Adam Greenfader soon to release new book

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Adam Greenfader Set To Release His New Book – “Why Puerto Rico Now: A Masterplan For Resurgence, Resiliency and Long-Term Economic Growth” 

 

Puerto Rico and the Internal Revenue Service had created a series of tax incentives to bring in new businesses and people to the island. This had the unintended consequence
 of attracting a new breed of entrepreneurs – blockchain and crypto investors. Suddenly, Puerto Rico finds itself leading a technological revolution with thousands
 of people bringing new ideas, connections, and capital to the island.

 

Miami, Florida, November 2, 2022, Adam Greenfader’s motivation for Why Puerto Rico Now originates from his first-hand experience of living through climate related tragedies. September 2022 marked the five-year anniversary of Hurricanes Irma and Maria – the worst climate disaster in Puerto Rico’s modern-day history. Adam also had several family members perish in the building collapse in Surfside, Florida. 

New approaches are urgently needed to rebuild Puerto Rico for the long term and create an independent economic model that will last generations. The author lived in Puerto Rico for 25 years and completed over 1 billion dollars in residential, hospitality, and commercial developments in Puerto Rico. Adam continues to work on-island and is a champion for Puerto Rico and avid organizer of Puerto Rico based investment events, on-line seminars, and island promotional publications. 

 

Why Puerto Rico Now will be soon released in a digital share format or NFT. This new technology will allow those who collaborated in the work to participate in its success. The goal is that Why Puerto Rico Now  becomes a peer-to-peer platform for innovation.

 

This book is intended for the 3 million Puerto Ricans that live on island and the 5 million that live off-island primarily in NYC, NJ, and Florida. Why Puerto Rico Now may be of specific interest to the more than 15,000 Act 60 (formerly Act 20/22) grantees who are looking to Puerto Rico as a place to live, invest, or to help economically. 

 

On November 14, 2022, Adam will be officially launching his new book at the Puerto Rico Builders Association annual conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is also available on Audio read by the author.

 

About The Author:

 

Adam Greenfader is a recognized business leader, speaker, and forward-looking thinker. He is the chairman of AG&T, a real estate development and advisory firm based in Miami, Florida.

 

AG&T specializes in residential development, hospitality, and island projects. Adam moved to Puerto Rico in 1993 and lived in San Juan for 25 years, where he and his wife raised their two children. Part of his motivation for this book comes from his first-hand experience of living through multiple hurricanes and climate change related tragedies.

 

He holds a Master of Real Estate Development (M.R.E.D.) degree from the University of Southern California and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Clark University. Adam attributes his passion for art, design, and photography, from his studies at the Universite de la Sorbonne, in Paris, France.

 

Adam Greenfader was an early innovator and likes to say O.G. in Puerto Rico’s internet development with the launching of vidacool.com, a social media community for Hispanic youth. Adam is passionate about the convergence of blockchain and real estate, finding innovative solutions to sustainable development and creating resilient communities.

 

Adam has been a long-time member of the Puerto Rico Builders Association, the National Association of Home Builders, and the Caribbean Green Building Council. Adam Greenfader currently chairs the Urban Land Institute’s Caribbean committee in Southeast Florida/Caribbean. In his spare time, he enjoys mentoring students at the University of Miami Master of Real Estate Development program.

 

As Puerto Rico turns a page on a new chapter in its economic development, Adam is hopeful for  a better tomorrow. 

 

 

For complete information, visit: www.whypuertoriconow.com

 

 

 

