These are interesting times for multifamily. Once the golden child of the CRE family, it still is considered to be a long-term favorite. But the short-term is fraught with problems. A supply pipeline that is reaching a 50-year high. An interest rate regime that has made refinancing harder and cut margins. A rental growth rate that is slowing, in some cities, dramatically. Navigating this environment for the past year has not been easy and the men and women who have made this particular sector their careers have had to muster all of their skills and knowledge to do so. In the following pages you will read about the people, teams and companies that have made their mark on multifamily in the past 12 months by not only fielding these issues but also figuring out how to thrive in what has become a difficult environment. We hope you enjoy their stories.
KENNETH BACON The theme of Kenneth Bacon’s career has been to consistently and conscientiously give back, as evidenced early on when he left a lucrative position for an opportunity that allowed him to help others. After graduating from Harvard Business School, Bacon spent three years working on Wall Street, but he left that job to join Fannie Mae, where he felt he could genuinely help people. After a long career at Fannie Mae, where he tripled the portfolio to $195 billion during his 12-year tenure as EVP, Bacon retired. But he wasn’t finished giving back. Along with two partners, he co-founded RailField Partners in 2013 and today serves as a managing partner. The company’s mission was to look for affordable housing opportunities in working-class communities, improve neighborhoods and provide quality, affordable housing opportunities. Since its launch, RailField has attracted top institutional investors like Citibank and GCM and was one of only five investment firms nationally chosen by Citibank as part of Citi’s Action for Racial Equity, which seeks to increase investment capital to Black investment managers focused on preserving workforce and affordable housing across the country. At RailField, Bacon identifies financing sources and regularly connects with leaders in the investor community, leveraging his longstanding relationships developed during four decades in the industry. In addition, Bacon helps a variety of charities, mentors young people and serves on several boards. One charitable organization he is particularly passionate about is Martha’s Table, a nonprofit operating nationally accredited education programs and pairing healthy food access with mental and physical health services. As a charity that moved to Washington D.C.’s poorest neighborhood intentionally, it provided 1.6 million meals to families in 2021. Bacon has been a board member for the past seven years and is the organization’s current chair.
RON BALYS SVP of capital markets Ron Balys is one of Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp.’s top originators. He has closed more than 370 transactions totaling $1 billion in volume in the past three years, placing him among the top 10 nationwide within the firm. Balys has been with MCC for more than a decade, including six years in his current role. He is responsible for placing permanent and bridge debt for all asset classes nationwide with a focus on California. His most notable transaction was a recent closing consisting of a $38 million multitenant retail center in Santa Ana, CAF. His team locked in a rate of 4.9% with no prepayment penalty and a 30-year amortization during the height of recent economic turmoil and was able to hold all terms as promised. Beyond simply signing and closing deals, Balys considers each deal on an individual basis and strives to understand the client’s goals while finding 5-10 lenders with options that best fit the scenario. He typically closes with 30 different lending sources on average each year. Balys is described as a remarkable leader with an unwavering sense of integrity who values client relationships first and foremost. Last year, Balys closed 151 transactions, 89 of which were in the multifamily sector, and most were in California, where he maintains a strong presence. His transactions range from $1 million to nearly $20 million, facilitated by close relationships he has built with a wide variety of individual capital sources. Balys is a willing teacher to newer originators inside and outside the office and makes it a priority to be home for dinner every night with his wife and their son, Brady.