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California real estate investment firm to open St. Petersburg office

The firm specializes in multifamily developments, but has mixed-use and affordable properties, too.
California real estate investment company Cypress Equity Investments is opening two regional offices in Florida, including one in St. Petersburg.
California real estate investment company Cypress Equity Investments is opening two regional offices in Florida, including one in St. Petersburg. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Aug. 30|Updated Aug. 30

A California real estate investment firm with a portfolio of more than 80 properties coast to coast is setting up shop in St. Petersburg.

Cypress Equity Investments, which specializes in multifamily development but also has mixed-use and affordable projects, is opening the Tampa Bay office and another in Fort Lauderdale as part of an expansion into Florida.

“We’re super bullish on Florida due to the continued migration from the northeast and west coast,” said senior vice president of development Wesley Geys, who will lead the St. Petersburg office. “There’s no income taxes, favorable business terms, and rent growth continues to be very strong. There’s plenty of renter demand, which spurs continued investment from our capital partners.”

Geys will lead a small team out of the Expansive co-working space in downtown St. Petersburg, but Cypress plans to expand as it builds out its Florida portfolio.

Cypress’ business is a mix of new builds and acquisitions; its portfolio includes 9,000 residences and another 11,000 in development. Only a couple of its projects are in Florida, including a 212-unit complex in Tamarac and two complexes in Miami with a combined 437 units of affordable senior housing. Geys said the company has offers out on projects in Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.

“We are very pragmatic, entrepreneurial, nimble, and we’re not bureaucratic, so we can move really, really, really quickly,” Geys said. “We can get a project approved within a day or so with our investment committee, and that allows us to just be that much faster. We’re aggressive, but we’re also cautious at the same time.”

Cypress has offices in Chicago, Boston, New Jersey and Aspen, Colo.; and since October has also opened offices in Dallas and Denver.

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