18 Billion For The Next Great Construction Boom

San Juan, Puerto Rico. Last week The Puerto Rico Builders Association held its 70th year conference in San Juan Puerto Rico. The historic event was inaugurated with a conversation on Financing the Next Great Economic Construction Boom.  The panel included Michael McDonald, Executive Vice President and Group Director at Firstbank, Luis Alemañy President and CEO at the Economic Development Bank of Puerto Rico, and Eric Delgado Business Banking Relationship Manager at Acrecent Financial Corporation and Adam Greenfader, Managing Partner at AG&T. It was clear from the conference panelists, that after more than fifteen years of stagnate growth, Puerto Rico appears ready to build back better. Billions of dollars of FEMA and CDBG-DR funds are being allocated in what will be the largest government funding program in US history.  While much of the Federal funds will be used to subsidize projects, the group was in agreement that there is a huge need for private investment and capital to bridge the financing gapMichael McDonald, Executive Vice President and Group Director at Firstbank, made the historic announcement that the bank is opening up its construction division. Several members from the newly formed team were present in the packed room including Carlos Navarro and Mei Li Tsai Rivera. “There is no better indicator of an economy that is ready to grow that when a bank reopens its construction division”, quoted Alfredo Martínez-Álvarez, Jr., Chairman of the Puerto Rico Builders Association. Equally promising, Luis Alemañy President and CEO at the Economic Development Bank of Puerto Rico, was asked about the much awaited CDBG-DR funding. Mr. Alemañy explained that the Economic Development Bank of Puerto Rico has already started allocating over $225 Million dollars to small entrepreneurs. The group was especially receptive to the fact that the grants are being disbursed in $50,000 tranches and does not require repayment. Since 2008, Puerto Rico has gone from twelve financial institutions to less than four. Eric Delgado Business Banking Relationship Manager at Acrecent Financial Corporation, sees a new role for niche lenders filling that gap in Puerto Rico.  He specifically discussed how Acrecent can play a role in funding new construction projects. “We are able to get to funding much faster than traditional banks and also have the capacity for higher loan to coast ratios.  Both Firstbank and Acrecent mentioned that capital is seeking anywhere from 25%-35% of project equity. “As Puerto Rico gets ready to build thousands of much needed homes, critical infrastructure and other key projects, it will be up to both private and public institutions to step up and provide the much needed capital and leadership”, quoted Adam Greenfader of AG&T.  All of the panelist were in agreement that the island in the next few years is ready for strong growth. They specifically mentioned that in addition to the more than 8 billion dollars of Federal Grants, Puerto Rico has one of the most robust tax incentives and credit programs in the world. The hospitality incentive with a 40% tax credit was specifically highlighted as a very strong component of any capital stack today. Helping to plan a better future for the island, The Puerto Rico Builders Association will be holding its annual conference on September 20 and 21, 2022.  Speaking and sponsorship opportunities are available and you may contact AG&T at contact@agandt.com.   AG&T is a real estate development and consulting company founded in 1998 with headquarters in Miami, Florida. Our  track record spans over 55 real estate development projects in Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and various other Caribbean islands.  

Adam Greenfader Shares New Opportunities in Puerto Rico

Adam Greenfader

Adam Greenfader, Managing partner of AG&T (7 minute video) speaks on new opportunities in Puerto Rico. Learning this video about the the island’s history and how you can learn from the past to generate real value and  long term economic growth. The video includes new information about tax incentives, the tourism tax incentive, Act 20/22, and other tax credits for real estate development. Contact us for more information and to learn about Why Puerto Rico Now

AG&T is a real estate development and consulting company founded in 1998 with headquarters in Miami, Florida. Our track record spans over 55 real estate development projects in Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and various other Caribbean islands.

 

Helping Puerto Rico since the 1950’s

Puerto Rico 1950's

70 years ago, when the Puerto Rico Builders Association was formed, the United States was on the brink of entering the World War II. December 7, 1941, would be considered a day that would “live in infamy”. Thousands of Puerto Ricans as American citizens fought in the War and would return home as victors to an island on the precipice of great economic growth.  Thanks in large part to Operation Bootstrap, o “Manos a La Obra”, the Puerto Rico Builder’s Association has played a vital role in shaping the island’s long term economic development. The Puerto Rico Builders Association (formerly known as the Homebuilders Association) was formed in a critical period of time when the island was undergoing a massive transformation from an agricultural society into a leading manufacturing hub.

Puerto Rico would see historic growth for more than three decades and the Puerto Rico Builders Association would play a leading role in shaping the island’s zoning regulations, environmental protections, financing, and building codes (often referred to as a Miami’s building code on steroids).  Puerto Rico benefited greatly from these concerted efforts by the Puerto Rico Builder Association with one of the highest homeownership rates in the Western world at 68%. Puerto Rico is also the second largest public housing jurisdiction in the United States second only to New York City.

In 2015, The Puerto Rico Builders Association, under the leadership of then PR Builders president, Ricardo Alvarez Diaz Villalon joined forces with the Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean District Council. ULI founded around the same time as the PR Builders Association, is one of the oldest and largest networks of real estate and land use experts in the world. ULI’s mission is to shape the future of the building industry and create thriving and sustainable communities around the globe. Shortly thereafter, Puerto Rico was devastated with two back-to-back category five hurricanes.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed most of the island’s electrical infrastructure and informal housing stock at a cost estimated over 100 billion dollars. ULI together with the Puerto Rico Builders Association created a task force to study the effects of the storms and how to build back better. Under then ULI president Greg West, the Puerto Rico Builders Association and ULI convened national panel of experts and created a specific action plan for the municipality of Toa  Baja.

