Areas of Expertise
- Borrower & Lender Advisory
- Capital Markets
- Cash Flow Projections
- Construction Loan Management
- Consulting Expert
- Due Diligence
- Expert Witness
- Feasibility Studies / Highest & Best Use Analysis
- Litigation Support
- Low Income Housing Advisory
- Market Studies
- Real Estate Advisory
- Real Estate Appraisals / Valuations
- Real Estate Brokerage
- Affordable Housing
- Real Estate
- BS Boston University
- MBA Indiana University
- 1 Year with Firm
- 30 Years of Relevant Experience
Jose Cestero is a seasoned and skilled commercial real estate professional with 30 years of experience in valuation, development, and brokerage and complex loan structuring. Jose was the Senior Managing Director for Valbridge Property Advisor prior to joining B. Riley Advisory Services (formerly GlassRatner). Before moving to Miami, he had his own consulting and advisory practice for 13 years in Puerto Rico (PR).
Mr. Cestero has experience in the following:
- Financing - Jose started his career in the banking industry as a financial analyst and later as a relationship officer. His main responsibility was to analyze loan proposals by preparing financial projections, reviewing the proposed collateral, determining the loan terms & conditions and presenting it to the administrative and board commercial loan committees for approval. Moreover, as the executive director of the PR Housing Finance Authority (PRHFA), Mr. Cestero presided on the administrative loan committee where the financing director and the analysts presented for pre-approval loan interim construction loans for low-income single-family developments and multifamily developments, and permanent multifamily financing. The preapproved loans were presented to the board of directors. At the time, the agency was the only FHA multifamily lender in Puerto Rico. Moreover, Jose presided on the single-family permanent financing committee where the agency had its own single-family mortgage insurance.
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) -The PRHFA is the low-income housing credit authority for the government of Puerto Rico. PR annual LIHTC allocation was approximately $5.85 million per year or approximately $58.5 million for the 10-year period. Mr. Cestero was responsible for preparing the Annual Qualified Allocation Plan (AQAP) for the governor's approval. The document sets the government priorities (location, target population etc.), and the qualification requirements (financial feasibility, underwriting, basic threshold requirements) for the granting of the credits. Upon approval, the agency received the developer's proposals which were reviewed by a team of analysts. The proposals were presented to a committee (which Jose presided on) for final approval. As a consultant, Jose helped developers obtain the LIHTC and negotiated contracts for over 700 units including Villa Pan Americana (families), Casa Rosa (an SRO for the homeless population), Jardines de Country Club (independent living for the elderly), and Villa Valentina (families).
- Down Payment Assistant and Interest Subsidy - The PRHFC and the municipality of San Juan manage down payment assistant and interest subsidy programs. Jose was responsible for determining and presenting to the governor the public policy and heading the award process. The programs were used to incentivize the construction of low-income housing including HOME funds, La llave para tu hogar (PR law), and Law 124 (PR law) programs. The programs were sometime combined with the LIHTC program.
- Property Management - The PRHFC was HUD's Contract Administrators. As the executive director of the PRHFA, Jose oversaw the entire FHA insured portfolio verifying their compliance with their FHA contracts, including tenant qualifications, physical maintenance, and financial ratios, etc. Moreover, the agency performed annual audits to the LIHTC projects to verify their compliance with the program. Furthermore, the agency performed its own servicing for its over 10,000 units portfolio. As a consultant, Jose oversaw the property management for Miramar Real Estate with a portfolio of over 1,000 units.
- Urban Renewal - Jose led the Santurce urban redevelopment government program aimed at increasing density in the urban area as an alternative to sprawling suburban developments in Puerto Rico. The island's first ever program of its kind, focused on identifying key underutilized properties, analyzing those with the greatest potential to spearhead development, and bidding for design and construction to ignite the urban redevelopment of the sector. This effort commanded a multidisciplinary team of architects, project managers, appraisers, engineers, accountants, and government officials as well as legal, planning, and public relations consultants.
- Development - Mr. Cestero has been involve as a developer of approximately 500 housing units dealing from the planning and permitting process, financing, construction, and sales. Moreover, the PRHFC was the developer of approximately 2,000 single family units under the Hogar Seguro program.
- Restructuring - Jose has been involved in restructurings 1) as a banker where he worked in the special asset management division, 2) as the executive director of the PRHFC where several multifamily projects / construction loans had to be restructured, marketed, foreclosed and divested, 3) as a developer where he had to negotiate with the banks for his developments in the past recession, and 4) as a financial advisor to the Ciudadela project.
- Valuation / Appraisals - Since 2011, Mr. Cestero has added valuation/appraisals to his varied real estate experience. During this time, Jose performed valuations of freestanding and multi-tenant retail, hotels, office buildings, industrial properties, multifamily, elderly housing, self-storage, boat storage, and residential subdivisions.
Jose maintains a General Certified Real Property Appraisal License in both Florida and Puerto Rico. He can obtain temporary licensing permits in other states on a case by case basis. Jose holds a broker's license in both Puerto Rico and Florida.
Jose holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Marketing from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. He also holds a MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute and a CCIM designation from the CCIM Institute.
Since 2000, Jose has served on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Credit Council of Puerto Rico. He has also served in the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico & Caribbean Chapter of Appraisal Institute (2013 - 2016), Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority (2013 - 2014) and the Public Housing Administration (2002 - 2004).