EquiBlue will seek to create transformative and highly amenitized office space for tech and media tenants in major urban West Coast markets, with direct benefits for under-resourced communities
CBRE to serve as strategic partner and exclusive provider of certain real estate services
Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HPP) today launched EquiBlue, a new and differentiated impact investing platform that seeks to leverage commercial real estate to holistically provide economic opportunity and upward mobility for women and people of color. EquiBlue‘s Black- and women-led team will look to manage a series of private funds on behalf of institutional investors, kicking off with an initial capital investment target of $300 million. EquiBlue will focus on transforming obsolete properties into vibrant, amenitized office and mixed-use space with direct benefits for under-resourced communities, while generating strong financial returns.
“Commercial development plays a key role in shaping the makeup of a community. The last few years inspired a renewed focus for businesses to attract and retain diverse talent beyond city centers and to empower communities,” said Chris Pearson, Co-Fund Manager. “With EquiBlue, we hope to create a new blueprint for real estate investors and corporate tenants alike to be more intentional in promoting holistic economic inclusion and avoiding gentrification.”
More than just investing in property revitalization, EquiBlue’s goal is to create a virtuous cycle focused on engaging the community around property construction, leasing and operations. The model is grounded in delivering and leasing high-end office space to leading tech and media anchor tenants, including many of Hudson Pacific’s largest tenants, who share a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and increasingly want to provide workspaces for current and future employees where they live. Additional leasing is planned to target local community businesses owned by women and people of color, and partner and vendor selection will also prioritize diverse populations.
EquiBlue’s initial fund is set up with a “community carry share,” which will return 25% of its “carried interest” profits to local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and community partners that will in turn establish small business loan and grant programs to be invested with thriving businesses owned by women and people of color within these communities.
EquiBlue will commence raising capital while concurrently identifying and evaluating potential investment opportunities in what it views as under-resourced markets proximate to Hudson Pacific’s core markets in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Vancouver. Collectively, Hudson Pacific and CBRE (and their respective affiliates), as sponsor and strategic partner, respectively, will commit at least 20% of the total capital commitment for EquiBlue’s initial fund. Hudson Pacific executives Chris Pearson and Chris Lewis will serve as Co-Fund Managers and oversee EquiBlue’s day-to-day operations, with additional oversight from Victor Coleman as Investment Committee Chair and Laura Campbell as Head of Investor Relations.
“EquiBlue is a natural extension of our industry-leading Better Blueprint ESG program, through which we’ve consistently found innovative ways to leverage our expertise to bring positive change to our business and industry, and strengthen the communities in and around our core markets,” said Victor Coleman, Hudson Pacific’s Chairman and CEO. “We’re delighted to once again partner with CBRE—this time on an endeavor that is so timely and impactful. Our collective teams, track records and relationships well position us to deliver on EquiBlue’s investment strategy and DEI mission.”
CBRE, as the platform’s exclusive provider of certain services, such as investment and leasing brokerage, property and construction management, accounting and reporting, has also committed to ensuring its EquiBlue-related staffing is led by women and people of color.
“EquiBlue is a groundbreaking vehicle that will spur crucially needed investment and economic activity in under-resourced communities,” said Lew Horne, CBRE’s President, Advisory Services, Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire. “Our team is energized about helping EquiBlue in its mission to diversify the commercial real estate industry while creating positive social impact, and we’ll bring the full scope of CBRE’s services and expertise to this exciting endeavor.”
Additional information about EquiBlue can be found here. Interests in the first EquiBlue fund are being offered in a private offering pursuant to Rule 506(c) of Regulation D, and investors are limited to qualified persons who are accredited investors and qualified purchasers.
About Hudson Pacific Properties
Hudson Pacific is a real estate investment trust with a portfolio of office and studio properties totaling over 20 million square feet, including land for development. Focused on global epicenters of innovation, media and technology, its anchor tenants include Fortune 500 and leading growth companies such as Google, Netflix, Riot Games, Square, Uber and more. Hudson Pacific is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol HPP and listed as a component of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. For more information visit HudsonPacificProperties.com.
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