The Puerto Rico Builders Association BoardThe Puerto Rico Builders Association and ULI have since held multiple meetings and conference throughout the years in both Puerto Rico and Miami to explore new areas of synergy and improvements to the island’s build environment. ULI’s current president, Scott McLaren was recently quoted, “we strongly value our long standing partnership with your organization and admire the leaders who go above and beyond, especially when faced with such tremendous obstacles.”

Come celebrate 70 with the Puerto Rico Builders Association Puerto Rico on October 27-29 in San Juan. https://constructorespr.com/convencion-2021/

AG&T is a real estate development and consulting company founded in 1998 with headquarters in Miami, Florida. Our  track record spans over 55 real estate development projects in Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and various other Caribbean islands.

 

 

State of the Caribbean Hotel Market

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 10:30am, we held the ULI State of the Caribbean Market Place webinar. The event boasted some of the top industry leaders in finance, brokerage, and development on what’s happening in the Caribbean hotel market. Speakers included Juan Corvinas Solans, Rogerio Basso, Alexandra Lalos, and Christian Charre, and Brad Dean. Moderated by Adam Greenfader.  

 

Could this be the year for Puerto Rico?

Adam Greenfader
Adam Greenfader, Managing Partner, AG&T

It had been almost 12 months since my last visit to Puerto Rico. Thanks to the COVID lockdown expectations were low. The last time I visited, more than 2 years after hurricanes Irma and Maria, the devastation was still overwhelming.  Streets were lined with garbage, electrical lines in disrepair, and thousands of homes had roofs covered in blue tarps. This combined with more than ten years of economic recession made has made Puerto Rico extremely pessimistic. As I landed in Luis Munoz Marin Airport, I was thinking,  “Would the ensuing earthquakes and COVID pandemic ravage the economy even more…”

I travelled the entire island from coast to coast –  100 x 35 miles, in a two week period. I drove from San Juan to Aguadilla, Mayaguez, Ponce, Humacao, Fajardo, and Ocean Park.  The roads were in good condition, the street lights working, and many buildings newly painted.  Notwithstanding the COVID crisis, the economy was bustling.  Most palpable was the positive attitude and feeling of the people. I spoke with many colleagues and friends and was told that much of the hurricane insurance had circulated through the economy.  The 8-12 billion in Federal relief from CDBG-DR is expected by early 2021.  Homemade signs seeking construction workers can be seen throughout the island that read, “Se Solicita Carpinteros y Albanilles”.

 

While the tourists were clearly absent ‘en mass’, a handful of new boutique hotels, especially in San Juan, have been recently delivered between 2019-2020. Much of this new hotel activity is due in part to the Tourism Tax Incentive. The tax incentive provides up to 40% of the total project’s cost back to sponsors…incredibly, some of it can be used for funding as part of the initial capital stack.  While this is not common anywhere in the world, Puerto Rico’s is not a typical Caribbean destination. The total economic activity (GDP) in Puerto Rico is less than 7% for all tourism related activities.  This includes, hotels, trades, conventions, excursions, etc..   This is an astonishing low number for an island that is surrounded by warm water, beautiful beaches, and lush landscapes. Read more about why Puerto Rico is like this at: https://www.agandt.com/wordpress/contact-why-puerto-rico-now/

These tax incentives combined with a team of dedicated individuals in the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) –  Discover Puerto Rico and other Public Private Partnerships (Invest Puerto Rico) is helping to make Puerto Rico a thriving tourism destination. The island currently boats some of the top hotels in the Caribbean with ADR’s over $1,500 per night.  Much of this demand is generated by the Act 20/22 (now Act 60).  For the last five years, hundreds of high net worth US individuals have moved to Puerto Rico to take advantage of zero Federal capital gains.  Act 60 has resulted in over 500 families and hundreds of new business moving to Puerto Rico.  There seems to be no end in sight for these new Americans living in Puerto Rico.  

Dorado Beach

This week Puerto Rico also inaugurated for the first time in over 20 years, the same political party. The PNP or US Statehood party won the election with a mandate for political stability, reduced corruption, and closer ties with the United States. While the island’s economic crisis is far from over, the COVID pandemic has put Puerto Rico back in the spotlight for its manufacturing proficiency. The island of Puerto Rico is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical destinations – producing more than the top 5 US States combined. As thousands of jobs come back to the USA-Puerto Rico, invariably many will end up where the cost of labor is 15% less expensive, and there is a 60 year culture of robust manufacturing.

 
Grand Reserve
Grand Reserve

So is this the year for Puerto Rico?  Strong yes if you are involved with affordable housing, luxury resorts, alternative energy and critical manufacturing.

