Apartment Outlook 2020: Riding the Zenith

Flush with capital and boosted by solid fundamentals, multifamily real estate rolls into the new decade with an optimism that seems almost too good to last.

Carl Dranoff is like the M. Night Shyamalan of multifamily real estate development. Rooted in Philadelphia since receiving his MBA from Harvard in 1972, Dranoff has succeeded through multiple economic cycles by adopting a maverick mentality and a cut-no-corners approach to developing high-end, placemaking properties across the City of Brotherly Love. With a zig-when-they-zag strategy for finding emerging investment opportunities, Dranoff follows a personal credo that “if you follow the pack, you’ll always be behind the curve.”

So when Dranoff unloaded his six-property luxury apartment portfolio to Denver-based Aimco in April 2018 for $445 million, market watchers took notice. On the surface, Dranoff’s subsequent move into for-sale, high-rise condominium development has had all the marks of the developer’s iconoclastic market timing. Even as investor demand for multifamily has continued to boost asset valuations in Philadelphia and nationally, Dranoff has tapped into a parallel (and unmet) demand for luxury condos from buyers discontented with the single-family home market supply.

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