Developer will try to cash in on Mid-Market trophy apartments near Twitter

By Cory Weinberg

The real estate developer Crescent Heights is looking to cash in some of its chips on the Mid-Market trophy apartment complex next to Twitter's headquarters. But it isn't selling the complex called Nema entirely, the Business Times has learned.

The developer is working with the brokerage HFF to find an investor to take a minority stake in the 754-unit Nema, according to a source close to Crescent Heights, who declined to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak about the project.

The website Bisnow reported Monday that Crescent Heights' partnership with HFF signaled that the developer was looking for a buyer. The source told the Business Times that Crescent Heights only is looking to sell about 20 percent of the equity in the project.

Crescent Heights didn't have a joint venture partner for the project, so would be looking to get a return on its own equity to use for other projects.

A minority stake would still likely garner big returns for the Miami-based developer. The luxury building – complete with several decks and rooftops, a 7,000-square-foot fitness center and concierge services – is almost fully occupied. The $300 million bet Crescent Heights made on the complex has paid dividends as technology companies like Uber and Twitter popped up around it after construction began.

Nema, which opened in 2013, will soon be joined by major residential towers nearby. Developers such as Build Inc., Emerald Fund and Trumark Urban are building thousands of units nearby, which will add more density to Mid-Market.

Crescent Heights has made some savvy financial moves lately. Earlier this month, Crescent Heights sold the approved development site at 325 Fremont St. for $35 million – six times what it bought the site for.

The developer also paid $58 million last year for a massive 48,000-square-foot site at the intersection of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, which is now home to a Honda dealership. That site is zoned for residential towers that could hold up to 700 units together – basically allowing Crescent Heights to build another version of Nema on the next block.

Crescent Heights is also under construction on the 220-unit Rincon Hill building called Jasper at 45 Lansing St.


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