Alex Hernandez

Alex Hernandez
Managing Partner

The real estate development division of Hernandez Consulting & Construction, NORF Companies specializes in Historic Tax Credit and Qualified Opportunity Zone projects. Notable projects within the last few years include: Tulane School of Medicine Student Housing (1315 Gravier); 131 Carondelet Hotel; The Francis Apartments (131 S. Jeff Davis); Mambo’s Restaurant (411 Bourbon); The Banks Apartments (3100 Banks); and New Orleans Museum of Art renovations.

What is the biggest challenge facing your industry in this new normal and how are you adapting?

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Initially the biggest challenge was just being able to keep construction going on projects with all the COVID-19 uncertainty and fears everyone had. Luckily, we kept the majority of our projects in construction and we just took the proper safety measures on. I think at this point we have settled into this new normal just fine in that way, but the next biggest challenge we are seeing is that banks are not wanting to finance what were excellent projects pre-COVID-19. We are seeing the banks really want to take a “wait and see” approach, which I am hopeful we can turn the corner on soon.

What changes do you see in your industry in the next year?

Due to the unprecedented run-up in the stock market we have seen this year, we are optimistically expecting an upsurge in capital gains investment proceeds being redeployed into Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds. Theses funds are gearing up to capitalize on all the distressed real estate sure to come after all the bank loan forbearance runs its course. We feel the convergence of both of these scenarios will create excellent real estate investment opportunities in 2021.

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