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EX-32.2 - EXHIBIT 32.2 - LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II INCv461043_ex32-2.htm
EX-32.1 - EXHIBIT 32.1 - LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II INCv461043_ex32-1.htm
EX-31.2 - EXHIBIT 31.2 - LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II INCv461043_ex31-2.htm
EX-31.1 - EXHIBIT 31.1 - LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II INCv461043_ex31-1.htm
EX-23.1 - EXHIBIT 23.1 - LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II INCv461043_ex23-1.htm
EX-21.1 - EXHIBIT 21.1 - LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II INCv461043_ex21-1.htm

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

 

x Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

For The Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2016

 

or

 

¨ Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

For the transition period from ____________ to ____________

 

Commission file number 000-54047

 

LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

Maryland 83-0511223
(State or other jurisdiction (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
of incorporation or organization)  
   
1985 Cedar Bridge Avenue, Suite 1, Lakewood, NJ 08701
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)

 

Registrant's telephone number, including area code:  732-367-0129

 

Securities registered under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act:

 

Title of Each Class Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
None None

 

Securities registered under Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act:

 

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ¨ No x

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x  No ¨

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No ¨

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer or a non-accelerated filer (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Large accelerated filer ¨   Accelerated filer ¨   Non-accelerated filer x  Smaller reporting company ¨

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No x

 

There is no established market for the Registrant’s common shares. As of June 30, 2016, the last business day of the most recently completed second quarter, there were 18.5 million shares of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant. On March 17, 2017, the board of directors of the Registrant approved an estimated value per share of the Registrant’s common stock of $10.00 per share (after allocations to the holders of subordinated profits interests in the operating partnership) derived from the estimated value of the Registrant’s assets less the estimated value of the Registrant’s liabilities divided by the number of shares outstanding, all as of December 31, 2016 . For a full description of the methodologies used to value the Registrant's assets and liabilities in connection with the calculation of the estimated value per share, see Part II, Item 5, “Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities - Market Information.” As of March 15, 2017, there were approximately 18.3 million shares of common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

None.

 

 

 

 

LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II, INC.

 

Table of Contents

    Page
PART I    
     
Item 1. Business 2
     
Item 1A. Risk Factors 10
     
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 43
     
Item 2. Properties 44
     
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 44
     
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 45
     
PART II    
     
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 45
     
Item 6. Selected Financial Data 54
     
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 54
     
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 69
     
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 71
     
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 104
     
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 104
     
Item 9B. Other Information 105
     
PART III    
     
Item 10. Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant 105
     
Item 11. Executive Compensation 108
     
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management 108
     
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions 109
     
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services 111
     
PART IV    
     
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules 114
     
  Signatures 116

 

 1 

 

 

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

 

This annual report on Form 10-K, together with other statements and information publicly disseminated by Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust II, Inc. (the “Lightstone REIT II”) contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and include this statement for purposes of complying with these safe harbor provisions. Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, are generally identifiable by use of the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project” or similar expressions. You should not rely on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could materially affect actual results, performances or achievements. Factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, (i) general economic and local real estate conditions, (ii) the inability of major tenants to continue paying their rent obligations due to bankruptcy, insolvency or general downturn in their business, (iii) financing risks, such as the inability to obtain equity, debt, or other sources of financing on favorable terms, (iv) changes in governmental laws and regulations, (v) the level and volatility of interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates, (vi) the availability of suitable acquisition opportunities and (vii) increases in operating costs. Accordingly, there is no assurance that our expectations will be realized.

 

All forward-looking statements should be read in light of the factors identified herein at Part 1, Item 1A as well as in the “Risk Factors” section of the Registration Statement on Form S-11 (File No. 333-151532) of the Lightstone REIT II filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), as the same may be amended and supplemented from time to time.

 

PART I.

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS:

 

General Description of Business

 

The Lightstone REIT II is a Maryland corporation, formed on April 28, 2008, which has qualified as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes since its taxable year ending December 31, 2009. The Lightstone REIT II was formed primarily for the purpose of engaging in the business of investing in and owning commercial, residential and hospitality properties located principally in North America, as well as other real estate-related investments.

 

The Lightstone REIT II is structured as an umbrella partnership REIT (“UPREIT”), and substantially all of its current and future business is and will be conducted through Lightstone Value Plus REIT II LP (the “Operating Partnership”), a Delaware limited partnership formed on April 30, 2008.

 

The Lightstone REIT II and the Operating Partnership and its subsidiaries are collectively referred to as the “Company” and the use of “we,” “our,” “us” or similar pronouns in this annual report refers to the Lightstone REIT II, its Operating Partnership or the Company as required by the context in which such pronoun is used.

 

We currently have one operating segment. As of December 31, 2016, we majority owned and consolidated the operating results and financial condition of 21 limited service hotels containing a total of 2,481 rooms. Additionally, we held a 48.6% membership interest in Brownmill, LLC (“Brownmill”), which we account for under the equity method of accounting.

 

Offering and Structure

 

Our sponsor, David Lichtenstein (“Lichtenstein”), who does business through The Lightstone Group (the “Sponsor”) and majority owns the limited liability company of that name, is one of the largest private residential and commercial real estate owners and operators in the United States today, with a diversified portfolio of over 120 properties containing approximately 10,000 multifamily units, approximately 250,000 square feet of office space, 1.5 million square feet of industrial space, 31 hotels, and 4.6 million square feet of retail space. The residential, office, industrial and retail properties are located in 26 states.  Based in New York, and supported by a regional office in New Jersey, our Sponsor employs approximately 397 staff and professionals. Our Sponsor has extensive experience in the areas of investment selection, underwriting, due diligence, portfolio management, asset management, property management, leasing, disposition, finance, accounting and investor relations.

 

Our advisor is Lightstone Value Plus REIT II LLC (the “Advisor”), which is wholly owned by our Sponsor. Our Advisor, together with our Board of Directors, is and will continue to be primarily responsible for making investment decisions and managing our day-to-day operations. Through his ownership and control of The Lightstone Group, Mr. Lichtenstein is the indirect owner of our Advisor and the indirect owner and manager of Lightstone SLP II LLC, the associate general partner of our Operating Partnership. Mr. Lichtenstein also acts as our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. As a result, he exerts influence over but does not control Lightstone REIT II or the Operating Partnership.

 

 2 

 

 

We do not have and will not have any employees that are not also employed by our Sponsor or its affiliates. We depend substantially on our Advisor, which generally has responsibility for our day-to-day operations. We entered into an advisory agreement dated February 17, 2009, with our Advisor pursuant to which the Advisor supervises and manages our day-to-day operations and selects our real estate and real estate related investments, subject to oversight by our Board of Directors. We pay the Advisor fees for services related to the investment and management of our assets, and we reimburse the Advisor for certain expenses incurred on our behalf. Additionally, under the terms of the advisory agreement, our Advisor also undertakes to use its commercially reasonable best efforts to present to us investment opportunities consistent with our investment policies and objectives as adopted by our Board of Directors.

 

Our Advisor has affiliated property managers (the “Property Managers”), which may manage certain of the properties we acquire. We also use other unaffiliated third-party property managers, principally for the management of our hospitality properties.

 

On April 24, 2009, we commenced an initial public offering (the “Offering”) to sell a maximum of 51.0 million shares of common stock at a price of $10.00 per share and 6.5 million shares of common stock available pursuant to our distribution reinvestment program (the “DRIP”). We also had 255,000 shares reserved for issuance under our Employee and Director Incentive Restricted Share Plan. Our Registration Statement on Form S-11 (the “Registration Statement”) was declared effective under the Securities Act of 1933 on February 17, 2009, and on April 24, 2009, we began offering shares of our common stock for sale to the public.

 

The Offering, which terminated on August 15, 2012, raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $49.8 million from the sale of approximately 5.0 million shares of common stock. After allowing for the payment of approximately $5.2 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $4.5 million in organization and other offering expenses, the Offering generated aggregate net proceeds of approximately $40.1 million. In addition, through August 15, 2012 (the termination date of the Offering), we had issued approximately 0.3 million shares of common stock under its DRIP, representing approximately $2.9 million of additional proceeds.

 

Our registration statement on Form S-11 (the “Follow-On Offering”), pursuant to which we offered to sell up to 30.0 million shares of our common stock for $10.00 per share, subject to certain volume discounts (exclusive of 2,500,000 shares available pursuant to our DRIP at an initial purchase price of $9.50 per share and 255,000 shares reserved for issuance under our Employee and Director Incentive Restricted Share Plan) was declared effective by SEC under the Securities Act of 1933 on September 27, 2012. The Follow-On Offering, which terminated on September 27, 2014, raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $127.5 million from the sale of approximately 12.9 million shares of common stock. After allowing for the payment of approximately $11.0 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $4.0 million in organization and other offering expenses, the Follow-On Offering generated aggregate net proceeds of approximately $112.5 million.

