Mana Investments Selling Residential Land Bank Exceeding $2 Billion

Mana Investments Selling Residential Land Bank Exceeding $2 Billion

Residential News » San Diego Edition | By Michael Gerrity | November 11, 2014 9:00 AM ET

In just two years, San Diego-based Mana Investments, an alternative investment firm focused on real estate, has assembled a portfolio of residential land that focuses on core housing markets with the ultimate goal of staying a few steps ahead of the homebuilding community. Now with more than 2,700+ lots in various stages of development, Mana has begun to sell.
"We've spent the last two years in investment mode, and now we're rolling into harvest mode," said Orville Power, managing partner for Mana Investments. "We're continuing to invest but we are also starting to monetize our assets."
Power, who has 16 years of experience working for both public homebuilders and investment management funds, has worked with both ground-up development and distressed debt. He started Mana Investments to invest on behalf of an institutional capital partner in 2012 because he saw a ripe opportunity to acquire the last of the distressed assets and start entitling land during a time when competition was minimal. The strategy has paid off.
Focused primarily on California, Mana's portfolio includes approximately 2,700 lots in 16 separate properties, with 1,482 in the Riverside County, 662 in the San Francisco Bay Area, 467 in North San Diego County, 43 in Marin County and 70 in Hawaii (which have already sold). Approved entitlements account for about 53 percent of Mana's portfolio, with raw land (40 percent) and finished lots (5 percent) comprising the rest.
"Our background is in the homebuilding sector, but we're a smaller firm with flexible capital, so we can move quickly," Power said. "That allows us to invest in properties located in prime markets."
With a focus on value-add investments across multiple asset classes throughout the Western United States, Mana Investments underwrites based on MSA-level economics and neighborhood "livability," specifically seeking land-constrained areas and infill development opportunities. Flexible capital allows for creative solutions on investments presenting significant value and Mana contributes equity for vertical construction on select investments.
In addition to massaging its portfolio by selling off assets and partnering with builders and developers, Mana continues to seek $2 million to $50 million investments in for-sale primary housing.  Other factors that attract Mana include properties that are less than a 75-minute commute to employment centers, have strong MSA characteristics with no more than a four-year maximum investment duration.
"Our goal is simple," Power said. "It is to safely invest in locations where people desire to live and are proud to call home."

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