Vilicus Capital & MultiFamily OS Launch Program Aiming to Create Affordable Housing

Vilicus Capital & MultiFamily OS Launch Program Aiming to Create Affordable Housing

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Vilicus Capital, a real estate investment firm based in Michigan, is spearheading a unique initiative that focuses on renovating hotels and converting them into affordable workforce housing. With a mission to address the growing demand for affordable living options while revitalizing communities, Vilicus Capital is making a significant impact in the real estate landscape.

Alexander Cartwright, PhD., Vilicus Capital’s founder and Managing Partner, is an Associate Professor of Economics at Ferris State University and sees the housing shortage as chronic. Housing affordability is often measured by rent to income ratios, a measure of tenants ability to afford rent, which continues to rise. In fact, the percentage of renters spending over 30% of their income on rent recently hit a record high.

Cartwright points out that of all the apartments under construction, not only is the quantity of construction not nearly enough to meet current demand, but also the type of apartments being constructed are mostly luxury apartments. Developers usually find it more profitable to construct buildings with higher end finishes and luxury amenities instead of affordable housing.

Vilicus Capital looks for hotels that are either struggling financially or owned by groups uninterested in remodeling them. Hotels are typically in convenient locations, have excellent amenities and can be purchased for a small fraction of what apartment buildings cost – making them attractive buildings that can be converted into workforce housing.

Vilicus Capital, Tuesday, July 11, 2023, Press release picture
Alexander Cartwright, PhD, Founder & Managing Partner

Vilicus upgrades the hotel rooms to studio apartments (or small one bedroom apartments) and works with the local government to secure the zoning approval needed to convert the properties into apartment buildings. Once the hotels have been both physically and legally converted into apartment buildings, there is an opportunity to fill a need in the marketplace other developers cannot fill without government subsidies.

“As an economics professor, I try to teach my students about the virtues of free markets and the importance entrepreneurs have in sustaining economic growth,” Cartwright says. “However, I worry that when my students graduate and get an entry level job, they see a high portion of their income go toward rent. That makes them feel like the economy is stacked against them – I want to do something that combats that. Hence, my team and I focus exclusively on finding hotels that can be converted to apartments.”

As Vilicus launches this hotel to apartment conversion strategy, Cartwright will be teaching a masterclass on converting hotels to apartments alongside hotel conversion experts Chalres Dobens and David Peters. The class will take place July 28-30 in Chicago, IL, where Cartwright will be teaching participants how Vilicus finds, finances, and operates hotels that can be converted to apartments.

“We’re very excited to be hosting one of the first ever conferences dedicated to hotel conversions,” Cartwright says. “Our goal is to create a network of people interested in the hotel conversion strategy so we can all work together to produce more affordable housing.” At the Chicago event, Cartwright will provide participants with the Vilicus Capital underwriting model and other pertinent information. “Participants will leave the event with, literally, a playbook on how to do what we do,” Cartwright explains.

About Vilicus Capital

Vilicus Capital is a real estate investment firm that focuses on acquiring hotels and converting them into affordable workforce housing. The company sources properties, provides underwriting services, secures debt, and makes purchases prior to converting hotels into apartments, and then installs property management and handles administration.



Alex Cartwright: [email protected]

SOURCE: Vilicus Capital

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