 

Our DRIP Registration Statement on Form S-3D was filed and became effective under the Securities Act of 1933 on September 26, 2014. On January 19, 2015, our Board of Directors suspended the DRIP effective April 15, 2015. For so long as the DRIP remains suspended, all future distributions will be in the form of cash. However, as of December 31, 2016, 5.9 million shares remain available for issuance under our DRIP.

 

Effective September 27, 2012, Orchard Securities, LLC (“Orchard Securities”) became the Dealer Manager of our Follow-On Offering. Orchard Securities also opened a branch office that does business as “Lightstone Capital Markets” and focuses primarily on distributing interests in programs sponsored by our Sponsor.

 

As of December 31, 2016, our Advisor owned 20,000 shares of common stock which were issued on May 20, 2008 for $200,000, or $10.00 per share. In addition, as of September 30, 2009, we had reached the minimum offering under our Offering by receiving subscriptions of its common shares, representing gross offering proceeds of approximately $6.5 million, and effective October 1, 2009 investors were admitted as stockholders and the Operating Partnership commenced operations. Under the Offering (terminated on August 15, 2012) and the Follow-On Offering (terminated on September 27, 2014), we raised cumulative gross offering proceeds of $177.3 million, which were released to us. We invested the proceeds received from the Offering, the Follow-On Offering and our Advisor into our Operating Partnership, and as a result, held a 99% general partnership interest as of December 31, 2016 in our Operating Partnership’s common units.

 

Our shares of common stock are not currently listed on a national securities exchange. We may seek to list our shares of common stock for trading on a national securities exchange only if a majority of our independent directors believe listing would be in the best interest of our stockholders. We do not intend to list our shares at this time. We do not anticipate that there would be any market for our shares of common stock until they are listed for trading. In the event we do not obtain listing prior to the tenth anniversary of the completion or termination of our Offering, our charter requires that our Board of Directors must either (i) seek stockholder approval of an extension or amendment of this listing deadline; or (ii) seek stockholder approval to adopt a plan of liquidation of the corporation.

 

 3 

 

 

Noncontrolling Interest – Partners of Operating Partnership

 

The noncontrolling interests consist of (i) parties that hold units in the Operating Partnership and (ii) membership interests held by others in a joint venture (the “Joint Venture”) formed between us and Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. (“Lightstone I”), a related party REIT also sponsored by our Sponsor, and (iii) the membership interests held by minority owners of certain of our hotels.

 

On May 20, 2008, our Advisor contributed $2,000 to our Operating Partnership in exchange for 200 limited partner common units in our Operating Partnership. The limited partner has the right to convert Operating Partnership common units into cash or, at our option, an equal number of our shares of our common stock, as allowed by our limited partnership agreement.

 

Lightstone SLP II LLC, which is wholly owned by our Sponsor, committed to purchase subordinated profits interests in our Operating Partnership (“Subordinated Profits Interests”) at a cost of $100,000 per unit for each $1.0 million in subscriptions up to ten percent of the proceeds received from the sale of primary shares under the Offering and Follow-On Offering on a semi-annual basis beginning with the quarter ended June 30, 2010. Lightstone SLP II LLC also had the option to purchase the Subordinated Profits Interests with either cash or an interest in real property of equivalent value.

 

From our inception through the termination of the Follow-On Offering, our Sponsor contributed cash of approximately $12.9 million and elected to contribute equity interests totaling 48.6% in Brownmill, LLC, which were valued at $4.8 million, in exchange for 177.0 Subordinated Profits Interests with an aggregate value of $17.7 million. See “Sponsor’s Contribution of Equity Interests in Brownmill” below for additional information.

 

Operations - Operating Partnership Activity

 

Through our Operating Partnership, we have and will continue to acquire and operate commercial, residential, and hospitality properties and make real estate-related investments, principally in North America through our Operating Partnership. Our holdings currently consist of retail (primarily multi-tenanted shopping centers) and lodging properties. All of our properties have been and will continue to be acquired and operated by us alone or jointly with others. Since inception, we have completed the following significant property and investments transactions:

 

Property and Investments Transactions

 

·HGF: During 2009, we acquired a 32.42% Class D Member Interest in HG CMBS Finance, LLC (“HGF”), a real estate limited liability company that primarily invested in CMBS, which were sold by HGF during 2010.

 

·Brownmill: We have an aggregate 48.6% equity interest in Brownmill, which includes two retail properties known as the Browntown Shopping Center and the Millburn Mall, located in Old Bridge, New Jersey and Vauxhall, New Jersey, respectively, which was acquired in June 2010 (with respect to a 26.25% equity interest), December 2010 (with respect to a 8.163% equity interest), December 2011 (with respect to a 5.587% equity interest), June 2012 (with respect to a 5.102% equity interest) and October 2012 (with respect to an 3.4776% equity interest).

 

·TownePlace Suites – Metairie: In January 2011, we acquired a 95.0% ownership interest in a TownePlace Suites hotel (the “TownePlace Suites – Metairie”) located in Harahan, Louisiana and in August 2015, we acquired the remaining 5.0% ownership interest in the TownePlace Suites – Metairie and as a result, now have a 100.0% ownership interest.

 

·CP Boston Joint Venture: In March 2011, we acquired a 20.0% ownership interest in LVP CP Boston Holdings, LLC (the “CP Boston Joint Venture”), a joint venture which owns a hotel and water park located in Danvers, Massachusetts, which we subsequently disposed of in February 2012 with an effective date of January 1, 2012.

 

·Rego Park Joint Venture: In April 2011, we acquired a 10.0% ownership interest in LVP Rego Park, LLC(the “Rego Park Joint Venture”), a joint venture which owned a second mortgage loan secured by a residential apartment complex located in Queens, New York, which was paid in full in June 2013.

 

·SpringHill Suites – Peabody: In July 2012, we acquired a SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel (the “SpringHill Suites – Peabody”) located in Peabody, Massachusetts.

 

·Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford: In December 2012, we acquired an aggregate 87.7% ownership interest in a Fairfield Inn hotel (the “Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford”) located in East Rutherford, New Jersey as a result of the restructuring of our mortgage loan receivable secured by the Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford , which was previously acquired in June 2010;

 

·Arkansas Hotel Portfolio: In June 2013, we acquired a 95.0% ownership interest in a portfolio comprised of two TownePlace Suites hotels located in Little Rock (the “TownePlace Suites – Little Rock”) and Johnson/Springdale, Arkansas (the “TownePlace Suites – Fayetteville” and collectively, the “Arkansas Hotel Portfolio”), respectively, and in June 2015, we acquired the remaining 5.0% membership interest in all of these hotels and as a result, now have 100.0% ownership interests.

 

 4 

 

 

·Holiday Inn – Opelika: In April 2014, we acquired a Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites (the “Holiday Inn — Opelika”) located in Opelika, Alabama.

 

·Aloft Tucson: In April 2014, we acquired an Aloft Hotel (the “Aloft — Tucson”) located in Tucson, Arizona.

 

·Hampton Inn – Fort Myers Beach: In October 2014, we acquired a Hampton Inn Hotel (the “Hampton Inn — Fort Myers Beach”) located in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

 

·Philadelphia Airport Hotel Portfolio: In December 2014, we acquired a portfolio comprised of two hotels and a land parcel located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Aloft Philadelphia Airport (the “Aloft - Philadelphia”) and the Four Points by Sheraton Philadelphia Airport (the “Four Points by Sheraton - Philadelphia”, and collectively, the “Philadelphia Airport Hotel Portfolio”).

 

·LVP REIT Hotels:

 

In January 2015, our Board of Directors provided approval for us to form the Joint Venture with Lightstone I and for the Joint Venture to acquire Lightstone I’s membership interest in up to 11 limited service hotels (the “LVP REIT Hotels”). Our advisor elected to waive the acquisition fee associated with this transaction.

 

Subsequently in January 2015, we, through the Operating Partnership, entered into an agreement to form the Joint Venture with Lightstone I whereby we and Lightstone I have 97.5% and 2.5% membership interests in the Joint Venture, respectively. We are the managing member. Each member may receive distributions and make future capital contributions based upon its respective ownership percentage, as required.

 

In January 2015, we, through the Joint Venture, completed the acquisition of 100.0% membership interest in a portfolio of five limited service hotels (the “Hotel I Portfolio”), which were part of the LVP REIT Hotels. The five limited service hotels included in the Hotel I Portfolio are as follows:

 

·a Courtyard by Marriott located in Willoughby, Ohio (the “Courtyard – Willoughby”);

 

·a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott located in West Des Moines, Iowa (the “Fairfield Inn – Des Moines”);

 

·a SpringHill Suites by Marriott located in West Des Moines, Iowa (the SpringHill Suites – Des Moines”);

 

·a Hampton Inn located in Miami, Florida (the “Hampton Inn – Miami”); and

 

·a Hampton Inn & Suites located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (the “Hampton Inn & Suites – Fort Lauderdale”).

