The FORT Podcast: Rob Gandy

In this episode, Chris sits down with Rob Gandy—the Founding Principal of Cielo Property Group in Austin, TX. Rob is responsible for capital market engagement, financing, and acquisitions for Cielo. Prior to founding Cielo, Rob built a $60 million commercial real estate loan portfolio as a banker and previously served as a Vice President for Sandler O’Neill and Partners in New York where he traded municipal debt, agency debentures and collateralized mortgage obligations. They discuss Cielo’s massive development in downtown Austin, entitlement risk in real estate deals, the effect of COVID-19 on Austin, and much more.

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01:44 — Founding Cielo Property Group and Rob’s Background
05:31 — A Single Tenant Focus
06:07 — Chapter 380 Development: Was Sam’s Club a distress deal?
09:02 — What should an owner think if the borrower knows there is an issue with the bank?
11:56 — Were you living in Austin during this deal?
13:59 — What was your source of capital?
16:23 — What was the original intent of the Austin Music Hall development and how did it become this ‘creative office’?
22:38 — What data gave you the confidence to build a spec office building?
26:22 — Are there any indicators that Austin is being over-built?
30:55 — When you buy a deal like this, is it fully-entitled or are you taking on the risk?
33:15 — Is single-tenant NNN something you’ve always done?
34:20 — What is the status of leasing / transacting in Austin right now? Is it paused due to COVID-19?
36:49 — How are retail tenants responding to the current climate?
38:54 — Are office tenants responding any differently?
40:12 — What are your best practices for providing rent relief to tenants?
42:04 — What is your outlook for the remainder of 2020? Is Cielo going to be actively seeking opportunities?
43:48 — When do you see normal activity resuming?

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