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Hampshire Cos. and Former NJ Governor Christie Launch Opportunity-Zone Fund to Build Self-Storage, Other Properties

Hampshire Real Estate Cos., a private real estate investment firm and self-storage operator, has partnered with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his wife, Mary Pat Christie, in launching a quality opportunity fund (QOF) targeting investment for Opportunity Zone development projects. Hampshire Christie QOF Fund I will focus on multi-family real estate in the New York metropolitan area, industrial space in Northern New Jersey and self-storage projects in the Northeast, the source reported.

The fund is targeting up to $150 million in equity capital for up to $400 million in projects, according to Mary Pat Christie, executive vice president of the fund. Chris Christie is a fund adviser. In a May filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hampshire Christie Qualified Opportunity Fund LLC indicated it would make a total offering of $250 million, of which it had already raised more than $18 million.

The partnership is hopeful it will benefit from the former governor’s relationships at the state and local levels. “There may be powerhouses raising money, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to have people on the ground that can source the deals,” James E. Hanson II, president and CEO of Hampshire, told the source. “And we partnered up with the Christies to help us tap into additional private investor sources through the relationships they have.”

“To be connected to the town and the mayor and the town councils and the zoning board, all those things are really, really important,” added Mary Pat Christie. “Who knows New Jersey better than my husband? That is why we’re focused on New Jersey. We have a property in Connecticut, but we’re focused on the I-95 corridor.”

The fund will have a 10-year lifespan beginning with its last investment, the source reported. It’ll charge 1.25 percent on contributed capital and anticipates additional fees projected at .25 percent of capital contributions for fund-level expenses.

In February, Hampshire entered a joint-venture partnership with real estate firm Harrison Street to develop self-storage facilities along the Interstate 95 corridor from Boston to Washington, D.C. In January, the company was set to develop a 100,000-square-foot facility in New London, Conn. The 800-unit project was slated to be the company’s second in a designated Opportunity Zone.

Based in Morristown, N.J., Hampshire has repositioned or developed 33 self-storage facilities with an aggregate value of more than $440 million since 2012. As of February, it had 12 developments underway, totaling $217 million of investment across the Eastern United States. The company was also targeting another 12 projects, with a collective value of more than $215 million. Founded in 1976, it has a diversified investment platform that includes self-storage, industrial, medical, office and retail properties primarily in Northern New Jersey.

Sources:
Barron’s, Chris and Mary Pat Christie Team Up With Real-Estate Investment Firm for Opportunity Zone Fund
Securities and Exchange Commission, Form D

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