 

In February 2015, we, through the Joint Venture, completed the acquisition of Lightstone I’s (i) 100.0% membership interest in a Courtyard by Marriott located in Parsippany, New Jersey (the “Courtyard – Parsippany”) and (ii) 90.0% membership interest in a Residence Inn by Marriott located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (the “Residence Inn - Baton Rouge. These two hotels were part of the LVP REIT Hotels.

 

In June 2015, we, through the Joint Venture, completed the acquisition of Lightstone I’s (i) 100.0% membership interest in a Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites located in Auburn, Alabama (the “Holiday Inn Express – Auburn”), (ii) 100.0% membership interest in an Aloft Hotel located in Rogers, Arkansas (the “Aloft – Rogers”) and (iii) 95.0% membership interest in a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott located in Jonesboro, Arkansas (the “Fairfield Inn – Jonesboro” and collectively, the “Hotel II Portfolio”). These three hotels were part of the LVP REIT Hotels.

 

In June 2015, we, through the Joint Venture, completed the acquisition of Lightstone I’s 90.0% membership interest in a Courtyard by Marriott located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (the “Courtyard – Baton Rouge”). This hotel was part of the LVP REIT Hotels.

 

Related Parties

 

Our Advisor and its affiliates, and Lightstone SLP II, LLC are related parties. Certain of these entities have or will receive compensation and fees for services related to our offerings and will continue to receive compensation and fees for services provided for the investment and management of our assets. These entities have received and/or will receive fees during our offering stage (which was completed on September 27, 2014), acquisition, operational and liquidation stages. The compensation levels during our offering, acquisition and operational stages are based on percentages of the offering proceeds raised, the cost of acquired properties and the annual revenue earned from such properties, and other such fees outlined in each of the respective agreements.

 

 5 

 

 

Primary Investment Objectives

 

Our primary investment objective is to achieve capital appreciation with a secondary objective of income without subjecting principal to undue risk.

 

Acquisition and Investment Policies

 

We have acquired and/or intend to continue to acquire commercial, residential and hospitality properties as well as other real estate-related investments principally in North America. Our acquisitions may include both portfolios and individual properties. Unlike other REITs, which typically specialize in one sector of the real estate market, we invest and intend to continue to invest in both residential and commercial properties as well as other real estate-related investments to create a diverse portfolio of property types and take advantage of our Sponsor’s expertise in acquiring larger properties and portfolios of both residential and commercial properties. We generally intend to hold each property for seven to ten years.

 

We are not limited in the number, size or geographical location of any real estate assets. The number and mix of assets we acquire depends, in part, upon real estate and market conditions and other circumstances existing at the time we acquire our assets. We may expand our focus to include properties located outside the United States. If we invest in properties outside of the United States, we intend to focus on properties which we believe to have similar characteristics as those properties in which we have previous investment and management expertise. We do not anticipate that these international investments would comprise more than 10% of our portfolio. Investment in areas outside of the United States may be subject to risks different than those impacting properties in the United States.

 

We have made and/or expect that we will make the following types of real estate investments:

 

·Fee interests in market-rate, multifamily properties located either in or near major metropolitan areas. We will attempt to identify those sub-markets with job growth opportunities and demand demographics which support potential long-term value appreciation for multifamily properties.

 

·Fee interests in power shopping centers and malls located in highly trafficked retail corridors, in selected high-barrier to entry markets and sub-markets. “Power” shopping centers are large retail complexes that are generally unenclosed and located in suburban areas that typically contain one or more large brand name retailers rather than a department store anchor tenant. We will attempt to identify those sub-markets with constraints on the amount of additional property supply, which will make future competition less likely.

 

·Fee interests in improved, multi-tenanted, industrial properties and properties that contain industrial and office space (“industrial flex”) located near major transportation arteries and distribution corridors with limited management responsibilities.

 

·Fee interests in improved, multi-tenanted, office properties located near major transportation arteries in urban and suburban areas.

 

·Fee interests in lodging properties located near major transportation arteries in urban and suburban areas.

 

·Preferred equity interests in entities that own the property types listed above.

 

·Mezzanine loans secured by the pledges of equity interests in entities that own the property types listed above.

 

·Commercial mortgage-backed securities secured by mortgages on real property.

 

·Collateralized debt obligations.

 

·Investments in equity securities issued by public or private real estate companies.

 

In addition, we further diversify and intend to continue to diversify our portfolio by investing up to 20% of our net assets in collateralized debt obligations, commercial mortgage-backed securities and mortgage and mezzanine loans secured, directly or indirectly, by the same types of properties which we may acquire directly. We may also acquire majority or minority interests in other entities (or business units of such entities) with investment objectives similar to ours or with management, investment or development capabilities that our Board of Directors deems desirable or advantageous to acquire.

 

Financing Strategy and Policies

 

We have and intend to continue to utilize leverage to make our investments. The number of different investments we will acquire will be affected by numerous factors, including the amount of funds available to us. When interest rates on mortgage loans are high or financing is otherwise unavailable on terms that are satisfactory to us, we may purchase certain investments for cash with the intention of obtaining a mortgage loan for a portion of the purchase price at a later time. There is no limitation on the amount we may invest in any single investment or on the amount we can borrow for the purchase of any investment.

 

 6 

 

 

Our charter restricts the aggregate amount we may borrow, both secured and unsecured, to 300% of net assets in the absence of a satisfactory showing that a higher level is appropriate, the approval of the Board of Directors and disclosure to the stockholders. In addition, our charter limits our aggregate long-term permanent borrowings (having a maturity greater than two years) to 75% of the aggregate fair market value of all investments unless any excess borrowing is approved by a majority of our independent directors and is disclosed to our stockholders. Our charter also prohibits us from making or investing in mortgage loans, including construction loans, on any one property if the aggregate amount of all mortgage loans outstanding on the property, including our loans, would exceed 85% of the property’s appraised value.

 

We may finance our investment acquisitions through a variety of means, including but not limited to single property mortgages, as well as, mortgages cross-collateralized by a pool of property and through exchange of an interest in the property for limited partnership units of the Operating Partnership. Generally, though not exclusively, we intend to seek to finance our investments with debt which will be on a non-recourse basis. However, we may, secure recourse financing or provide a guarantee to lenders, if we believe this may result in more favorable terms.

 

Distribution Objectives

 

U.S. federal income tax law requires that a REIT distribute annually at least 90% of its REIT taxable income (which does not equal net income, as calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP) determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain. In order to continue to qualify for REIT status, we may be required to make distributions in excess of cash available.

 

Distributions are at the discretion of our Board of Directors. We commenced regular quarterly distributions beginning with the fourth quarter of 2009. We may fund future distributions with cash proceeds from borrowings if we do not generate sufficient cash flow from our operations to fund distributions. Our ability to continue to pay regular distributions and the size of these distributions will depend upon a variety of factors. For example, our borrowing policy permits us to incur short-term indebtedness, having a maturity of two years or less, and we may have to borrow funds on a short-term basis to meet the distribution requirements that are necessary to achieve the tax benefits associated with qualifying as a REIT. We cannot assure that regular quarterly distributions will continue to be made or that we will maintain any particular level of distributions that we have established or may establish.

 

We are an accrual basis taxpayer, and as such our REIT taxable income could be higher than the cash available to us. We may therefore borrow to make distributions, which could reduce the cash available to us, in order to distribute 90% of our REIT taxable income as a condition to our election to be taxed as a REIT. These distributions made with borrowed funds may constitute a return of capital to stockholders. “Return of capital” refers to distributions to investors in excess of net income. To the extent that distributions to stockholders exceed earnings and profits, such amounts constitute a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes, although such distributions might not reduce stockholders’ aggregate invested capital. Because our earnings and profits are reduced for depreciation and other non-cash items, it is likely that a portion of each distribution will constitute a tax-deferred return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

On March 30, 2009, our Board of Directors declared an annualized distribution rate for each quarterly period commencing 30 days subsequent to us achieving the minimum offering of 500,000 shares of our common stock. The distribution was calculated based on stockholders of record each day during the applicable period at a rate of $0.00178082191 per share per day (the “Initial Annualized Distribution Rate”), and equaled a daily amount that, if paid each day for a 365-day period, would equal a 6.5% annualized rate based on the share price of $10.00.

 

At the beginning of October 2009, we achieved our minimum offering of 500,000 shares of common stock and on November 3, 2009, our Board of Directors declared our first quarterly distribution at the Initial Annualized Distribution Rate for the three-month period ending December 31, 2009. Subsequently, our Board of Directors declared regular quarterly distributions at the Initial Annualized Distribution Rate.

