of cycles.
Regional Plan Association/Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown NYC
Following the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Hugh became a member of the team evaluating responses to the redevelopment challenge. Public positions ranged from reserving the entire 16-acre WTC site as a memorial ground, to altering the use to civic uses such as an arts center, to redeveloping the site as a high-density mixed-use hub for the region. Hugh’s responsibility involved investigation of the options and bringing forward a reasoned recommendation. His study examined the actual location choices of businesses displaced by the 9/11 attacks, identifying those regional submarkets that captured a disproportionate amount of demand. Those submarkets were found to have the following characteristics: centrality to the regional labor force; multiple means of transportation access; modern office buildings; agglomeration economies for specific business clusters. Neither “low cost” nor “immediate availability” were found to drive the business decisions. Based upon these findings, the recommendation was to redeveloped the Ground Zero site to high-density mixed commercial use. This use eventually prevailed in the public/private planning process.
SEIU – Local 32 BJ
The Building Services employees’ union has retained Hugh over multiple rounds of negotiates with office and multifamily building owners to provide factually-based market intelligence on the state of building profitability, user, and investor demand pertinent to the labor-management contract negotiations. The underlying concept of the consulting is that both sides of the table should share in equally knowledgeable data and analysis, so that negotiations may focus on specific resolvable issues rather than spurious claims. Hugh has made presentations to the parties to the bargaining sessions, but plays no role in negotiating discussions. Over the years (since 2003), there have been dramatic peaks and valleys in the NYC markets. But there has not been an employees’ strike over that period.
Silverstein World Trade Center Properties
Hugh has served as a consulting economist and expert witness at various points in the redevelopment process of the World Trade Center. He was retained to work with the law firm Proskauer Rose in the insurance case for damages caused by the 9/11 attacks, particularly to review the insurers’ appraisals from the perspective of the regional economy and the prospects for tenant demand (work that picked up the research performed for the Civic Alliance). As redevelopment proceeded more slowly than anticipated, Hugh was retained to work with the Wachtell Lipton law firm to estimate the cost that delay in the schedule added to the rebuilding efforts. Hugh was deposed in the insurance case, and testified in the arbitration case adjudicating the delay issue.
This institutional investor retained Hugh for research into three South Floridan counties (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach) where it has substantial investments. The assignment entailed an ongoing market study of supply/demand forces, including demographic and economic forecasts, affecting the value and marketability of those investments, as well as the advisability of further investment, disposition, or other portfolio-balancing actions. On-site asset inspections were an integral piece of the research, as were conversations with asset managers and senior investment managers, both in Florida and at the New York headquarters of TIAA-CREF.