In 2008, we provided financing to Public Power, a deregulated electricity supplier in Connecticut. In 2009, we acquired the company for $13 million. At that time, the company had 30,000 customers. We expanded into other states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. In 2012, we merged with Viridian, renamed the company Crius and went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. We expanded into Texas and made additional acquisitions, reaching approximately 1.4 million customers. In 2019, we sold the company to Vistra Energy for $486 million.
Established in 1946, Convenience Valet (“CV”) manufactures and distributes blister pack branded convenience / travel size health and beauty care products, over-the-counter drugs, personal care products, auto care supplies, and sundries sold in small portion packages. The company was purchased by GIF and others in 2015 for $26.3 million. After replacing key management personnel and upgrading facilities & processes, GIF successfully exited the investment through a sale to competitor Lil Drug in 2020 for $73 million.
In 2017, a Gries Investment Funds entity provided financing to Q1. Q1 is actively engaged in designing, manufacturing and distributing products for the two primary consumer cellular operators in the US, AT&T and Verizon. As a lender to the company, we recognized that Q1 had significant growth potential and acquired the company in 2018. In it’s first full year after acquisition, the company grew its total revenue by 26%.
Founded in 2013, Skybell Technologies (“Skybell”) is a home security and automation solutions company which holds many patents for the products that make up the modern-day smart home. Gries Investment Funds participated in the acquisition of the company 2019. Skybell is expanding its product portfolio to include outdoor cameras, garage cameras, indoor cameras, and vehicle cameras. As we enter the 5G era, Skybell is poised to benefit from its growing customer base and robust patent portfolio.
Cortona – Multifamily Development | Tampa, Florida
Cortona is a 13 acre site situated in the heart of South Tampa. The site sat as vacant land for the past 20 years. With Tampa developer John Lum, we acquired the site in 2016 and recognized the potential for a multi-family site consisting of both apartments and townhomes. The project was completed in 2019 with 160 apartments and 140 townhomes and state of the art amenities. The multifamily project was sold in 2021.
Raleigh Apartments – Multifamily Value-Add | Raleigh, North Carolina
This existing multifamily property is part of a “value-add” strategy to improve the building which will increase the cash flow and subsequently the value of the overall property. This investment benefits from a low cost basis from acquisition. Additionally, this property has experienced rent increases which have outpaced initial projections on the back of inflation exceeding expectations in the first half of 2021.
Orlando Apartments – Multifamily Development | Orlando, Florida
This multifamily development project is expected to be finished in 2022 with leasing beginning upon completion. With an attractive cost basis and being centrally located in this growing central Florida market, this investment provides a large upside potential for investors.
Florida Keys Apartments – Multifamily Development | Florida Keys, Florida
This joint venture is building a new construction workforce housing project located in the Florida Keys (“The Keys”). With this development market largely untapped due to building restrictions and a high-cost barrier to entry, this project is expected to be completed in 2022 with leasing beginning around that time. The high-cost barrier to entry is only expected to get more expensive in the coming years as the county continues to restrict further development in the Keys.
Gandy Apartments – Multifamily Development | St. Petersburg, Florida
This multifamily development project is located along Gandy Blvd. in St. Petersburg, FL. This investment aims to add more multifamily units along the Gandy corridor. These apartments will have great access to the entire Tampa Bay area, with less than a 15 drive to the gulf coast beaches, downtown St. Petersburg, Tampa International Airport and the city of Tampa. The joint venture is expected to finish development of the building in the fall of 2022.
Ivy Ridge – Student Housing Development | Cornell University Ithaca, New York
The Gries Investment Funds partnered with an experienced developer and provided equity to build a 42 unit, 108 bed student housing townhome development near Cornell University. The project was incredibly well received by the community and achieved 100% occupancy prior to the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year, only 12 months from the date construction began. Similar projects with this development partner are currently being pursued at other universities around the Southeast and Midwest US.
Appalachian State – Student Housing | Boone, North Carolina
This project is an apartment development located near Appalachian State University. The venture is well positioned to capitalize on the recovery in student housing as the country emerges from the pandemic. The attractive cost basis of this property combined with a well-seasoned developer provided the underpinnings for this deal. This building is expected to be open to students in the Fall of 2021.
Lakeland – Fractured Condo | Lakeland, Florida
This venture is a fractured condo project and is in the process of converting the remaining condos into apartments. As a value-add project, this investment aims to buy the remaining units in this community and renovate them to fully convert this condo association into an apartment community.
442 Kennedy – Mixed Use Office | Tampa, Florida
The Gries Investment Funds partnered with an experienced developer of office and retail space to purchase this iconic building in Tampa, Florida. The income-producing asset was purchased in an off-market transaction in 2018 and the developer has significantly enhanced its value through space reconfiguration, tenant changes, market rent adjustments and increased tenant amenities.
Bridge Park – Mixed Use Office, Residential, Retail Development | Dublin, Ohio
The Gries Investment Funds partnered with long time development partner, Crawford Hoying, to provide junior debt financing for the construction of certain components of Bridge Park. This mixed-use development consists of apartments, condos, restaurants, retail, office space and the AC Hotel Dublin. Bridge Park is viewed as one of the most transformative and impactful developments of its type in Central Ohio.
Ardenwoods – Independent & Assisted Living | Asheville, North Carolina
The Gries Investment Funds provided equity for the purchase of Ardenwoods, an independent and assisted living facility in Asheville North Carolina. Ardenwoods is a multi-level mountainside campus with its highest elevation at 2,275 feet above sea level. The current facility only utilizes approximately 15 acres of the 48 acre property resulting in the possibility of expanding Ardenwoods, or selling a portion of this prime real estate.
Station House – Co-working and Event Space | St. Petersburg, Florida
Located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, FL, Station House was redeveloped in 2016 as part of a strategy to unlock the value of this unique property. This co-working space is one of the most sought after in downtown St. Petersburg. Station House also serves as a premier wedding reception venue in the St. Petersburg area.
Hyde House – Co-working and Event Space | Tampa, Florida
Hyde House of Tampa opened its doors to the public in 2019. This joint venture provides private offices, co-working and event spaces in the vibrant Hyde Park Village of Tampa, FL. Hyde House offers a flexible office space environment at a central location in the growing South Tampa business district.
Florida Hotels – Operating Hotels | Florida
Gries Investment Funds participated in the acquisition of two premier Florida hotels. These hotels were purchased while Average Daily Rates (“ADRs”) and Occupancy Rates were still suppressed due to the ongoing pandemic. Both hotels are now operating more efficiently as a result of replacing the previous management companies. Since acquisition, both assets have massively outperformed initial projections on ADR and Occupancy Rate metrics as Florida remains a top travel destination since the pandemic started.