GTIS Partners LP (“GTIS”), a real asset investment and development firm based in New York, today announced the formation of a joint venture (“JV”) with Casa Fresca, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Homes by WestBay (“WestBay”), to invest $50 million of equity in the acquisition, development, construction, marketing, and sale of entry level homes in communities located across the Tampa MSA. WestBay is a highly-regarded private homebuilder founded in 2009, operating in and around Tampa, Florida. Casa Fresca was founded by WestBay in 2019 to capitalize on the growing opportunity in entry-level housing. To date, the JV has invested in three residential developments, with several others anticipated to follow shortly.
Tampa has remained one of the nation’s top housing markets with strong home sales across all price points and products due to its attractive relative affordability and positive in-migration from higher-cost cities. The local economy has also been the beneficiary of a diversified employment base across several major industries including finance, retail, healthcare, insurance, shipping, military, tourism and real estate.
Rob Vahradian, Head of US Investments at GTIS, said, “The entry-level market segment, especially in Tampa, has been fundamentally strong for some time. For a variety of reasons, Tampa entry-level housing saw increased sales in 2020 which has continued into 2021 despite the impact of COVID-19, and we anticipate this demand to continue as the acute effects of the pandemic subside. We formed this JV with Casa Fresca to help meet this demand.”
Between GTIS and Casa Fresca, the JV has substantial experience investing in Tampa’s residential real estate market. Since 2009, GTIS has developed over 7,000 homebuilding lots and 1,900 multifamily units under its land development strategy in the MSA. Casa Fresca has developed a solid track record for entry-level product in the Tampa market since its founding in 2019, having built and closed approximately 200 homes across three communities. To date, the JV between GTIS and Casa Fresca has committed to building over 440 entry-level homes across its three projects.
Ed McDowell, Head of US Acquisitions at GTIS, stated, “We have long been familiar with WestBay and viewed them as one of the most talented private builders in Florida. We very much look forward to partnering with them to further build upon their success and to jointly meet what we think is a large, underserved market opportunity.”
Willy Nunn, President of Homes by WestBay, added, “We are extremely enthusiastic about partnering with GTIS Partners to grow Casa Fresca. We were impressed by the depth of their residential homebuilding investing experience and their long-term commitment to the sector and view this joint venture as a way to quickly scale up the brand to further leverage its success to date.”
About GTIS Partners
GTIS Partners is a leading real asset investment and development firm headquartered in New York with offices in São Paulo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Paris and Munich. The firm was founded in 2005 by Tom Shapiro and is managed by President Tom Shapiro and Senior Managing Directors Amy Boyle, João Teixeira, Josh Pristaw, Rob Vahradian and Thomas Feldstein. The firm manages over $4 billion in gross assets and is active across a wide range of real estate sectors including single family and multifamily housing, office, industrial/logistics and hospitality as well as renewable energy infrastructure and opportunity zone investments. The firm invests at various points in the capital structure including credit, common equity and structured equity. In the US, GTIS has invested in over 130 assets across 40 unique markets including growth areas such as Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa and Charlotte. In Brazil, GTIS is among the largest real assets private equity firms with holdings including office, residential, logistics, hospitality and renewable energy investments. Marquee assets in São Paulo include the Infinity office building and Palácio Tangará, a five-star resort style hotel.
About Casa Fresca
Casa Fresca is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Homes by WestBay. The company was founded in 2019 to take advantage of the opportunity in Tampa’s entry-level market segment. Since its founding, Casa Fresca has built and closed approximately 200 homes across three communities. Casa Fresca’s parent company, Homes by WestBay, offers a new kind of home building experience with a focus on delivering an exceptional home building experience at an outstanding value. Founded in 2009, WestBay has evolved into the largest, privately-owned new home builder in the Tampa Bay market. The company has been recognized both nationally and regionally for award-winning new home designs and delivers over 800 new homes annually. WestBay employs a first-class team of architects, engineers and industry experts who collectively bring over a century of experience.
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