14B — March 13 - 26, 2015 — New Jersey — M id A tlantic
Real Estate Journal
N ew J ersey Advance Realty hosts afternoon event in Bridgewater NAIOP NJ presents COAH and Crowdfunding seminar B RIDGEWATER, NJ — NAIOP NJ , the Com- mercial Real Estate
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ing NJ Center of Excellence, providing an opportunity for participants to take in what was the former Sanofi campus, which Advance will transform into a new multi-family/retail/ office mixed-use center. Advance’s Peter Cocoziello moderated both discussions. Experts on the legal, regula- tory and legislative challenges of the Council on Afford- able Housing (COAH) in- cluded Kevin Moore of Sills Cummis & Gross , Thomas Carroll of Hill Wallack , and Michael Cerra of the NJ League of Municipalities who largely agreed that the
potential for a COAH resolu- tion in the foreseeable future is bleak. COAH’s stalemate in adopting new rules (despite a court mandate) and the lack of progress in enacting compre- hensive reform legislation has created what Carroll described as “15 years of unremitting chaos” for developers, as well as the courts and the munici- palities struggling to comply with affordable housing man- dates. “It is a conundrum that continues to cast a shadow of uncertainty for towns and developers regarding afford- able housing obligations,” he added. NAIOP NJ continues to work with other stakehold- ers to develop an equitable and sustainable methodology to address affordable housing. Crowdfunding: Growing at a Phenomenal Rate In stark contrast to the on- going frustration with COAH, crowdfunding, participants learned, is an exciting new opportunity for developers and investors. “Crowdfunding is the Internet coming to the capital formation business, and it is having a huge im- pact,” said Mark Roderick (Flaster/Greenberg PC) , one of the leading crowdfunding lawyers in the United States. He likened Crowdfunding and real estate today to when Amazon, Expedia and Match. com became industry leaders in their respective fields. Ac- credited investors are finding “huge new investment oppor- tunities in commercial real estate projects,” he said, add- ing “real estate is at the heart of crowdfunding.” Specifically, Title II Crowd- funding (for accredited in- vestors and the only current legal venue for crowdfunding) is often referred to as online private placements. With an annual growth rate of 74%, crowdfunding has become a multi-billion dollar industry “It’s a way to fund a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people via the Inter- net,” Roderick said. He added that Fundrise, the first real estate crowdfunding company, “started it all and gave birth to the industry.” Once the SEC issues final regulations, Crowdfunding will be available to non-ac- credited investors. Roderick predicted that “Everyone in this room will participate in crowdfunding within the next three years.” n
Development Association hosted a seminar with two very different topics: The complex issues surrounding how New Jersey funds affordable hous- ing, and the evolution and opportunity of Crowdfunding for commercial real estate developers and investors. In essence, it was a tale of two cities about well-intentioned public policy gone badly and a new Internet platform with unlimited potential. The program was hosted by Advance Realty at its sprawl-
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