Capri has challenged convention in establishing new and innovative markets for investment since its inception in 1992, when it was co-founded by Mr. Primo in the depths of the US credit crisis. At that time Capri successfully capitalized on the financing void left by retreating banks, insurance companies and thrift institutions. In 1998, it launched one of the industry’s first real estate mezzanine investment funds, and in the following decade became an early investor in America’s underserved urban markets. Most recently, the newly formed Capri Global Capital, Ltd. has explored real estate private equity investments in Africa, India and the Middle East.
Capri has also grown considerably since its inception, with approximately $3.7 billion in assets under management in major metropolitan markets around the country as of September 30, 2012. Overall, Capri and its predecessor organizations have acquired or originated more than $10 billion in commercial real estate investments.
“Considering the fact that we have successfully navigated through two sharp downturns in the commercial real estate industry over the last two decades, this is an important milestone for the firm,” said Mr. Primo. “I credit our approach as a defensive investor, which has allowed us to preserve capital and generate attractive risk adjusted returns for our clients.”
“A good example of this approach has been our deliberate overweight of investor portfolios in multifamily investments. It has been our experience that larger, well located multifamily properties have offered investors resilient, income-oriented returns, helping them transcend market cycles,” notes Mr. Primo.
Currently, nearly 80% of Capri’s real estate portfolio is invested in multifamily assets, representing 57 apartment communities and over 18,000 units in major markets across the country.
“Capri also has significant expertise in the urban marketplace and with structured debt investments,”
Capri’s marque urban investment – Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, an 870,000 square foot regional mall in South Central Los Angeles that Capri successfully repositioned to better serve a densely populated, diverse urban environment – is a telling example of this strategy. “We believe this is one of the most important retail urban redevelopments in the country,” says Mr. Lombard.
Over the past two decades, Capri has also been a trailblazer in the area of diversity and social responsibility. In the commercial real estate industry where a common refrain is “we can’t find qualified people of color,” Capri has had no problem finding and attracting highly qualified minority talent. Overall, more than 50% of Capri's highly qualified staff are people of color. In addition, over 50% of Capri’s employees are women.
“We are committed to ensuring that our staff reflects the communities that we responsibly build and sustain through our investments,”
Capri is equally committed to strong corporate citizenship. All associates of the firm are actively encouraged to address social issues in the cities where they live and work. One example of this is certain employees taking leadership support roles with the Primo Center for Women and Children, a transitional center and family institute for the homeless located on Chicago’s impoverished West Side.
“Given our core strengths, distinctive philosophy and the extraordinary people that we have on our team, we hope to continue to provide industry leadership through thoughtfully challenging conventional wisdom and the status quo. We take pride in thinking differently and hope to do this for many years to come for the benefit of our clients,” says Mr. Primo.