CategoriesAbout Geyser

Geyser’s Austin Team Builder 2022

The Geyser team got together two weeks ago in Austin for our annual team builder, and it couldn’t have gone any better! We believe that our team of hardworking, passionate, and driven individuals is what sets us apart from the pack. The team builder consisted of presentations from each team member, a book club discussion, and some time on Lake Travis. Here is a summary of Geyser’s Austin Team Builder 2022. 

Day One: Leadership Team Building 

Monday started with a leadership team builder where the executive team went through critical drivers of our success, what we learned throughout 2022, and what the future of The Geyser Group will look like. Throughout the day, we realized that our team plays an integral role in our success. Our team comes from very diverse backgrounds, and each employee brings a different set of skills to the table. Overall, we are very grateful for our employees and their dedication to making Geyser a powerhouse Commercial Real Estate and Investment firm. 

Day Two: Company Team Building (On Lake Travis) 

Tuesday started in the office with numerous discussions about the potential for growth moving into 2023, and ended with an afternoon on Lake Travis. Our newest Financial Analyst Intern, Reece Jumonville, gave the team a “Wake Surfing 101” lesson and we were off to the races. Check out the video of Reece showing us how it’s done! 

Day Three: Team Presentations, Crucial Conversations, and Finishing 2022 Strong

Wednesday, our final team building day, was stacked with team wide-presentations and a book club discussing Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler‘s book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High. Our team discussed everything from the state of the market to, acquisition strategy, capital markets, marketing, and sustainability across all future projects. The presentations were very beneficial in getting everyone on the same page, and allowed for a free-flow of discussion and feedback. As a team, we learned more about each other’s goals for their department and what we are all are doing to work towards those goals. 

Crucial Conversations 

Part of the team builder consisted of having an open conversation about the book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High. The book gives excellent advice and tools to help improve communication in all aspects of life. The team’s main takeaway was that in order to make smart, efficient decisions, we must utilize our shared pool of meaning. For context, the shared pool of meaning is defined as “drawing on the opinions, feelings, and experiences of two or more people.” It is very crucial for every business, no matter the industry, to know how to have a meaningful conversation that gives both parties resolution and clear next steps. In our eyes, having everyone on the team come together and work through problems yields the best solutions.

So, What’s Next? 

As we enter Q3, Geyser has identified key opportunities that will aid us in our continued commitment to discipline for our limited partners, general partners, and overall investor base. We develop where we live, and creating opportunities for new developments in Central Texas is something that we take pride in. Geyser’s Austin Team Builder 2022 could not have gone any better! 

Want to see what’s coming? Join our mailing list at the bottom of our Investor page here

Are you interested in our ongoing projects? Take a look at our portfolio here

CategoriesOur Projects

Project Spotlight: The Johnny, Geyser’s Boutique, 76-unit Development in East Austin

This month, our Property Highlight series is focusing on The Johnny, a 76-unit multifamily development in East Austin roughly between Downtown and The Domain. Partnering with The Sephira Group, this multifamily project features condominium-like design elements and will offer 16 units of affordable housing for those who earn below 60% of the median family income.

Current Progress on The Johnny  

The Johnny provides a modern solution for those looking to live near the heart of the city in a luxury, boutique development. It is located steps from the red rail line at Crestview Station, and directly adjacent to The Crescent shopping center with quick access to 99 Ranch Market, Kura Sushi, Texas Pizza, and many other specialty stores and restaurants. 

the johhny multifamily development in east austin groundbreaking ceremony
November 2021
the johnny multifamily development in east austin parking garage
April 2022
the johnny multifamily development in east austin construction
June 2022

The Future of The Johnny 

The Johnny is currently under construction with a completion date set for January 2023. Since breaking ground in November, The Johnny has been full steam ahead on construction and is now framing. This property sits in proximity to the major development corridors along Lamar Blvd and Burnet Road. Additionally, The Johnny is located close to Downtown Austin, The Domain, The University of Texas, the ACC Highland Redevelopment, and Mueller. Who doesn’t want to be close to the action?

The Johnny will provide residents with sophisticated living in a boutique development that offers an alternative to the large 300-unit plus communities that saturate the market.  We are also very excited about our wellness balcony, which will feature a hot and cold swim spa and provide residents with a space to relax and recharge.”  – Managing Director Michael Bernstein

2021 Renderings
2022 Renderings

If you are interested in being a resident at the Johnny, when completed, check out the website here for ongoing updates. 

