Coffee With Citrin Cooperman Welcomes Noyack’s CJ Follini

While real estate companies worldwide spend their days making investments, few attempt to create a whole new asset class in the process.

This is exactly what Noyack is currently doing with its newest properties, which it calls “mobility hubs.”

For the latest installment of “Coffee with Citrin Cooperman,” a video series hosted by Citrin Cooperman Advisors and produced with Commercial Observer, Meyer Mintz,

a partner and regional real estate practice leader for New York Metro and South Florida  at Citrin Cooperman, sat down with CJ Follini, founder and managing principal of Noyack.

Noyack is, in part, an online education company where people ages 21 to 39 can learn about the private markets.

“We’re trying to prepare two generations for the great wealth transfer, which will transform our society,” Follini said. Noyack also runs a real estate investment trust (REIT) so people can take the next step when they are ready.

“One of the offerings of Noyack is a REIT, and there will be an entire suite,” said Follini. “It’s a diversified logistics REIT. I always wondered, why are we single-asset? Why are REITs one-trick ponies? Imagine being a limited-service hotel during COVID. Not good. But if you are diversified, then you can find the white space, and that’s what we are. We’re constantly looking for commercial real estate white space.”

To that end, Noyack has begun to build its mobility hubs.

“That’s our branded term,” said Follini, “but it’s simply a repurposing of parking garages into diversified logistics hubs — central hubs where you can have a layer cake of supply chain purposes.”

Follini said that commercial real estate investors can acquire parking garages, which he notes are “excellent cash-flowing properties,” and inexpensively reposition their category into infrastructure, which could include supply chain, delivery, and electric vehicle (EV) charging.

“You are not only creating a momentum for environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives,” said Follini, “but you’re also putting it into a new category and, of course, a new price point.”

Mintz and Follini discussed several ways that hubs of this sort could provide real value.

“Say you’re adjacent to an office building or at a hotel,” said Follini. “You can charge your EV, pick up your Amazon or Walmart packages, and maybe pick up some artisanal food, because there’s a cold-storage pod on the roof. And if you live there, you can have a co-warehousing floor, just like self-storage, with your own lockers. This would all be in that one space instead of Amazon delivering a toothbrush 45 miles to your house.”

Mintz asked Follini about the business model, and whether these hubs were primarily being viewed as investments, ESG initiatives or something else.

“Everyone has their own point of view on it,” said Follini. “We are an investment entity, and this is one of our asset classes — one we’re pioneering along with a partner, SP Plus, formerly known as Standard Parking. They’re the largest parking manager and a publicly traded company. They manage 4,000 garages. For them, this is an ESG movement. For Shell Corporation, also a partner in this, it’s an ESG movement. For us, it’s an investment, and we believe it’s a pretty good one.”

*”Berdon” is the brand name under which Berdon LLP, a licensed independent CPA firm, and Berdon Advisors LLC serve clients’ business needs. Berdon Advisors LLC is a subsidiary of Citrin Cooperman Advisors LLC. Berdon Advisors LLC and Citrin Cooperman Advisors LLC are not licensed CPA firms.

*”Citrin Cooperman” is the brand under which Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, a licensed independent CPA firm, and Citrin Cooperman Advisors LLC serve clients’ business needs. The two firms operate as separate legal entities in an alternative practice structure. Citrin Cooperman is an independent member of Moore North America, which is itself a regional member of Moore Global Network Limited (MGNL).

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