Jamestown Enters Latin America

Jamestown is tapping into Latin America, where it has created a new division headed by a veteran executive with emerging markets experience.

Jamestown, the real estate investment and management firm that has raised more than $5 billion in equity for its U.S. funds, is tapping into Latin America, where it has created a new division headed by a veteran executive with emerging markets experience.

Philip Fitzgerald, who has more than 20 years of institutional real estate investment and management experience, has been named CEO of Jamestown Latin America. Fitzgerald recently served as managing director of emerging markets for Paladin Realty Partners, where his team managed investments in more than $4 billion worth of real estate assets.

“Latin America presents an incredible opportunity for real estate investment. Over the past two decades, the countries on which we are focusing have implemented crucial economic and political reforms, leading to a growing middle class that has unmet demands for every type of real estate product,” Fitzgerald said in a news release. “There is another 20 years of opportunity ahead of us, based on Latin America’s youthful demographic and growing prosperity.”

The firm will open two local offices — in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Bogota, Columbia — and staff them with teams that are experienced in the company’s core markets. Jamestown Latin America also plans to partner with local operators and developers with proven experience in those markets, while at the same time leveraging the company’s existing infrastructure, resources and institutional relationships for a best-in-class investment platform.

“Jamestown has been studying and analyzing the merits and opportunities of emerging markets for the past decade, and we are convinced now is a good inflection point at which to enter the market,” Matt Bronfman, global CEO of Jamestown, noted in the release.

Founded in 1983, Jamestown has offices in U.S. cities including Atlanta, New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as an office in Cologne, Germany. The firm has 27 core and core-plus funds and five opportunity funds. The funds have acquired more than 80 properties including more than 25 million square feet of space. Their high-profile properties include Chelsea Market and One Times Square in New York City, the Newbury Collection in Boston and 799 Market St. in San Francisco.

Other commercial real estate firms are also finding Latin America ripe for investments. Transwestern, the commercial real estate services firm, recently announced it was boosting its activities in Latin America, naming Chip Clarke, a longtime company executive, as president of the Americas region. Clarke’s responsibilities will include overseeing the firm’s efforts to expand in the region.

Fitzgerald’s former firm, Paladin, founded the PALVAL Homebuilding Platform to develop and market condominiums for the growing middle class in Colombia. Paladin is investing $15 million in PALVAL, and its partner, Grupo Immobilario y Constructor Valor S.A., is investing $5 million to develop approximately 1,000 units worth about $100 million.

Prudential Real Estate Investors noted in its “Latin American Quarterly Outlook” for January 2013 that “Latin America’s real estate market is growing through capital inflows in public markets, increased participation from institutional investors and rising construction and transaction activity.” The report stated that construction of shopping centers and office buildings is on the rise to meet the growing demand. Mexico’s industrial market is particularly strong due to the automobile sector.