If you want to check out our other Project Spotlight feature, click here

Interested in other developments? Check out our portfolio and sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of our Investor Page to be notified about future deals. 

About the Sephira Group

The Sephira Group (TSG) is a full-service Real Estate Development & Investment firm headquartered in Austin, Texas. TSG specializes in developing properties in irreplaceable locations, as well as identifying & acquiring undervalued properties with strong re-purposing potential. Our in-house teams focused on acquisitions, financing, design, development, and asset management, allow us to execute lucrative strategies across the entire real estate spectrum.

Tomas Arellano
CategoriesAbout Geyser

Employee Spotlight: Meet the New Head of Finance, Tomas Arellano

This month’s Employee Spotlight features our new Head of Finance, Tomas Arellano; happy first week! Tomas’ experience in various real estate finance and accounting roles gives him a well equipped kit to bring amazing value to Geyser. We are extremely excited to have Tomas join the team. Get to know Tomas, his experience, and what he likes to do outside of work. 

Experience

Tomas Arellano is an Austin native that has been a part of the real estate industry for the past ten years. With a background in finance, accounting, and management, Tomas brings an abundance of experience to the table. 

“I have a lot of transaction experience. I’ve seen it from inception, through development, to disposition; I believe my experience will lead me to success. Just starting, I really like how Geyser approaches opportunities. Most companies find a niche but I think Geyser positions themselves as an all around alternative.”

What Would You Say Is Your Biggest Takeaway From Your Past Experiences?

“Integrity is important when you are working on behalf of partners and investors because you are doing things for them. If you are doing right by them, the relationships will grow and, eventually, equate to more investors. At the end of the day, being open and honest with the relationships that you build from those parties yields the greatest success and creates a long term strategy.”

How Have You Seen The Real Estate Market Change Overtime? 

“I think, compared to a few years ago, people view it as a stable wealth preservation option. It’s becoming more popular as an investment strategy, and the tech market has created a lot of capital wanting to invest in real estate. Investors are looking for a long term hold strategy and the flux of the market is causing people to explore real estate as an investment 

What Are You Most Looking Forward to In Your New Role?

“I am looking forward to having a leadership role in finance and being present in those strategic conversations. I felt like this opportunity was a natural progression in my career. Meeting the team, everyone seems very sharp and down to earth. It’s great to have strong coworkers who are also approachable. I’ve only been here a week but everything is making sense. Very excited to get into it”  

Personal Life

Outside of work, Tomas enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, going to church, traveling, and being outside on the weekends. Tomas has a passion for training and teaching and loves mentoring and connecting with young professionals. One of his most memorable trips was to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

We are very excited to have Tomas come onboard, and Geyser is looking forward to learning and growing in parallel.

Welcome to the team Tomas! 

If you want to check out our other Employee Spotlight on Managing Director, Todd Peoples, click here!

CategoriesReal Estate for All

AMASS is Closing the Racial Wealth Gap One Investment at a Time

One of the many pleasures we have as a real estate sponsor is working with really great people, and organizations, on our deals. In 2021, we were fortunate to have one of our deals included in the investment platform for a national organization called AMASS.

AMASS is an education and investment platform that gives black investors access to alternative investments that, ultimately, begin to close the racial wealth gap in America. The world of investing can be an intimidating market for people that are not familiar with the space. Acronyms and specific processes can get confusing and overwhelming for some. To aid in this, AMASS gives new investors access to high quality investments paired with high quality education through personal stories, Q&A, and webinars. The platform is designed to accommodate new investors’ uncertainty and provide them with key insights from highly experienced market leaders. 

Daron Roberts, Co-Founder of AMASS

Since its inception in 2021, AMASS has added 500 investors to the program. Founders Abby Coleman and former NFL coach and University of Texas at Austin professor, Daron Roberts work closely with financial advisors and various commercial real estate firms to boost access to quality investment opportunities. Roberts and Coleman formed the idea for starting AMASS after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. 

“After George Floyd’s Murder, I committed myself to expanding equity (in the form of capital) for people who look like me” says Roberts. 

Daron is a very successful investor but finds he is the only black investor in many of the deals he participates in. The problem of underrepresentation does not get solved until there are systems in place that allow black investors access to quality deals that are usually only accessible through referrals and word-of-mouth. 

“As an NFL coach and Harvard Law graduate, I am often invited to participate in the kinds of investment deals that the average person never even heard about,” says Roberts, “and, more often than not, I am the only black investor in the mix. This word-of-mouth culture is one of the reasons the rich stay rich. Access – not knowledge – is the differentiator.”