 

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On September 25, 2015, the Board of Directors resolved that future distributions declared to our shareholders of record each day during the applicable quarter would be targeted to be paid at a rate of $0.0019178 per day (the “Revised Annualized Distribution Rate”), which would equal a daily amount that, if paid each day for a 365-day period, would equal a 7.0% annualized rate based on a share price of $10.00, which would be an increase over the prior quarterly distributions of an annualized rate of 6.5%. Commencing with the three-month period ended December 31, 2015, our Board of Directors has declared regular quarterly distributions at the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate.

 

Total distributions declared during the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 were $13.0 million, $12.3 million and $8.2 million, respectively.

 

On February 28, 2017, our Board of Directors declared a special distribution, payable to stockholders of record on February 28, 2017, for the difference between the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate and the Initial Annualized Distribution Rate for the period from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2015. This distribution was calculated based on stockholders of record each day during the applicable period at a rate of $0.000136986 per share per day, and equals a daily amount that, if paid each day for a 365-day period, would equal an 0.5% annualized rate based on the share price of s$10.00. The Company had previously commenced making regular quarterly distributions to shareholders at the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate for quarterly periods commencing on October 1, 2015. Additionally, on March 17, 2017, the Board of Directors also declared a special distribution on the Subordinated Profits Interests for the period commencing with their issuance through December 31, 2016 at the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate. The special distributions declared on February 28, 2017 are collectively referred to as the “Catch-Up Distribution.” The Catch-Up Distribution, which was paid on March 15, 2017, totaled $6.3 million ($2.1 million and $4.2 million on common shares and Subordinated Profits Interests, respectively.

 

On March 17, 2017, our Board of Directors declared the quarterly distribution for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017 at the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate payable to stockholders of record on the close of business on the last day of the quarter, which will be paid on or about April 15, 2017. 

 

DRIP and Share Repurchase Programs

 

Our DRIP may provide our stockholders with an opportunity to purchase additional shares of our common stock at a discount by reinvesting distributions.

 

On January 19, 2015, the Board of Directors suspended the Company’s DRIP effective April 15, 2015. For so long as the DRIP remains suspended, all future distributions will be in the form of cash.

 

Our share repurchase program may provide our stockholders with limited, interim liquidity by enabling them to sell their shares of common stock back to us, subject to restrictions. From our inception through December 31, 2015, we redeemed 0.3 million common shares at an average price per share of $9.29 per share. During 2016, we redeemed 0.2 million common shares or 100% of redemption requests received during the period, at an average price per share of $9.80 per share. We funded share redemptions for the periods noted above from the cumulative proceeds of the sale of shares of common shares pursuant to our DRIP and from our operating funds.

 

However, our Board of Directors reserves the right to terminate either program for any reason without cause by providing written notice of termination of the DRIP to all participants or written notice of termination of the share repurchase program to all stockholders.

 

Tax Status

 

We elected to be taxed as a REIT in conjunction with the filing of our 2009 U.S. federal income tax return. If we remain qualified as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our net taxable income that we distribute currently to our stockholders. To maintain our REIT qualification under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, (the “Code”), we must meet a number of organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement that we annually distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (which does not equal net income, as calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”), determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain. If we fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT in any subsequent year and do not qualify for certain statutory relief provisions, our income for that year will be taxed at regular corporate rates, and we may be precluded from qualifying for treatment as a REIT for the four-year period following our failure to qualify as a REIT. Such an event could materially adversely affect our net income and net cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

 

As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, we had no material uncertain income tax positions. Additionally, even if we qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we may still be subject to some U.S. federal, state and local taxes on our income and property and to U.S. federal income taxes and excise taxes on our undistributed income.

 

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we engage in certain activities through taxable REIT subsidiaries (“TRSs”). As such, we are subject to U.S. federal and state income and franchise taxes from these activities.

 

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Competition

 

The retail, lodging, office, industrial and residential real estate markets are highly competitive. We will compete in all of our markets with other owners and operators of retail, lodging, office, industrial and residential real estate. The continued development of new retail, lodging, office, industrial and residential properties has intensified the competition among owners and operators of these types of real estate in many market areas in which we intend to operate. We compete based on a number of factors that include location, rental rates, security, suitability of the property’s design to prospective tenants’ needs and the manner in which the property is operated and marketed. The number of competing properties in a particular market could have a material effect on our occupancy levels, rental rates and on the operating expenses of certain of our properties.

 

In addition, we will compete with other entities engaged in real estate investment activities to locate suitable properties to acquire and to locate tenants and purchasers for our properties. These competitors include other REITs, specialty finance companies, savings and loan associations, banks, mortgage bankers, insurance companies, mutual funds, institutional investors, investment banking firms, lenders, governmental bodies and other entities. There are also other REITs with asset acquisition objectives similar to ours and others that may be organized in the future. Some of these competitors, including larger REITs, have substantially greater marketing and financial resources than we will have and generally may be able to accept more risk than we can prudently manage, including risks with respect to the creditworthiness of tenants. In addition, these same entities seek financing through similar channels to those sought by us. Therefore, we will compete for institutional investors in a market where funds for real estate investment may decrease.

 

Competition from these and other third party real estate investors may limit the number of suitable investment opportunities available to us. It may also result in higher prices, lower yields and a narrower spread of yields over our borrowing costs, making it more difficult for us to acquire new investments on attractive terms. In addition, competition for desirable investments could delay the investment of proceeds from our Follow-On Offering in desirable assets, which may in turn reduce our earnings per share and negatively affect our ability to commence or maintain distributions to stockholders.

 

We believe that our senior management’s experience, coupled with our financing, professionalism, diversity of properties and reputation in the industry will enable us to compete with the other real estate investment companies.

 

Because we are organized as an UPREIT, we believe we are well positioned within the industries in which we intend to operate to offer existing owners the opportunity to contribute those properties to Lightstone REIT II in tax-deferred transactions using our Operating Partnership units as transactional currency. As a result, we believe we have a competitive advantage over most of our competitors that are structured as traditional REITs and non-REITs in pursuing acquisitions with tax-sensitive sellers.

 

Environmental

 

As an owner of real estate, we will be subject to various environmental laws of U.S. federal, state and local governments. Compliance with existing laws has not had a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations, and management does not believe it will have such an impact in the future. However, we cannot predict the impact of unforeseen environmental contingencies or new or changed laws or regulations on properties in which we hold an interest, or on properties that may be acquired directly or indirectly in the future.

 

Employees

 

We do not have employees. We entered into an advisory agreement with our advisor on February 17, 2009, pursuant to which our Advisor supervises and manages our day-to-day operations and selects our real estate and real estate related investments, subject to oversight by our Board of Directors. We have paid and will continue to pay our Advisor fees for services related to the investment and management of our assets, and we have reimbursed and will continue to reimburse our Advisor for certain expenses incurred on our behalf.

 

Available Information

 

We electronically file annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports, and proxy statements, with the SEC. Stockholders may obtain copies of our filings with the SEC, free of charge, from the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov, or at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F. Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Our office is located at 1985 Cedar Bridge Avenue, Lakewood, NJ 08701. Our telephone number is (732) 367-0129. Our website is www.lightstonecapitalmarkets.com.

 

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS:

 

Set forth below are the risk factors that we believe are material to our investors.  This section contains forward-looking statements.  You should refer to the explanation of the qualifications and limitations on forward-looking statements on page 3. If any of the risk events described below actually occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

Risks Related to the Common Stock

 

Our common stock is not currently listed on an exchange or trading market and is illiquid. There is currently no public trading market for the shares.

 

Our common stock has not been listed on a stock exchange. Accordingly, we do not expect a public trading market for our shares to develop. We may never list the shares for trading on a national stock exchange or include the shares for quotation on a national market system. The absence of an active public market for our shares could impair your ability to sell our stock at a profit or at all. Therefore, our shares should be purchased as a long term investment only.

 

Distributions to stockholders may be reduced or not made at all.

 

The amount of cash available for distributions will be affected by many factors, such as our ability to buy properties, the operating performance of the properties we acquire and many other variables. We may not be able to pay or maintain distributions or increase distributions over time. Therefore, we cannot determine what amount of cash will be available for distributions. Some of the following factors, which we believe are the material factors that can affect our ability to make distributions, are beyond our control, and a change in any one factor could adversely affect our ability to pay future distributions:

 

·Some of the properties we may acquire may be adversely affected by the recent adverse market conditions that affected real property. If our properties are adversely affected by the recent adverse market conditions, our cash flows from operations will decrease and we will have less cash available for distributions.

 

·Cash available for distributions may be reduced if we are required to make capital improvements to properties.

 

·Cash available to make distributions may decrease if the assets we acquire or investments we make have lower cash flows than expected.

