China’s Modern Land Makes Major Multifamily Move

Newly formed affiliate AMG Capital LLC will focus on premier multifamily assets in high-growth U.S. markets.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Scott Butterfield, AMG Capital
Scott Butterfield, AMG Capital

New York—Internationally, U.S. commercial real estate continues to be viewed as a safe haven for investment, and Modern Land (China) Co. Ltd. is among the latest foreign investors to zero in on the market. Modern Land has just formed AMG Capital LLC, a U.S.-based affiliate that will focus on premier multifamily assets in leading, high-growth markets.

The post-economic downturn climate saw the multifamily sector rise to the top of real estate investors’ list, and AMG has its reasons for concentrating its attention on apartment communities. “Investor demand for Class A multi-family assets is currently very high and AMG Capital believes that there will continue to be a large volume of good investment opportunities in our target markets over the next several years due to strong demand drivers and favorable demographic trends,” Scott Butterfield, managing director of AMG Capital, told Commercial Property Executive.

AMG’s target markets will include Houston, Dallas, Austin, Seattle, Denver, Orlando, Phoenix and Atlanta, all of which count strong job growth and population expansion among their demand drivers. However, the new company will not ignore the highly supply constrained gateway markets, so New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C., will also be on the roster of top areas for investment.

AMG will join a veritable hoard of real estate investors plying the multifamily market for opportunities, so the company plans to rely on its crackerjack management staff at its Houston headquarters to create and grow its portfolio. “AMG Capital’s management team has an extensive network of personal relationships with top-tier developers throughout the U.S., and the team has prior investment and development experience in each of our target markets,” Butterfield said. “We believe that our relationships and experience will provide us with a competitive advantage as we execute our defined, focused and disciplined investment strategy”.

AMG’s partners in its activities will include intuitional and high net worth investment entities from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong. “The formation of AMG Capital LLC is another step in Modern Land’s commitment to invest in quality U.S. real estate with our existing clients from China,” Lei Zhang, co-founder of AMG, said in a prepared statement. China is practically the U.S. commercial real estate market’s biggest fan right now. Respondents to a newly released real estate survey by DLA Piper predicted that Chinese investors would be the most active in the U.S. market this year, given turmoil in the country’s economy.