Currently, the median African American family holds about 1.5% of the median white American family wealth. In total, this accumulates to over $10.4 billion in total inequality. For more context, the 400 most wealthiest billionaires in the U.S. have more total wealth than all 10 million Black households combined. 

“We all know this disparity is neither an accident nor a coincidence. And, I believe we can push back against this gap by acquiring assets that have the potential to create outsized returns.” Daron says. 

In 2021, The Geyser Group sponsored AMASS’s first investment opportunity for their members. We were excited to teach new investors the ins-and-out of investing, what to look for in a deal, and how to wire money for the first time. 

“Geyser is a real estate company that’s chosen to weave innovation and education into our DNA from the beginning.  We were thrilled for the opportunity to provide access and education alongside such a mission aligned partner that we hope to scale our impact with.” – Matt McDonnell, The Geyser Group CEO and co-founder

More recently, The Geyser Group sponsored another deal where Managing Director, Dick Hall held a webinar answering questions and concerns AMASS members had about the deal. Connecting new investors to revolutionary deals is something that The Geyser Group and AMASS share. We are incredibly honored to be a part of this organization and look forward to being a source of new deals for years to come. 

If you want more information on AMASS, check out their website here!

CategoriesState of the Market

Sustainability Checklist: Nine Strategies to Reduce Carbon, Energy, and Water Use In Austin Commercial Real Estate

The Geyser Group believes in doing well by doing good. For Earth Day this year, our team wants to highlight the importance of environmental sustainability within the built environment. With rising climate concerns, it is critical for all players in the commercial real estate industry to consider how buildings impact the environment. To inspire all of us, here are the top nine strategies to reduce the use of energy in Austin commercial real estate.  

Currently, construction and demolition produce up to 500 tons of waste annually. This accounts for more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste in the U.S. Additionally, building construction and operations generate nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions. 11% of total emissions are caused by manufacturing building materials and construction processes. 

Top Nine Strategies to Reduce the Use of Energy, Carbon, and Water.

Energy, Carbon, and Water Reduction Strategies for Development Projects

1. Building Envelope – increasing insulation, adding tinting/glazing to windows, installing a white or green roof, and designing buildings with orientation to the path of the sun in mind, can reduce heat gain and energy consumption spending.

2. Mechanical Systems – high-efficiency heat pumps, electric water heaters, smart thermostats, and a fully integrated building automation system to tie everything together leads to a more energy-efficient building with a low carbon footprint that costs less to operate in the long run.

3. Renewables and Storage – on-site solar and battery storage combined with green power purchases and participation in utility demand response programs will enable buildings to achieve their net-zero targets while saving money or generating additional revenue.

4. Appliances and Water Fixtures – EPA Energy Star Rated and WaterSense labeled appliances and fixtures for the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom ensure high efficiency and low water consumption, while electric stovetops and water heaters reduce carbon emissions generated by your building.   

5. Landscape Irrigation – low or no water use landscaping that includes native and drought-resistant plantings results in water and dollar savings. Irrigated areas should consist of smart controls, and any areas on the property that can be utilized for water catchment and re-use can lead to additional savings. 

strategies for reducing energy use

6. Lighting – lighting design should result in the appropriate level of lumens per watt of energy required and incorporate automatic controls via sensors, timers, and integration with the building automation system. The use of daylighting also reduces energy consumption. 

7. Metering – you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so sub-metering of all major mechanical equipment, tenant, and indoor/outdoor common areas allows building engineers and managers to operate a more efficient building.

8. Embodied Carbon During Construction – carbon emissions from building materials and the construction process make up nearly one-third of all emissions associated with commercial and residential buildings. Therefore, selecting construction materials and interior finishes with low embodied carbon (how and where they are made, for example) plays a vital role in each project’s environmental impact.  

9. Transportation – electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle storage, and strategies to reduce car dependence such as ride-sharing and public transportation incentives reduce emissions and provide flexible alternatives to residents and workers.

strategies for reducing energy use

It will take a conscious effort to integrate this into our development process, but being mindful of the impact that construction has on the environment is the first step. 

If you would like to learn more about how companies are making an effort to be more environmentally conscious, check out these articles. 