 

·Until we invest any proceeds received from the dispositions of our properties, sales and redemptions of our marketable securities, redemptions or repayments of our real estate-related investments, we may invest in lower yielding short term instruments, which could result in a lower yield on stockholders’ investment.

 

·In connection with future property acquisitions, we may issue additional shares of common stock and/or Operating Partnership units or interests in the entities that own our properties. We cannot predict the number of shares of common stock, units or interests that we may issue, or the effect that these additional shares might have on cash available for distributions to you. If we issue additional shares, that issuance could reduce the cash available for distributions to you.

 

·We make distributions to our stockholders to comply with the distribution requirements of the Code, and to eliminate, or at least minimize, exposure to U.S. federal income taxes and the nondeductible REIT excise tax. Differences in timing between the receipt of income and the payment of expenses, and the effect of required debt payments, could require us to borrow funds on a short-term basis to meet the distribution requirements that are necessary to achieve the U.S. federal income tax benefits associated with qualifying as a REIT.

 

Distributions paid from sources other than our cash flow from operations will cause us to have less funds available for the acquisition of properties and real estate-related investments and may dilute your interest in us, which may adversely affect your overall return.

 

We have in the past, and may in the future, pay distributions to both stockholders and Lightstone SLP II LLC from sources other than from our cash flow from operations.  For the year ended December 31, 2016, our cash flow from operations of approximately $17.3 million was in excess of our distributions of approximately $13.0 million declared during such period, for the year ended December 31, 2015, our cash flow from operations of approximately $17.0 million was in excess of our distributions of approximately $12.3 million declared during such period and for the year ended December 31, 2014, our cash flow from operations of approximately $4.4 million was a shortfall of approximately $3.8 million, or 46%, of our distributions of approximately $8.2 million declared during such period. If we fund distributions from sources other than cash flow from operations, we will have less funds available for acquiring properties or real estate-related investments. Our inability to acquire additional properties or real estate-related investments may have a negative effect on our ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations to pay distributions. As a result, the return you realize on your investment may be reduced. Additionally, we may fund our distributions from borrowings, the sale of assets, or the sale of additional securities if we do not generate sufficient cash flow from operations to pay distributions. Funding distributions from borrowings could restrict the amount we can borrow for investments, which may affect our profitability. Funding distributions with the sale of assets may affect our ability to generate cash flows. Funding distributions from the sale of additional securities could dilute your interest in us. Payment of distributions from these sources would restrict our ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations or would affect the distributions payable to you upon a liquidity event, which may have an adverse effect on your investment.

 

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Our Board of Directors may amend, suspend or terminate our DRIP.

 

The directors, including a majority of independent directors, may by majority vote amend, suspend or terminate the DRIP upon 30 days’ notice to participants. On January 19, 2015, our Board of Directors suspended the DRIP effective April 15, 2015. For so long as the DRIP remains suspended, all future distributions will be in the form of cash. Additionally, if our Board of Directors terminates our DRIP, you will not be able to reinvest your distributions to purchase our shares at a lower price, which may have a material effect on your investment.

 

You may not be able to receive liquidity on your investment through our share repurchase program.

 

Limitations on participation in our share repurchase program, and the ability of our Board of Directors to modify or terminate the plan, may restrict your ability to participate in and receive liquidity on your investment through this program.

 

The price of our common stock is subjective and may not bear any relationship to what a stockholder could receive if it was sold.

 

Our Board of Directors determined the current net asset value of the common stock at $10.00 per share as of December 31, 2016. This value is based upon an estimated amount, which reflects, among other things, the impact of the recent trends in the economy and the real estate industry, we determined would be received if our properties and other assets were sold as of the close of our fiscal year. Because this is only an estimate, we may subsequently revise any annual valuation that is provided. It is possible that:

 

·This value may not actually be realized by us or by our stockholders upon liquidation;

 

·Stockholders may not realize this value if they were to attempt to sell their common stock; or

 

·This value may not reflect the price at which our common stock would or could trade if it were listed on a national stock exchange or included for quotation on a national market system.

 

Our common stock is not currently listed on an exchange or trading market and is illiquid.

 

There is currently no public trading market for the shares. Subsequent to the close of our public offering in September 2014, our common stock has not been listed on a stock exchange. Accordingly, we do not expect a public trading market for our shares to develop. We may never list the shares for trading on a national stock exchange or include the shares for quotation on a national market system. The absence of an active public market for our shares could impair your ability to sell our stock at a profit or at all. Therefore, our shares should be purchased as a long term investment only.

 

Your percentage of ownership may become diluted if we issue new shares of stock.

 

Stockholders have no rights to buy additional shares of stock in the event we issue new shares of stock. We may issue common stock, convertible debt or preferred stock pursuant to a subsequent public offering or a private placement, or to sellers of properties we directly or indirectly acquire instead of, or in addition to, cash consideration.

 

Our charter permits our Board of Directors to issue stock with terms that may subordinate the rights of common stockholders.

 

Our charter permits our Board of Directors to issue up to 110.0 million shares of stock, including 100.0 million shares of common stock and 10.0 million shares of preferred stock. In addition, our Board of Directors, without any action by our stockholders, may amend our charter from time to time to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares or the number of shares of any class or series of stock that we have authority to issue. Our Board of Directors may classify or reclassify any unissued common stock or preferred stock into other classes or series of stock and establish the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption of any such stock. Thus, if also approved by a majority of our independent directors not otherwise interested in the transaction, our Board of Directors could authorize the issuance of preferred stock with terms and conditions that could have a priority as to distributions and amounts payable upon liquidation over the rights of the holders of our common stock. Preferred stock could also have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of us, including an extraordinary transaction (such as a merger, tender offer or sale of all or substantially all of our assets) that might provide a premium price for holders of our common stock.

 

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Our operations could be restricted if we become subject to the Investment Company Act of 1940.

 

We are not registered, and do not intend to register ourselves or any of our subsidiaries, as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”). If we or any of our subsidiaries become obligated to register as an investment company, the registered entity would have to comply with a variety of substantive requirements under the Investment Company Act imposing, among other things:

 

·limitations on capital structure;

 

·restrictions on specified investments;

 

·prohibitions on transactions with affiliates; and

 

·compliance with reporting, record keeping, voting, proxy disclosure and other rules and regulations that would significantly change our operations.

 

Under Section 3(a)(1)(A) of the Investment Company Act, a company is deemed to be an “investment company” if it is, or holds itself out as being, engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities. Under Section 3(a)(1)(C) of the Investment Company Act, a Company is deemed to be an “investment company” if it is engaged, or proposes to engage, in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding or trading in securities and owns or proposes to acquire “investment securities” having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis, which we refer to as the “40% test.”

 

Under Section 3(c)(5)(C), the SEC staff generally requires a company to maintain at least 55% of its assets directly in qualifying assets and at least 80% of its assets in qualifying assets and in a broader category of real estate related assets to qualify for this exception. Mortgage-related securities may or may not constitute such qualifying assets, depending on the characteristics of the mortgage-related securities, including the rights that the entity has with respect to the underlying loans. Our ownership of mortgage-related securities, therefore, is limited by provisions of the Investment Company Act and SEC staff interpretations.

 

The method we use to classify our assets for purposes of the Investment Company Act will be based in large measure upon no-action positions taken by the SEC staff in the past. These no-action positions were issued in accordance with factual situations that may be substantially different from the factual situations we may face, and a number of these no-action positions were issued more than twenty years ago. No assurance can be given that the SEC staff will concur with our classification of our assets. In addition, the SEC staff may, in the future, issue further guidance that may require us to re-classify our assets for purposes of qualifying for an exclusion from regulation under the Investment Company Act. If we are required to re-classify our assets, we may no longer be in compliance with the exclusion from the definition of an “investment company” provided by Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act.

 

A change in the value of any of our assets could cause us or one or more of our wholly or majority-owned subsidiaries to fall within the definition of “investment company” and negatively affect our ability to maintain our exemption from regulation under the Investment Company Act. To avoid being required to register Lightstone REIT II or any of its subsidiaries as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, we may be unable to sell assets we would otherwise want to sell and may need to sell assets we would otherwise wish to retain. In addition, we may have to acquire additional income- or loss-generating assets that we might not otherwise have acquired or may have to forgo opportunities to acquire interests in companies that we would otherwise want to acquire and would be important to our investment strategy.

 

If we were required to register Lightstone REIT II as an investment company but failed to do so, we would be prohibited from engaging in our business and civil actions could be brought against us. In addition, our contracts would be unenforceable unless a court required enforcement, and a court could appoint a receiver to take control of us and liquidate our business.

 

Security breaches through cyber-attacks, cyber-intrusions, or otherwise, could disrupt our IT networks and related systems.