While we at AG&T do not have the proverbial ‘crystal ball’ on the island’s long term economic growth, things feel like they are on the right track and we will have more clarity with the resolution to the island’s bond crisis, the electrical authority privatization (AEE), and the completion of the responsibilities of The Fiscal Oversight and Managemnt Board for Puerto Rico. 

ULI | Heitman Report

CLIMATE RISK AND REAL ESTATE

Excerpts from the 2020 ULI | Heitman Report.

ULI partnered with Heitman, a global real estate investment management firm, to assess the potential impacts of climate change on the long-term viability of real estate assets. Derived from a series of interviews with leading institutional investors, investment managers, investment consultants and others, the report provides members with an inside look at how real estate investors are factoring climate risk into their investment decision-making and management processes.

See full report at : https://knowledge.uli.org/en/Reports/Research%20Reports/2020/-/media/b81db4bbc77845f7834f24b0e974dd7a.ashx

ULI publishes this updated report amid a global pandemic and economic uncertainty. For many, it may feel as if the priority of addressing climate change is dissipating as we face the immediate challenge of COVID-19.  Although it is still too early to draw conclusions about the long-term implications of COVID-19 for our cities and the real estate industry, such a wide-scale humanitarian crisis throws the connections between environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues and our economies into sharper focus.

However, just as the coronavirus has exposed many weaknesses, it has also shown us that we have the ability to adapt and change our behaviors quickly and radically.

Globally, most major economic hubs are in coastal, river delta, or other high-risk areas. These locations present many advantages, relating to connectivity, trade, quality of life and placemaking. These cities house more than half the global population, with much higher percentages of residents in some regions. About 80 percent of U.S. residents live in cities, for example, 39 percent of the European Union population lives in metro areas with 1 million or more inhabitants.

In 2020 (as of October 7), there have been 16 weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect the United States. These events included 1 drought event, 11 severe storm events, 3 tropical cyclone events, and 1 wildfire event. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 188 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. The 1980–2019 annual average is 6.6 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2015–2019) is 13.8 events (CPI-adjusted).

Many of the most economically powerful coastal cities face significant climate risk. However, these cities offer some of the most attractive investment environments, meaning that the risk is worth the return. “We have a dilemma that some of the most attractive markets are also markets that are affected more by weather-related risks,” noted one real estate investment manager. However, a few investors indicated that they are beginning to suspend acquisitions or take steps to reduce their real estate footprint in city markets where they harbor climate-risk concerns. The phases after a big disaster, according to one interviewee, were to see the market buoyed up by subsidies and insurance, followed by rebuilding and speculative demand. This short-term “sugar high” of disaster support, insurance claims, and opportunistic investment likely masks underlying negative and fiscal impacts that could be exacerbated by future climate-related events (or other shocks).

The research found a number of misleading correlations, such as flooding having a positive impact on cash solvency and fiscal health, and hurricanes increasing budget solvency. However, the current model of contingencies will not be sustainable with the expected increase in the frequency and intensity of climate change impacts, as well as slow-moving stresses such as sea-level rise, which further exaggerate the effect of peak events. In other words, a weather-related event has not yet adequately “shocked” the system of contingencies as to break it. However, the COVID-19 crisis may prove to be the ultimate shock to the system that breaks it. What happens when that “extreme event” is no longer a geographically or temporally discrete event?

“There are three big mechanisms through which costs are likely to increase going forward: one is insurance, [and] the second area is . . . tax rates and the third is cost of financing as banks start to cost the added risk.

 BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, made headlines in January 2020 when Larry Fink, the firm’s CEO, stated in his annual letter on corporate governance that “climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects,” and “we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.” The BlackRock announcement signified an increasing industry prioritization of climate change mitigation, or efforts to prevent or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Most interviewees also expressed overall uncertainty about future insurance prices and the likely market impacts of shifting insurance policy. In an extreme scenario, some investors envisioned a future in which properties could not qualify for insurance at all and therefore became ineligible for loans.   The annual insurance pricing structure can underpredict risk for longer hold periods, as well as for the underpinning infrastructure. The approach also assumes the long-term availability of underwriting capabilities, in terms of the affordability and availability of products. If sites are unable to obtain insurance, they will not be eligible for loans, leading to major potential valuation consequences.

Long-term focus: In lay terms, catastrophe models simulate “thousands of versions of next year,” not “thousands of successive years.”

