Would you like a slice of office or a scoop of retail?

CoStar’s Mark Heschmeyer just published an intriguing interview with Ray Wirta, former CEO of CB Richard Ellis.  Apparently, Wirta has created a company called Nexregen that will allow smaller investors to acquire stakes in commercial properties for as little as $2,500.  This reminds me of the stock brokerage where you can buy fractional shares of stock, for when you want a piece of Google but can’t justify dropping $600/share from your portfolio capital.  I can’t think of the name of the brokerage – anyone, anyone? – but that got me wondering, “What can’t you buy a fraction of these days?”  iGo and ZipCar allow you to own a fraction of a car, fractional jets have been available to executives and corporations for years and, after a little Googling, I found the fractional ownership website FractionalLife.com, which seems to fill any remaining fractional desires you might have, including art, liquor and handbags of all things.

Of course, a stake in a commercial property is arguably an asset, whereas all of these other fractions are fractional liabilities.  In the article, Wirta discusses the terms of the first deal they have put together and where he sees continued opportunity with this model.  Personally, I think it’s intriguing as a concept, especially if you want to own property in a self-directed retirement account like an IRA.  If they buy any properties up in Chicago, I may consider ordering a slice, but just one to start.


One Response

  1. Personally, I’m very intrigued by this concept and would certainly order up a slice of Chicago real estate. I can only imagine that spreading the risk and offering professionals the ability to invest (financially) in fractional bits would be beneficial.

    I’m definitely going to read the article next time I’ve got the chance….thanks for the heads up!

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