 

Risks associated with security breaches, whether through cyber-attacks or cyber-intrusions over the Internet, malware, computer viruses, attachments to e-mails, or otherwise, against persons inside our organization, persons with access to systems inside our organization, the U.S. government, financial markets or institutions, or major businesses, including tenants, could disrupt or disable networks and related systems, other critical infrastructures, and the normal operation of business.  The risk of a security breach or disruption, particularly through cyber-attack or cyber-intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments, and cyber-terrorists, has generally increased as the number, intensity, and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased.  Even though we may not be specifically targeted, cyber-attacks on the U.S. government, financial markets, financial institutions, or other major businesses, including tenants, could disrupt our normal business operations and networks, which may in turn have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Our information technology (“IT”) networks and related systems are essential to the operation of our business and our ability to perform day-to-day operations and they are subject to cybersecurity risks and threats.  They also may be critical to the operations of certain of our tenants.  Further, our Advisor provides our IT services, and there can be no assurance that their security efforts and measures will be effective or that attempted security breaches or disruptions would not be successful or damaging. It has been reported that unknown entities or groups have mounted cyber-attacks on businesses and other organizations solely to disable or disrupt computer systems, disrupt operations and, in some cases, steal data. Even the most well protected information, networks, systems, and facilities remain potentially vulnerable because the techniques used in such attempted security breaches evolve and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, and in some cases are designed not to be detected and, in fact, may not be detected.  Due to the nature of cyber-attacks, breaches to our systems could go unnoticed for a prolonged period of time. These cybersecurity risks could disrupt our operations and result in downtime, loss of revenue, or the loss of critical data as well as result in higher costs to correct and remedy the effects of such incidents. If our systems for protecting against cyber incidents or attacks prove to be insufficient and an incident were to occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. While, to date, we have not experienced a cyber-attack or cyber-intrusion, neither our Advisor nor we may be able to anticipate or implement adequate security barriers or other preventive measures.  A security breach or other significant disruption involving our IT networks and related systems could:

 

·disrupt the proper functioning of our networks and systems and therefore our operations and/or those of certain of our tenants;
·result in misstated financial reports, violations of loan covenants, missed reporting deadlines and/or missed permitting deadlines;
·result in our inability to properly monitor our compliance with the rules and regulations regarding our qualification as a REIT;
·result in the unauthorized access to, and destruction, loss, theft, misappropriation, or release of proprietary, confidential, sensitive, or otherwise valuable information of ours or others, which others could use to compete against us or for disruptive, destructive, or otherwise harmful purposes and outcomes;
·result in our inability to maintain the building systems relied upon by our tenants for the efficient use of their leased space;
·require significant management attention and resources to remedy any damages that result;
·subject us to claims for breach of contract, damages, credits, penalties, or termination of leases or other agreements; or
·damage our reputation among our tenants and stockholders generally.

 

Any or all of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows.

 

The Subordinated Profits Interests will entitle Lightstone SLP II LLC, which is wholly owned by The Lightstone Group, our Sponsor, to certain payments and distributions that will significantly reduce the distributions available to you after a 7% return.

 

Lightstone SLP II LLC will receive returns on its Subordinated Profits Interests that are subordinated to stockholders’ 7% return on their net investment. Distributions to stockholders will be reduced after they have received this 7% return because of the payments and distributions to Lightstone SLP II LLC in connection with its Subordinated Profits Interests which were issued as proceeds were raised in our offerings. In addition, we may eventually repay Lightstone SLP II LLC up to $17.7 million for its investment in the special general partner interests, which will result in a smaller pool of assets available for distribution to stockholders. Furthermore, if the advisory agreement is terminated we may repay Lightstone SLP II LLC for its investment in the Subordinated Profit Interests in connection with our offerings, which will result in a smaller pool of assets available for distribution to you.

 

We have disclosed funds from operations, or FFO, and modified funds from operations, or MFFO, which are non-GAAP financial measures that may not be meaningful for comparing the performances of different REITs, and that have certain other limitations.

 

We will use, and have disclosed to investors, FFO and MFFO, which are non-GAAP measures, as additional measures of our operating performance. We compute FFO in accordance with the standards established by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Inc., or NAREIT, a trade group. We compute MFFO in accordance with the definition established by the Investment Program Association, or the IPA, another trade group. However, our computation of FFO and MFFO may not be comparable to that of other REITs that do not calculate FFO or MFFO using these definitions without further adjustments.

 

Neither FFO nor MFFO is equivalent to net income or cash generated from operating activities determined in accordance with GAAP and should not be considered as an alternative to net income, as an indicator of our operating performance or as an alternative to cash flow from operating activities as a measure of our liquidity.

 

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Conflicts of Interest

 

There are conflicts of interest between our Advisor, our Property Managers, their affiliates and us.

 

David Lichtenstein, our Sponsor, is the founder of The Lightstone Group, LLC which he majority owns and does business in his individual capacity under that name. Through The Lightstone Group, Mr. Lichtenstein controls and indirectly owns a majority of our Advisor, our Property Managers, and their affiliates, except for us. Our Advisor does not advise any entity other than us. However, employees of our Advisor are also employed by Lightstone Value Plus REIT LLC, the Advisor to Lightstone I, Lightstone Value Plus REIT III LLC, the Advisor to Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust III, Inc. (“Lightstone III”), and Lightstone Real Estate Income LLC, the Advisor to Lightstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc., Hamilton National Income Trust LLC, the Advisor to Hamilton National Income Trust, Inc., LSG-BH I Advisor LLC the Advisor to Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I, Inc. and LSG-BH II Advisor LLC the Advisor to Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT II, Inc., all non-traded REIT with similar investment objectives to ours. Mr. Lichtenstein is one of our directors and The Lightstone Group (or an affiliated entity controlled by Mr. Lichtenstein) employs each of our officers. As a result, our operation and management may be influenced or affected by conflicts of interest arising out of our relationship with related parties.

 

There is competition for the time and services of the personnel of our Advisor and its affiliates.

 

Our Sponsor and its affiliates may compete with us for the time and services of the personnel of our Advisor and its other affiliates in connection with our operation and the management of our assets. Specifically, employees of our Sponsor, the Advisor and our Property Managers will face conflicts of interest relating to time management and the allocation of resources and investment opportunities.

 

We do not have employees.

 

We and our Advisor will rely on the employees of the Sponsor and its affiliates to manage and operate our business. The Sponsor is not restricted from acquiring, developing, operating, managing, leasing or selling real estate through entities other than us and will continue to be actively involved in operations and activities other than our operations and activities. The Sponsor currently controls and/or operates other entities that own properties in many of the markets in which we may seek to invest. The Sponsor spends a material amount of time managing these properties and other assets unrelated to our business. Our business may suffer as a result because we lack the ability to manage it without the time and attention of our Sponsor’s employees.

 

Our Sponsor and its affiliates are general partners and Sponsors of other real estate programs having investment objectives and legal and financial obligations similar to ours. Because the Sponsor and its affiliates have interests in other real estate programs and also engage in other business activities, they may have conflicts of interest in allocating their time and resources among our business and these other activities. Our officers and directors, as well as those of the Advisor, may own equity interests in entities affiliated with our Sponsor from which we may buy properties. These individuals may make substantial profits in connection with such transactions, which could result in conflicts of interest. Likewise, such individuals could make substantial profits as the result of investment opportunities allocated to entities affiliated with the Sponsor other than us. As a result of these interests, they could pursue transactions that may not be in our best interest. Also, if our Sponsor suffers financial or operational problems as the result of any of its activities, whether or not related to our business, the ability of our Sponsor and its affiliates, our Advisor and Property Manager to operate our business could be adversely impacted.

 

Certain of related parties who provide services to us may be engaged in competitive activities.

 

Our Advisor, Property Managers and their respective affiliates may, in the future, be engaged in other activities that could result in potential conflicts of interest with the services that they will provide to us. In addition, the Sponsor may compete with us for both the acquisition and/or refinancing of properties of a type suitable for our investment after 75% of the total gross proceeds from our offering have been invested or committed for investment in real properties.

 

Our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs may be engaged in competitive activities.

 

Our Advisor, Property Managers and their respective affiliates through activities of our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs may be engaged in other activities that could result in potential conflicts of interest with the services that they will provide to us, including our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs may compete with us for both the acquisition and/or refinancing of properties of a type suitable for our investment.

 

If we invest in joint ventures, the objectives of our partners may conflict with our objectives.

 

In accordance with one of our acquisition strategies, we may make investments in joint ventures or other partnership arrangements between us and affiliates of our Sponsor or with unaffiliated third parties. Investments in joint ventures which own real properties may involve risks otherwise not present when we purchase real properties directly. For example, our co-venturer may file for bankruptcy protection, may have economic or business interests or goals which are inconsistent with our interests or goals, or may take actions contrary to our instructions, requests, policies or objectives. Among other things, actions by a co-venturer might subject real properties owned by the joint venture to liabilities greater than those contemplated by the terms of the joint venture or other adverse consequences.

