Ramin Kamfar, chairman and CEO of Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Inc. (NYSE: BRG), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.
Bluerock acquires institutional-quality apartment properties in growth markets across the United States. Kamfar acknowledged that 2015 has been a busy period on the acquisitions front, with the company buying or committing to buy about $400 million in assets. “It’s a growth plan that we put in place when we went public about 15 months ago,” Kamfar noted.
Kamfar said Bluerock has tripled in size during the past year in terms of revenues and assets. “We’re expecting to continue that (pace) for the rest of this year and hopefully through 2016, capital markets allowing,” he commented.
Kamfar stressed that the company focuses on growth markets that are generating above-average employment growth in certain specific industries. “We find those markets to be tremendously attractive for what we are buying today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bluerock has also been active on the development side. Kamfar noted that development will make up about a third of Bluerock’s portfolio in terms of equity, with a pipeline that could grow as large as $1 billion.
“We like development in this part of the cycle. In our markets, we find that there’s tremendous value creation in terms of development,” Kamfar said.
As an example, Kamfar pointed to a recent development deal in Nashville where Bluerock posted a 280 percent return on costs during a period of 27 months.