All agreed that valuation is currently lagging behind recognition of climate risk and anticipate this changing in the near future. Valuation does not incorporate climate risks because it is “backward-looking”. Models typically do not allow a user to modify future climate conditions, and there are no established best practices to apply insights from climate science to catastrophic hazard risk modeling. Valuation has become more urgent for investors considering longer time horizons. Some investors have also informally discussed properties having “expiration dates” after which they may no longer be safe or suitable for residential or business use without extensive investment in surrounding infrastructure.

Anticipating steep declines in building value because of climate impacts runs counter to how buildings are currently valued. In the current model, value is derived from the residual value of the land and structure, plus discounted cash flows over time that drive net present value and cap rates. However, if dramatic changes lead the value of the structure and land to approach zero, cap rates would change significantly, with a steep decrease in value after purchase, and would need to be offset with increased cash flow and profitability to maintain net present value.

Several discussed efforts to design risk mitigation strategies for vulnerable assets and price these costs into deals. Some also spoke about resilient design as presenting opportunities to differentiate assets and enhance value. For example, one interviewee said they were exploring opportunities to create a “resilience zone” for entire neighborhoods.

Parametric insurance, where insurance payouts are linked to when predefined event parameters such as extreme weather events are met or exceeded, is an emerging option. Industry leaders note that parametric insurance may become more widespread, but it is not an appropriate solution for all scenarios. The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) is one example of a regional fund.  #heitman 

 

AG&T is committed to being part of the climate solution. AG&T joined over a thousand leaders from local governments, businesses, universities, and other institutions across the country as part of the “America Is All In” joint statement.  To learn more click here. 

Returns on Resilience in The Caribbean

ULi Speakers

As the world struggles to return back to normal from the Covid19 pandemic, environmental concerns continues to loom as an area of great concern for world and the Caribbean region in particular.   What strategies have institutional capital,  developers, reinsurance companies and owners in the Caribbean pursued to protect their properties from climate-related risks? Do these resilience investments make business sense as a development objective? What has the capital market response been? And how have developers and property owners measured their success? 

Speakers: 

Jan Raes, ABN AMRO  Global Sustainability Advisor  

Esteban Biondi, ATM Associate Principal

Koen Olthuis, Waterstudio NL, Co-founder

Adam Greenfader, AG&T, Managing Partner 

 

 

Topics to Include:

1. What is the capital doing about investing in resilient projects?

2. How are developers integrating resiliency practices into their projects?

3. The $ of Resiliency – Beyond the ULI Heitman Report

4. Aquatic Architecture: is it just a matter of Time?

 

New Hotel Announced in St. Maarten

Site Plan of Hotel

INDIGO BAY–Two prominent real estate development firms have partnered with Cay Bay Development (CBD) NV, the master developer at Indigo Bay Development, to propose the development of a US $220 million luxury hotel resort and condos in St. Maarten.  AG&T provided advisory services and a group of independent real estate brokers led by Adam Greenfader at Oceanfront International Group at Douglas Elliman coordinated the transaction. 

 

 

The proposed high-end hotel development at Indigo Bay Development,  is expected to feature certain luxury accommodations and five-star amenities, including 94 hotel rooms and suites, and 130 residential homes. Additionally, the proposed hotel development is expected to feature large water ponds and greenery areas in keeping with its eco-centric vision, as well as an extensive public parking area for public beach access to Indigo Bay.

  “The timing for such a development could not have come at a more opportune time, as country St. Maarten is tasked with creating new and innovative strategies to counter the global economic crisis due to the pandemic,”.

In an economy whereby hospitality and tourism are at the centre of its recovery, it is expected that the development of a high-end branded hotel in St. Maarten would provide an enormous boost to this endeavour by enhancing several areas in tourism.

 

Hotel Concept at Indigo Bay

 

According to the release it can enhance St. Maarten’s global attractiveness as a prime tourist destination; increase hotel accommodation by approximately 20 per cent; increase the number of annual visitors to St. Maarten by 32,000 based on hotel occupancy of 65 per cent (double) and an average stay of five nights; and attract high value tourists who may choose St. Maarten as a vacation destination as opposed to accessing surrounding islands through its air and sea ports of entry, it was stated in the release.

The proposed world-class hotel development, once completed, will be managed by an internationally-recognised hotel brand, which will lend itself to greater global recognition, the release said. The projected marketed average daily rate (ADR) for hotel rooms at the proposed new hotel development is expected to be substantially higher than the current average daily rates on St. Maarten.

The CBD and the principals of the proposed hotel development seek to assure that the interest of the citizenry and of the environment are paramount to their endeavor.  Six acres of the overall hotel site of about 18 acres is projected as a green zone, including the retention ponds that were originally constructed at Indigo Bay Development by CBD. 

For more information about Caribbean hotel opportunities contact us