 

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These diverging interests could result in, among other things, exposing us to liabilities of the joint venture in excess of our proportionate share of these liabilities. The partition rights of each owner in a jointly owned property could reduce the value of each portion of the divided property. Moreover, there is an additional risk that the co-venturers may not be able to agree on matters relating to the property they jointly own. In addition, the fiduciary obligation that our Sponsor or our Board of Directors may owe to our partner in an affiliated transaction may make it more difficult for us to enforce our rights.

 

We may purchase real properties from persons with whom affiliates of our Advisor have prior business relationships.

 

If we purchase properties from third parties who have sold, or may sell, properties to our Advisors or its affiliates, our Advisor will experience a conflict between our current interests and its interest in preserving any ongoing business relationship with these sellers.

 

Property management services are being provided by related parties.

 

Our Property Managers, which manage certain of our acquired properties, are controlled by our Sponsor, and are thus subject to an inherent conflict of interest. In addition, our Advisor may face a conflict of interest when determining whether we should dispose of any property we own that is managed by one of our Property Managers because the Property Managers may lose fees associated with the management of the property. Specifically, because the Property Managers will receive significant fees for managing our properties, our Advisor may face a conflict of interest when determining whether we should sell properties under circumstances where the Property Managers would no longer manage the property after the transaction. As a result of this conflict of interest, we may not dispose of properties when it would be in our best interests to do so.

 

Our Advisor and its affiliates receive commissions, fees and other compensation based upon our investments.

 

Some compensation is payable to our Advisor whether or not there is cash available to make distributions to our stockholders. To the extent this occurs, our Advisor and its affiliates benefit from us retaining ownership of our assets and leveraging our assets, while our stockholders may be better served by sale or disposition or not leveraging the assets. In addition, the Advisor’s ability to receive fees and reimbursements depends on our continued investment in real properties. Therefore, the interest of the Advisor and its affiliates in receiving fees may conflict with the interest of our stockholders in earning income on their investment in our common stock. Because asset management fees payable to our Advisor are based on total assets under management, including assets purchased using debt; our Advisor may have an incentive to incur a high level of leverage in order to increase the total amount of assets under management.

 

Our Sponsor may face conflicts of interest in connection with the management of our day-to-day operations and in the enforcement of agreements between our Sponsor and its affiliates.

 

Our Advisor manages our day-to-day operations pursuant to the advisory agreement and our Property Managers manage certain of our properties pursuant to management agreements. With the exception of those agreements that we have entered into with third party property managers, these agreements were not negotiated at arm’s length and certain fees payable by us under such agreements are paid regardless of our performance. Our Sponsor and its affiliates may be in a conflict of interest position as to matters relating to these agreements. Examples include the computation of fees and reimbursements under such agreements, the enforcement and/or termination of the agreements and the priority of payments to third parties as opposed to amounts paid to our Sponsor’s affiliates. These fees may be higher than fees charged by third parties in an arm’s length transaction as a result of these conflicts.

 

Title insurance services are being provided by a related party. From time to time, we purchase title insurance from an agent in which our Sponsor owns a fifty percent limited partnership interest. Because this title insurance agent receives significant fees for providing title insurance, our Advisor may face a conflict of interest when considering the terms of purchasing title insurance from this agent. However, prior to our purchase of any title insurance, an independent title consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the title insurance industry reviews the transaction, and performs market research and competitive analysis on our behalf. This process results in terms similar to those that would be negotiated at an arm’s-length basis.

 

We may compete with other entities affiliated with our Sponsor for tenants.

 

The Sponsor and its affiliates, as well as our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs are not prohibited from engaging, directly or indirectly, in any other business or from possessing interests in any other business venture or ventures, including businesses and ventures involved in the acquisition, development, ownership, management, leasing or sale of real estate projects. The Sponsor, its affiliates or the Sponsor’s Other Public Programs may own and/or manage properties in most if not all geographical areas in which we expect to acquire real estate assets. Therefore, our properties may compete for tenants with other properties owned and/or managed by the Sponsor and its affiliates. The Sponsor may face conflicts of interest when evaluating tenant opportunities for our properties and other properties owned and/or managed by the Sponsor, its affiliates or the Sponsor’s Other Public Programs and these conflicts of interest may have a negative impact on our ability to attract and retain tenants.

 

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Members of our Board of Directors are also on the Board of Directors of Our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs.

 

Certain of our directors are also directors of our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs. Accordingly, each of our directors owes fiduciary duties to our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs and their respective stockholders. The duties of our directors to our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs may influence the judgment of our Board of Directors when considering issues that may affect us. For example, we are permitted to enter into a joint venture or preferred equity investment with our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs for the acquisition of property or real estate-related investments. Decisions of our Board of Directors regarding the terms of those transactions may be influenced by our directors’ duties to our Sponsor’s Other Public Programs and their respective stockholders.

 

Risks Related to our Organization, Structure and Management

 

Anti-takeover provisions may have the effect of preventing a change of control.

 

Because of the way we are organized, we would be a difficult takeover target. Certain provisions in our charter, bylaws, Operating Partnership agreement, advisory agreement and Maryland law may have the effect of discouraging a third party from making an acquisition proposal and could thereby depress the price of our stock and inhibit a management change.

 

There are ownership limits and restrictions on transferability and ownership in our charter.

 

In order for us to qualify as a REIT, no more than 50% of the outstanding shares of our stock may be beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of each taxable year. To make sure that we will not fail to qualify as a REIT under this test, our charter provides that, subject to some exceptions, no person may beneficially own (i) more than 9.8% in value of our aggregate outstanding stock or (ii) more than 9.8% in value or in the number of outstanding shares or any class or series of our stock, including our common stock. Our Board of Directors may exempt a person from the 9.8% ownership limit upon the receipt of certain representation and undertakings required by our charter and such other conditions as the Board of Directors may direct. However, our Board of Directors may not grant an exemption from the 9.8% ownership limit to any proposed transferee if it would result in our being “closely held” within the meaning of the Code or otherwise failing to qualify as a REIT.

 

This restriction may:

 

·Have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of us, including an extraordinary transaction (such as a merger, tender offer or sale of all or substantially all of our assets) that might provide a premium price for holders of our common stock; or

 

·Compel a stockholder who had acquired more than 9.8% of our stock to dispose of the additional shares and, as a result to forfeit the benefits of owning the additional shares.

 

Our charter permits our Board of Directors to issue preferred stock with terms that may discourage a third party from acquiring us. Our charter authorizes us to issue additional authorized but unissued shares of common stock or preferred stock. In addition, our Board of Directors may classify or reclassify any unissued shares of common stock or preferred stock into other classes or series of stock and may set the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions and limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption of the classified or reclassified shares. Our Board of Directors could establish a series of preferred stock that could delay or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for the common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders.

 

If our Advisor loses or is unable to obtain key personnel, our ability to implement our investment strategies could be hindered, which could adversely affect our ability to make distributions and the value of your investment.

 

Our success depends to a significant degree upon the contributions of certain of our executive officers and other key personnel of our Advisor. In particular, we depend on the skills and expertise of David Lichtenstein, who, subject to the oversight of our Board of Directors, directs our investment strategies. Neither we nor our Advisor has employment agreements with any of our or its key personnel, including Mr. Lichtenstein, and we cannot guarantee that all, or any particular one, will remain affiliated with us or our Advisor. If any of our key personnel were to cease their affiliation with our Advisor, our operating results could suffer.

 

Further, we do not intend to separately maintain key person life insurance that would provide us with proceeds in the event of the death or disability of Mr. Lichtenstein or any of our key personnel. We believe our future success depends upon our Advisor’s ability to hire and retain highly skilled managerial, operational and marketing personnel. Competition for such personnel is intense, and we cannot assure you that our Advisor will be successful in attracting and retaining such skilled personnel. If our Advisor loses or is unable to obtain the services of key personnel, our ability to implement our investment strategies could be delayed or hindered, and the value of your investment could decline.

 

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The Operating Partnership agreement contains provisions that may discourage a third party from acquiring us.

 

A limited partner in Lightstone Value Plus REIT II LP, a Delaware limited partnership and our Operating Partnership, has the option to exchange his or her limited partnership units for cash or, at our option, shares of our common stock. Those exchange rights are generally not exercisable until the limited partner has held those limited partnership units for more than one year. However, if we or the Operating Partnership propose to engage in any merger, consolidation or other combination with or into another person or a sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or a liquidation, or any reclassification, recapitalization or change of common and preferred stock into which a limited partnership common unit may be exchanged, each holder of a limited partnership unit will have the right to exchange the partnership unit into cash or, at our option, shares of common stock, prior to the stockholder vote on the transaction. As a result, limited partnership unit holders who timely exchange their units prior to the record date for the stockholder vote on any transaction will be entitled to vote their shares of common stock with respect to the transaction. The additional shares that might be outstanding as a result of these exchanges of limited partnership units may deter an acquisition proposal.

