Investor Q&A with Michael Sears on Artists Row: Studio 3807 and The Artisan
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About Artists Row
Artists Row (also known as Studio 3807 and The Artisan) will be a mixed-use community located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The two buildings are being developed as part of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the government of Prince George’s County, Maryland and Landex Development, LLC (Landex), a well-capitalized, 30 year old real estate development company that specializes in public-private partnerships (the “Developer”). Landex was selected by the government through a competitive process, over other development companies because of its experience, capitalization, and commitment to strong community partnerships.
Artists Row will be a multi-phased development. Phase 1 (Studio 3807) is located at 3807 Rhode Island Avenue in Brentwood, Maryland in the center of the Gateway Arts District. The site preparation work for Studio 3807 began in September 2016, and the vertical construction is underway and progressing according to plan. When completed, Studio 3807 will consist of the following:
- 147 apartment units
- 193 garage parking spaces
- Approximately 6000 square feet of retail space
- Approximately 3000 square feet of artisan space
Phase 2 (The Artisan) is located at 4100 Rhode Island Avenue and is scheduled to start in the 2nd quarter of 2017.
The Artisan will consist of the following:
- 84 apartment units
- 137 parking spaces (covered and surface parking)
- Approximately 5000 square feet of retail space
These two properties will be the first new developments in the Gateway Arts District. The Gateway Arts District is adjacent to Washington, DC and encompasses the four communities of Hyattsville, North Brentwood, Brentwood and Mt. Ranier. Gateway is a central point for art activities of all types and has quickly become a popular site for socializing, entertainment, dining, shopping, and living. The renaissance of the Gateway Arts District signals a dynamic growth for Prince George’s County and the surrounding area, which offers much beauty and function to its current and new residents. Artists Row will build on the growth of the area by creating a new, unique opportunity for an artisan and residential experience. The artisan lifestyle and environment that is already present will be enhanced by these two developments
The project is EXEMPLAR APPROVED.
Mr. Sears has over 35 years experience in all facets of real estate development and finance. He is the founder and Managing Principal of Global Capital Markets Advisors, LLC, Fund Manager to CARc sponsored JOB Funds. Mr. Sears has operated or been a senior executive of a number of companies providing financial advisory, investment management, banking and development services to domestic and international investors and corporations; as well as governments and government sponsored enterprises. His investment, finance, development experience and focus include urban mixed use real estate, hospitality, sports and entertainment facilities.
Until January of 2006, when he and Mr. Tung founded their investment management and advisory business, Mr. Sears was the Managing Director for GMAC Commercial Holding Capital Markets’ New York City and Washington, DC offices. There he initiated and/or managed billions of commercial loans and equity investments in a wide variety of real estate backed transactions. At GMAC he worked closely with high net private investors, institutional investors and lenders; as well as with domestic and foreign governments. His commercial finance projects in Washington, DC included the Washington DC National’s professional baseball stadium and Gallery Place; as well as the financing of the Time Warner Center and origination of the first commercial mortgage issued after 9/11/2001 in New York City.
Prior to joining GMAC in 1998, Mr. Sears was the Manager of the Bear Stearns investment banking offices in Washington, DC. He began his career at Bear Stearns in 1992, during which time he was integrally involved in structuring and selling commercial mortgage backed securities and municipal bonds nationwide; as well as providing asset management services to commercial mortgage bankers throughout the US. While at Bear Stearns, Mr. Sears administered development and growth of the company’s first commercial mortgage conduit; the creation of the first government sponsored enterprise mortgage backed security; and other innovations in tracking and analyzing the performance of commercial mortgaged assets.
From 1982 and until 1992, Mr. Sears was an independent financial adviser to high net worth private individuals, public and private corporations and commercial banks. During this period he structured and arranged debt and equity for investment in the real estate, agribusiness and natural resources industries. Projects Mr. Sears managed included the sale and purchase of a Castle and Cook (now Dole Foods) business unit; and a variety of residential, commercial and industrial developments throughout the states of California, Colorado and New York.
Mr. Sears began his real estate development and finance career in 1973 as a public servant. Initially, Sears served as an Assistant to the President of the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC), which was founded by then Governor Nelson Rockefeller. While at the UDC, Mr. Sears worked on complex real estate development and finance projects including Battery Park City, Roosevelt Island, industrial condominiums, and mixed income housing developments in New York City and throughout the state of New York. These projects comprised in excess of 15,000 housing units, and over 2 million square feet of retail, commercial and civic development.
In 1975, Mr. Sears continued his career in government as the founder and President of the Denver Housing Corporation (DHC), a special purpose public benefit corporation. While at the DHC, Sears managed the City of Denver’s Olympic Housing Development program. During his tenure in Denver, he built over 3,000 residential for sale and rental units and several mixed use projects, and established the framework for the development of mixed use housing in downtown Denver.
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. Sears attended Columbia University, McGill University and graduated in 1975 from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics. Over his career, Mr. Sears has been a frequent lecturer on real estate development and finance at business symposiums and universities. These include the Institute of Real Estate Management, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Multifamily Housing Conference, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, National Leased Housing Association, National Housing & Rehabilitation Association, New York Law Journal Continuing Legal Education Seminars, New York University, University of Colorado and Harvard Graduate School of Design. Mr. Sears has also served on several industry trade associations, privately and publicly held boards of directors.
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