Capabilities: Debt Placement, Equity Arrangement, Tax Credits
Geography: Nationwide & Caribbean
Property Types: Hotels, Self Storage, Retail, Office, Multifamily, Industrial
Neil Freeman is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Aries Capital, LLC; President of Urban Development Fund (UDF); and a lifelong entrepreneur. Throughout his 40-year career in finance and commercial real estate, he has closed over $5.5 billion in debt, equity, mezzanine and tax credit financing for hotel, multifamily and commercial properties across the United States and in the Caribbean. Highly regarded for his specialized expertise in hospitality, CMBS financing and tax credit advisory and syndication, Neil has built deep correspondent relationships with an extensive network of diverse capital sources including top Wall Street CMBS investors, regional banks, hedge and private money funds, life companies, credit unions and other institutional investors.
As one of the most successful New Markets Tax Credit Community Development Entities with the United States Treasury, UDF has received over $700 million in federal and state New Markets Tax Credits allocations, translating to $1 billion in transactions. UDF focuses on the rehabilitation of hotels, mixed-use properties, retail developments, theaters and medical facilities in highly-distressed census tracts nationwide.
Neil’s entities also hold equity interests in real estate worth more than $250 million, including apartments, hotels, shopping centers and land developments such as the 1000-acre Three Oaks mixed-use development in Ft. Myers, Florida, and the beachfront residences at Tranquility Beach on Anguilla’s Meads Bay in the British West Indies.
Formerly a licensed CPA, Neil earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Florida, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University. He is an adjunct Real Estate professor at DePaul University in Chicago and also serves on the Board of its Real Estate Center, as well as the Advisory Board of the University of Florida’s Kelley A. Bergstrom Real Estate Center.
Highly active within the global commercial real estate community, Neil is a member of and/or holds leadership positions in various local and national organizations including the Urban Land Institute, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), MBA, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Self Storage Association (SSA), the Lincoln Park Builders (LBD) and the Chicago Real Estate Investment Association (REIA). Neil is an in-demand speaker and moderator at industry events, and frequent contributor to business and commercial real estate publications nationwide.