As Carey alumni, we are doing business with humanity in mind, leveraging real estate development and investment to make Baltimore City one of America’s top destinations for students and young professionals. GL Capital is a real estate group led by Jade Dai (MBA 2018), Kelvin Fu (GMBA 2017), and Andrew Hinton (MA/MBA 2017). In the short time that passed since we graduated in 2017, our team has acquired real estate assets with market value of $10 million with investors hailing from China, Singapore, Canada, England, and across the U.S. Our story is one of many successful cases where Carey alumni, equipped with the right opportunity, can grow and thrive beyond the classroom.
The MBA experience definitely contributes to GL Capital’s growth in its early stages. An academic background in real estate investment and financial training is a starting point for this team, providing a solid foundation. Competing in rigorous experiences like the Venture Capital Investment Competition and MBA Buyout Case Competition showed us just how necessary it is to push to learn and expand skills. As founders, we also led a number of speaker events and consulting projects for the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club, the Carey Marketing Association, and the Student Government Association. Club leadership positioned the group well to manage work and recruit excellent candidates for internships. All of these MBA experiences combined with access to vast Carey networks serve the partners well in finding resources to grow as a global startup.
To reach the $10 million milestone in one year, GL Capital invested in three primary asset classes. The first class is stable apartment buildings for students and young professionals. Our team uses financial studies learned from Carey coursework to evaluate the investment, acquired after long due diligence periods. The team performs all property management in house. This is a great way to understand the challenges of living in Baltimore. It also helps inform more efficient operating systems that promise investors solid returns on an annual basis.
The second property type involves buying distressed properties and remodeling them to improve Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Supported by a variety of Design Thinking activities available to Carey students and driven by MBA/MA Design Leaders, GL Capital and design partners think strategically about the design process. The timetables are tight and plans are revised to accommodate the unknown variables of construction. Taking out the old and updating all major systems is an arduous process. However, it can add tremendous value to a community. It adds to the product offering for families buying homes and improves the environment for local business leaders. It’s amazing how a few properties can transform an entire neighborhood!
The third way GL Capital aims to make Baltimore more appealing is through large-scale developments, including new construction and apartment conversions. GL Capital’s most recent acquisition is Brown’s Arcade, the property that houses Baltimore’s iconic Mick O’Sheas Pub and Lumbini Restaurant. The project entails transforming 20,000 square feet of vacant office space into modern apartments for young professionals. The space, originally purposed for mixed-use, is well-suited to enable a variety of social and professional exchanges. GL Capital will capitalize on the increased foot traffic and retail opportunity while building a strong community in Baltimore’s up-and-coming downtown business district.
The next chapter of GL Capital is being written now by an expanding team. We are hiring our first employee, Rona Zhang, and work closely with current student, Xin Huang, from the Information Systems Master’s program, as well as a prospective GMBA student, Colin Liang. In addition to real estate, the company cares deeply about social responsibility and is partnering with an education company called EliteEd as well as a non-profit World Youth Value Society. Long-term, we wish to pursue venture capital by investing in technology companies that support their business and societal mission. GL Capital has a vision that goes beyond Baltimore and providing returns to investors. The company aims to engage, inspire, and support globally-minded citizens around the world to make a difference in their communities.