The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia. It is also an important economic theory (The Black Swan theory ) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book, “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable” referring to large-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events beyond the realm of normal expectations. Black Swan events are also called outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

The topics discussed in our webzine – BLACKSWAN – are all outlier ideas; unanticipated, important, and innovative…and highly successful. These strategies are founded upon meeting the modern infrastructure needs of our society’s demographic and technological changes. They create new definitions by expanding or leaving altogether the customary real estate categories. BLACKSWAN describes the fastest way to economically bootstrap ourselves is through innovation, and there are alternative real estate hypotheses that meet this objective across the spectrum of risk tolerance.   Healthcare real estate (medical office buildings, acute care centers); senior housing; sustainable building investment; student housing; affinity club hospitality ( i.e. gay & lesbian); fractional development; private airport ownership/management; etc.

In good times and bad, innovative ideas will always separate you from the pack. They form the foundation upon which companies and business empires are built. If you, the reader is seeking to be a ‘cog in a bigger machine,’ or the proverbial ‘spoke in the wheel,’ fine. I suggest you look for that guidance elsewhere. BLACKSWAN is the first step on a path less traveled toward a deep understanding of alternative real assets.

CJ Follinicjf_skyline has 25 years of experience in real estate investment and development. He founded every company he has been involved with and he has deep experience in the acquisition, development and management of several types of real estate including: healthcare real estate (medical office and senior housing ) industrial, land development, commercial office, and media production infrastructure (i.e. film studios). In recent years, CJ has:

  • developed a 400 acre site in New Jersey as Seller to The Rockefeller Group for the expansion of their renowned International Trade Center.
  • Created the Gun For Hire Production Centers, the largest integrated media production facilities for the film industry in New York, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles winning the 1998 Crain’s Magazine Small Business Award.
  • Acquired a 12 acre contaminated brownfields site on the New York City waterfront property at auction. After years of remediation and re-positioning, it was sold as a master plan residential community for more than 27 million dollars.
  • In 2001, Mr. Follini founded Noyack Medical Partners, LLC, his current investment vehicle, with the express purpose of investing in healthcare real estate. In a short time he has accumulated a $150MM+ portfolio including the 23 acre former St. Agnes Hospital Campus in White Plains which he and his partners received entitlements to develop the largest, 730,000 square feet, Senior Living Campus in the country.

Mr. Follini is a frequent lecturer and conference speaker around the country on the topics of healthcare real estate investment and alternative property assets.

Mr. Follini was raised in Pelham, NY and he and his family currently reside in New York City. Mr. Follini earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University as well as an Economics Degree from the London School of Economics.

Other Contributors

OliverSwanOliver Swan serves as Campus Habitat’s vice president of acquisitions and is responsible for supervising and coordinating Campus Habitat’s acquisition program throughout the United States. Recognized for his creative deal structuring and deep transactional experience, Campus Habitat’s acquisitions group has gained an industry wide reputation for its ability to rapidly execute on complicated transactions including REMIC loan assumptions. Campus Habitat was founded in 1998 by Maximus Yaney with the mission to acquire, reposition, and manage student apartment communities near major universities nationwide. Campus Habitat creates upscale atmospheres by providing the kind of fresh style and ground-breaking amenities today’s student values most. As of May 2009, Campus Habitat’s portfolio spans 7 states and 8 markets. Reach Oliver at oswan@campushabitat.com

debDeborah La Franchi, President and CEO of Strategic Development Solutionsdevelops innovative market-driven approaches to economic development. SDS has built and capitalized more than $2 billion of Double and Triple Bottom Line private-equity funds with its affiliated partner Economic Innovation International, Inc. These funds seek: (1) market rates of return, (2) positive community/social impacts, and (3) environmental sustainability. Further, the two firms jointly manage the $125 million National New Markets Fund, LLC, an allocation of federal tax credits for real estate projects in low-income communities. Ms. La Franchi is also a co-author of the Double Bottom Line Handbook funded by the Ford Foundation. During the past four years, SDS’ Nonprofit Capacity Building Division has secured $15 million in grants for nonprofit clients serving high-poverty communities. Strategic Development Investments, an SDS subsidiary, manages two TBL public equity stock portfolios (Large Cap Domestic Fund and International Fund) that seek to outperform their respective benchmarks while meeting social and environmental criteria.

djacobsDave Jacobs, Llenrock Group. Mr. Jacobs is responsible for sourcing new business, as well as assisting in the financing and structuring of deals on behalf of clients. Prior to Llenrock, Mr. Jacobs was a commercial real estate broker in the Greater Philadelphia area, most recently serving as Senior Associate with Grubb & Ellis Company’s Institutional Investment Group, where he exclusively listed or sold over 440,000 square feet of office product. Prior to Grubb & Ellis, he served as an Associate in Marcus & Millichap’s Philadelphia office where he sold an array of properties on behalf of wealthy private investors, setting benchmark price per square foot figures along Philadelphia’s affluent ‘Main Line’. Mr. Jacobs received a B.A. in Economics from New York University. He is a member of Urban Land Institute, ULI Young Leaders Program, Tri-State Commercial Realtors Alliance, Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, and National Association of Realtors.
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