I have known Frank Tropea for many years through a previous employer, GMH Communities Trust. Recently I have been working with him on acquisitions of student properties for Greenhill Partners. Frank understands the student housing industry and provides quality housing. Recently he was able to put a deal together where he offered a master lease to Columbia State University so they could provide off campus housing for their students. He builds relationships with universities and provides support for Greenhill Apartments on-site staff. He has an excellent work ethic and is a professional in his field. Frank has always gone out of his way to build campus relationships. In his past experience at GMH Communities Trust, he was instrumental in developing relationships with small institutions of higher education so they could provide housing for their students. He created three year master leases with each school allowing them to offer quality housing for their students while guaranteeing investors the occupancy they expected. At that time master leases were a new concept which proved very successful in the Pittsburgh area for five schools. The schools could offer housing, and the property secured three year leases with built in rent increases, guaranteeing their investors an occupancy they expected. Frank continues this concept today, as witnessed by the master leases he secured at the Greenhill Apartments located in Radford, Virginia for students attending Radford University and another for students attending Columbus State University located in Columbus, Georgia. Greenhill Partners is an organization that cares about their employees and their residents, providing the one of the highest quality student housing operation in the market today.
I have dealt with the principals of Greenhill Partners for over 20 years at two previous financial institutions, and have always found them to be excellent borrowers. Their Information was always accurate and timely, and their ability to analyze markets and risks was excellent. In addition, they were very strong hands-on operators who really understood the real estate.
I have known and admired Frank Tropea for more than 30 years. When we first met, Frank was with CB commercial in Philadelphia where he was a top salesman of commercial properties. At that time, I was running the Mid-Atlantic region of Westinghouse Credit Corporation. Thanks to a timely call from Frank on an office building he had just listed, I was able to provide the financing for Jupiter Realty’s purchase of that property-a transaction that ultimately resulted in my joining Jupiter. Over the ensuing 30 years, I have watched Frank successfully tackle most aspects of our industry, including financing, construction, site selection and development, property and asset management, equity raises, portfolio accumulation, a public offering etc. In all my dealings with Frank, I have always found him to be honest, forthright, very creative and really a pleasure to work with. Regardless of which side of a transaction he is on, Frank always displays a respectful and helpful demeanor. This culture extends to his relationship with his employees as well. I am confident that Greenhill Partners will continue to develop, acquire and manage successful student housing communities throughout the country.