The Office of Energy Effienceny & Renewable Energy 

ECAD For Commerical Buildings- Austin Energy 

Interested in seeing our properties? Check out our portfolio here 

We would love to connect with you and update you are our future deals and opportunities. Sign up at the bottom of the page here

CategoriesAbout Geyser

Employee Spotlight: Questions with Managing Director Todd Peoples

This year, The Geyser Group wants to start highlighting the wonderful people that work at the firm. Starting today, Geyser will highlight a different employee each month. From young entrepreneurs to seasoned industry veterans, Geyser has a wide variety of talent and diversity. Check back every month to get to know one of our employees a little more! Our Employee Spotlight series aims to uplift the wonderful people here at Geyser. 

This month’s Employee Spotlight features Todd Peoples, a rock star member of the managing team. Todd came to The Geyser Group in early 2020 as a development manager and has been providing tremendous value ever since. We interviewed Todd to learn more about his role in the company, how he enjoys spending his free time, and his life motto. 

What Does Your Job Role Entail? 

As one of the three Managing Directors, I mainly focus on business development, acquisitions, and our conservation development thesis where we identify places that have unique landscapes and ecology and figure out what’s the minimal amount of development we need to do to preserve the landscape forever.  

What Brought You to Geyser? 

I love the idea of creating places for people to live, work, and play while doing it with a group of people that are passionate about doing meaningful work 

What Do You Like Most About Your Job? 

I love the relationship building aspect and bringing value to people’s lives through real estate. 

What is the Best Career Lesson you Have Learned so Far? 

Personally, I believe in long obedience in the same direction and professionally that translates to persisting to achieve the company’s goals based on shared values and ideas. 

How Do You Balance Your Career and Family? 

Keep my priorities straight. Faith and family come first and work comes second with the understanding that hard work is important to model for my family. I want to be there for the big things, understanding that I have to sacrifice the little things to provide, which requires a flexible work/life schedule which Geyser offers.

What Is Your Motto? 

I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.  I pulled this from one of my favorite authors, Bob Goff.

What Would You Be Doing as a Career if You Weren’t Doing This? 

I would love to be a doctor if it didn’t require me going back to school for 8 years. I think this stems from the fact that I like to help people personally and professionally.  Geyser allows me to do both!

What Do You Like to Do When You’re not Working? 

Spend time outdoors with my family 

What Three Words Best Describe You? 

Curious, Faithful, Persistent 

Where is Your Favorite Place in the World?

Yosemite National Park 

What is a Fun Fact About Yourself That People Might not Know?

I was a child actor. I played one of the orphans in The Problem Child. 

If you Could Meet Anyone in the World Dead or Alive, Who Would it be and Why?

Thomas Eddison because he was so persistent and determined to create the lightbulb among various other inventions and wasn’t afraid to fail.  

What is One Thing That You Can’t Live Without? 

I can’t live without my wife. She is my support system and anywhere with her is my happy place. 

Is There Anything That You Want to Experience/Try That You Haven’t Yet? 

I would like to try rock climbing at some point 

Check back each month to learn more about our employees in our Employee Spotlight series!  If you are interested in our ongoing projects check out our portfolio here

CategoriesOur Projects

Project Spotlight: 3706 Goodwin, Geyser’s 363-unit Multifamily Development in East Austin

3706 Goodwin Multifamily Development Apartments in East Austin

The Geyser Group is highlighting our upcoming development, 3706 Goodwin, Geyser’s multifamily development in East Austin. We are partnering with Sabot Development and Cadence McShane Construction on this 363-unit, class-A apartment community in a prime East Austin Opportunity Zone.

Goodwin will provide housing to the growing Austin population with 326 market-rate and 37 affordable housing units. Additionally, there will be 2,400 square feet of retail space, providing residents and neighbors with access to local restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The Goodwin is located directly across the street from Springdale General, a 170,000 square foot mixed-use complex, and Springdale Green, an 875,000 square foot office complex under development that is expected to deliver in Q4 2023.

Our Progress on 3706 Goodwin in East Austin 

The Goodwin is currently under construction with an expected completion date in Q1 2024. Construction is proceeding as planned, with earthwork essentially complete. Our next steps will be to drill piers and install underground utilities.

construction 2021 for 3706 goodwin multifamily development in east austin
December 2021
construction january 2021 for 3706 goodwin multifamily development in east austin
January 2022
construction april 2022 for 3706 goodwin multifamily development in east austin
April 2022

The Geyser Group is thrilled to see the development come to fruition. Who knew dirt could make us so excited? Ultimately, Geyser aims to give East Austin residents high quality apartment living combined with prime location, and Goodwin will do just that. Geyser is committed to building the foundation for the future of East Austin, and giving residents the experience of a lifetime.Following construction, 10% of the units will be affordable housing with priority given to tenants of the existing residential complex on-site. Current residents will be eligible for financial assistance and be given first preference to help them move into the new development. Residents will also be given access to free classes on financial literacy through Framework CDC. The Geyser Group is excited to have the opportunity to combine up-scale housing with social impact initiatives in East Austin. 

