Aaron Yowell represents private, public and nonprofit developers and real estate owners, with a particular focus on affordable housing developers. He advises these clients in all aspects of project development, rehabilitation, and operation, including acquisitions, dispositions, public and private financings, joint ventures and investments.
What do you focus on?
Constructing new affordable housing properties and repositioning existing ones can be complicated and requires marshaling diverse sets of government agencies and debt and equity partners. I guide developers and owners through these complexities, moving all parties toward a common goal. For example, I recently helped a private, for-profit developer acquire and finance a project-based Section 8 property in upstate New York. This required reconciling the interests of a local development agency, a tax credit investor new to the region, a large institutional lender and a state finance agency.
Active deal management is essential to my work and I rely on strong project management to deliver results. Recently, I advised a Long Island-based nonprofit, Concern for Independent Living, in developing supportive housing on a decommissioned military facility in Suffolk County. This deal, which involved five different sources of debt financing, tax credit equity, state and local tax exemptions and simultaneous acquisition of real estate from the federal government, will house more than 60 formerly homeless veterans and their families. Our internal project management was pivotal to managing such complexity and keeping the deal on track for a successful closing.
In addition to affordable housing, sustainability and green building are very important to me. I founded GreenHomeNYC, a nonprofit offering resources directed to small- and medium-sized buildings in New York City. I am also a non-resident fellow at the Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy.
What do you see on the horizon?
As competition for private and public dollars increases, fast and adaptable execution will become increasingly important. I am focused on finding ways to reduce friction for our clients, creating more and better opportunities to leverage existing assets and unlock new lines of business.