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Fundrise’s First Public Offering, Maketto, Nears Opening

by Lark Turner

Fundrise's First Public Offering, Maketto, Nears Opening: Figure 1
Upstairs at Maketto.

Fundrise, the DC-based crowdsourced real estate fundraising platform that’s expanded from H Street to 3 World Trade Center, is nearly ready to cut the ribbon on its first public offering at 1351 H Street NE (map).

The building, next to H Street’s Rock ‘n Roll Hotel, is being leased by a new brand called Maketto. The Asian street market concept will combine retail from fashion designer Will Sharp, food from Toki Underground’s Erik Bruner-Yang and coffee from Chris Vigilante’s Vigilante Coffee Company. The three have invested $2.5 million in the space so far, and it looked nearly ready to go at an investors’ party on Wednesday night. Maketto plans to open by the end of March.

Brandon Jenkins, Fundrise’s chief operating officer, told UrbanTurf on Wednesday that the company’s first public offering had been a learning experience.

“Across the board, it’s a meaningful project for us,” Jenkins said. “We invested a lot of time and energy into trying to create a concept that we thought was going to be a good fit for the neighborhood and that we thought would be attractive to our investors. And there was a lot of learning associated with it.”

Fundrise's First Public Offering, Maketto, Nears Opening: Figure 2
A view of the coffee bar at Maketto.

That learning came from dealing with the project’s 175 investors, some of whom invested as little as $100. The investors will get a cut of the earnings from the property. But since many had little experience with real estate investing, and the company itself was still testing out the fundraising model, Jenkins said it was at times difficult for both the investors and Fundrise. The project developed over about two years, which Jenkins noted is relatively speedy for a real estate deal. But the pace was an issue for some investors.

“People who don’t have experience investing in real estate previously may not have understood the long-term nature of an investment project like this,” Jenkins said. “Being able to create the right expectations, keeping investors informed, educating them along the way — we knew it was going to be involved, but we didn’t know to what extent.”

Fundrise projected a roughly 8.5 percent annual return on the property, and won’t be able to gauge the success of the project until it is either refinanced or sold. But Jenkins said the investment was promising so far thanks to H Street’s development.

“The market’s basically grown up around us,” he said. “We bought the property a few years back and rents have gone up, property values have gone up. We’ve had the tenant put a lot of money into the project. We think that will have a positive impact on the net value of the property.”

See other articles related to: maketto, h street, fundrise

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/fundrises_first_public_offering_maketto_nears_opening/9548

1 Comment

  1. Lisa said at 6:05 pm on Thursday February 19, 2015:
    I don't understand this concept nor understand how anybody could invest in such a vague unregulated venture. There are so many questions and the Fundrise website offers nothing to clarify what the heck is going on. Maybe there's a contract? I'm happy Maketto is opening, but I'm happy when any place opens, and often sad when it closes a year or two later. There are many lawsuits in Fundrise's future unless its investors have no leg to stand on, which may very well be the case. Fundrise appears to prey on the savvy-less. Time will tell.

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