The Current Market in East Austin 

Austin has been voted in the top 5 best places to live by US News and World Report since 2016 and has had the 1st or 2nd highest annual net migration within the US each year since 2015. With this recent boom in Central Texas and companies like Tesla moving their operations to Austin, the area has seen a sharp increase in real estate prices. With over 180 people moving to Austin daily, the trend is not expected to slow, so it is important to build the foundation for infrastructure that will support growth. Projects like The Goodwin are the stepping stones that the East Austin community needs to transcend into the future of living.

Now is a perfect time to invest in the future and The Geyser Group is doing just that.

3706 Goodwin’s Future Amenities 

A quote from Managing Director, Michael Bernstein, 

“We are excited about so many aspects of this project.  It has a great location walkable to Springdale General, the Austin Bouldering Project, and Jay Paul Company’s transformative Springdale Green project. We are going to have best-in-class amenities featuring two pools, an expansive dog park, and multiple entertainment spaces. And, we will be adding 37 affordable units to the area.  Combining location and community is at the core of this project and The Geyser Group cannot wait for it to come to life over the next two years.”

Check out our gallery below for a preview of what Goodwin will look like, and stay up to date with our investment opportunities by visiting our Investor page here!

We are actively seeking investors to share our opportunities with and are more than happy to connect with you! Check out our portfolio of current developments here

CategoriesOur Projects

Breaking Ground on a Boutique, Alternative to Austin Living

On November 9th, The Geyser Group and The Sephira Group broke ground on The Johnny, a boutique alternative to Austin living. The Johnny will be a 76-unit multifamily community in the Highland neighborhood, a highly sought after location near downtown, UT campus, and the Triangle. This property will feature condominium- like design elements that differ from traditionally large housing developments. Breaking ground on this property has been the highlight of our month! 

If location is  what you are looking for, then look no further! The Johnny provides a modern solution for those looking to live near the heart of the city. It is located steps from the red-, orange-, and blue rail lines at Crestview Station, and adjacent to the grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and bookstore at The Crescent shopping center. The Johnny’s central location reduces the cost and emissions of long commutes. Additionally, The Johnny will offer limited affordable housing options to those who earn below 60% of the median family income. 

“In the years we’ve been developing in Austin, we’ve seen it become one of the least affordable cities in the nation,” said Matt McDonnell, founder and CEO of The Geyser Group. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem. By providing a spacious, metro-adjacent environment, The Johnny addresses an underserved community and puts a dent in Austin’s affordability crisis.”

Affordability is a rising problem in the Austin market. Through our efforts, we hope to provide opportunity for the community to experience the wonderful development that is The Johnny. Here’s to breaking ground! 

construction april 2022 for 3706 goodwin multifamily development in east austin
CategoriesOur Projects

Breaking Ground on a Groundbreaking Development: Goodwin Apartments

The Geyser Group and Cadence McShane Construction Company are breaking ground on the new Goodwin Apartments. We have worked closely with Davies Collaborative and Sabot Development to handpick all the design elements that will go into this project. With outstanding exterior and interior design, it is no surprise that everyone involved in this project is ecstatic to see construction begin. 

Located in prime East Austin, the multi-use development will add 364 residential units and 5,000 square feet of commercial space to the growing area. Since 2019, East Austin has become the hit location for up-and-coming bars, restaurants, and other retail developments. 

The area was deemed one of the fastest-growing areas in the city prior to the pandemic making the community in East Austin incredibly diverse. With new multipurpose developments comes the need for new housing. The new Goodwin Apartments will provide an abundance of opportunities to live where the action is. 

Pictured left to right: Managing Director Michael Bernstein, CEO Matt McDonnell, and Sabot Partner Jim Young

Following construction, 10% of the units will be affordable housing, prioritizing existing tenants at the existing complex. Current residents will be eligible for financial assistance and be given first preference to help them move back into the new development. Residents will be given access to free classes on financial literacy through Framework CDC. 

Breaking ground on projects that will benefit us and the community is something we strive for. The Geyser Group believes in opportunity, and Goodwin will provide Austin residents with up-scale housing combined with a number of social opportunities.

To learn more about Goodwin, check out our ‘Project Spotlight’ series here