 

Maryland law may discourage a third party from acquiring us.

 

Certain provisions of Maryland law restrict mergers and other business combinations and provide that holders of control shares of a Maryland corporation acquired in a control share acquisition may have limited voting rights. The business combination statute could have the effect of discouraging offers from third parties to acquire us and increasing the difficulty of successfully completing this type of offer. The control share statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer. Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share acquisition statute any acquisition by any person of shares of our stock, however, this provision may be amended or eliminated at any time in the future.

 

Management and Policy Changes

 

Our rights and the rights of our stockholders to take action against the directors and the Advisor are limited.

 

Maryland law provides that a director has no liability in that capacity if he or she performs his duties in good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation and with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. Subject to the restrictions discussed below, our charter, in the case of our directors and officers, and our charter and the advisory agreement, in the case of the Advisor, require us generally to indemnify our directors and officers and the Advisor for actions taken on our behalf, determined in good faith and in our best interest and without negligence or misconduct or, in the case of independent directors, without gross negligence or willful misconduct. We may, with the approval of our Board of Directors, provide indemnification to any of our employees or agents. As a result, we and the stockholders may have more limited rights against our directors, officers, employees and agents, and the Advisor than might otherwise exist under common law. In addition, we may be obligated to fund the defense costs incurred by our directors, officers, employees and agents or the Advisor in some cases.

 

Stockholders have limited control over changes in our policies.

 

Our Board of Directors determines our investment objectives, financing, growth, debt capitalization, REIT qualification and distributions. Subject to the investment objectives and limitations set forth in our charter, our Board of Directors may amend or revise these and other objectives and strategies. Stockholders will have limited control over changes in our objectives and strategies.

 

If we internalize our external management functions, your interest in us could be diluted, and we could incur other significant costs associated with being self-managed.

 

Our strategy may involve becoming “self-managed” by internalizing our management functions, particularly if we seek to list our shares on an exchange as a way of providing our stockholders with a liquidity event. The method by which we could internalize these functions could take many forms. We may hire our own group of executives and other employees or we may elect to negotiate to acquire our advisor’s and Property Managers’ assets and personnel. At this time, we cannot be sure of the form or amount of consideration or other terms relating to any such acquisition. Such consideration could take many forms, including cash payments, promissory notes and shares of our stock. An internalization transaction could result in significant payments to affiliates of our advisor irrespective of whether you enjoyed satisfactory returns on your investment. The payment of such consideration could result in dilution of your interests as a stockholder and could reduce the net income per Common Share and MFFO per Common Share attributable to your investment. We will not be required to seek a stockholder vote to become self-managed.

 

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In addition, our direct expenses would include general and administrative costs, including legal, accounting and other expenses related to corporate governance and SEC reporting and compliance. If stockholders or other interested parties file a lawsuit related to, or challenging, an internalization transaction, we could incur high litigation costs that would adversely affect the value of your shares. We also would incur the compensation and benefits costs of our officers and other employees and consultants that are now paid by our advisor or its affiliates. In addition, we may issue restricted shares under our Employee and Director Incentive Restricted Share Plan, which awards would decrease net income and MFFO and may further dilute your investment. We cannot reasonably estimate the amount of fees to our advisor and its affiliates we would save and the costs we would incur if we became self-managed. If the expenses we assume as a result of an internalization are higher than the expenses we avoid paying to our advisor and its affiliates, our net income per Common Share and FFO per Common Share would be lower as a result of the internalization than it otherwise would have been, potentially decreasing the amount of funds available to distribute to our stockholders and the value of our shares.

 

As currently organized, we do not directly employ any employees. If we elect to internalize our operations, we would employ personnel and would be subject to potential liabilities commonly faced by employers, such as workers disability and compensation claims, potential labor disputes and other employee-related liabilities and grievances. Nothing in our charter prohibits us from entering into the transaction described above.

 

Additionally, there is no assurance that internalizing our management functions will prove to be beneficial to us and our stockholders. We could have difficulty integrating our management functions as a stand-alone entity. Certain personnel of our advisor and its affiliates perform property management, asset management and general and administrative functions, including accounting and financial reporting, for multiple entities. We could fail to properly identify the appropriate mix of personnel and capital needs to operate as a stand-alone entity. An inability to manage an internalization transaction effectively could thus result in our incurring excess costs or suffering deficiencies in our disclosure controls and procedures or our internal control over financial reporting. Such deficiencies could cause us to incur additional costs, and our management’s attention could be diverted from most effectively managing our portfolio of investments.”

 

Certain of our related parties have received or will receive substantial fees prior to the payment of distributions to our stockholders.

 

We have paid or will cause to be paid substantial compensation to our Advisor and its affiliates and their employees. In general, this compensation will not be dependent on our success or profitability. These payments are payable before the payment of distributions to our stockholders and none of these payments are subordinated to a specified return to our stockholders. Also, our Property Managers, which are affiliates of our Sponsor, receive compensation under management agreements prior to the payment of distributions to our stockholders. In addition, other affiliates of our Sponsor may from time to time provide services to us if approved by the disinterested directors. It is possible that we could obtain such goods and services from unrelated persons at a lesser price.

 

Limitations on Liability and Indemnification

 

The liability of directors and officers is limited.

 

Subject to any additional limitations set forth in our charter, our directors and officers will not be liable to us or our stockholders for monetary damages unless the director or officer actually received an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services, or is adjudged to be liable to us or our stockholders based on a finding that his or her action, or failure to act, was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty and was material to the cause of action adjudicated in the proceeding.

 

Our directors are also required to act in good faith in a manner believed by them to be in our best interests and with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. A director who performs his or her duties in accordance with the foregoing standards should not be liable to us or any other person for failure to discharge his obligations as a director. We are permitted to purchase and maintain insurance or provide similar protection on behalf of any directors, officers, employees and agents, including our Advisor and its affiliates, against any liability asserted which was incurred in any such capacity with us or arising out of such status, except as limited by our charter. This may result in us having to expend significant funds, which will reduce the available cash for distribution to our stockholders.

 

We may indemnify our directors, officers and agents against loss.

 

Under our charter, we will, under specified conditions, indemnify and pay or reimburse reasonable expenses to our directors, officers, employees and other agents, including our Advisor and its affiliates, against all liabilities incurred in connection with their serving in such capacities, subject to the limitations set forth in our charter. Our Advisor and its affiliates may be indemnified and held harmless from liability only if it has been determined in good faith that its actions were in our best interests and it has acted in a manner not constituting negligence or misconduct. We may also enter into any contract for indemnity and advancement of expenses in this regard. This may result in us having to expend significant funds, which will reduce the available cash for distribution to our stockholders.

 

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Risks Associated with Our Properties and the Market

 

Real Estate Investment Risks

 

Operating risks:

 

Our cash flows from real estate investments may become insufficient to pay our operating expenses and to cover the distributions we have paid and/or declared.

 

We intend to rely primarily on our cash flow from our investments to pay our operating expenses and to make distributions to our stockholders. The cash flow from equity investments in commercial, residential and hospitality properties depends on the amount of revenue generated and expenses incurred in operating the properties. If the properties we invest in fail to generate revenue that is sufficient to meet operating expenses, debt service, and capital expenditures, our income and ability to make distributions to stockholders will be adversely affected. We cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain sufficient cash flows to fund operating expenses and debt service payments and distributions at any particular level, if at all. The sufficiency of cash flow to fund future distributions will depend on the performance of our real property investments.

 

Economic conditions may adversely affect our income.

 

A commercial, residential or hospitality property’s income and value may be adversely affected by national and regional economic conditions, local real estate conditions such as an oversupply of properties or a reduction in demand for properties, availability of “for sale” properties, competition from other similar properties, our ability to provide adequate maintenance, insurance and management services, increased operating costs (including real estate taxes), the attractiveness and location of the property and changes in market rental rates. A rise in energy costs could result in higher operating costs, which may affect our results from operations. Our income will be adversely affected if a significant number of tenants are unable to pay rent or if our properties cannot be rented on favorable terms. Additionally, if tenants of properties that we lease on a triple-net basis fail to pay required tax, utility and other impositions, we could be required to pay those costs, which would adversely affect funds available for future acquisitions or cash available for distributions. Our performance is linked to economic conditions in the regions where our properties will be located and in the market for residential, office, retail and industrial space generally. Therefore, to the extent that there are adverse economic conditions in those regions, and in these markets generally, that impact the applicable market rents, such conditions could result in a reduction of our income and cash available for distributions and thus affect the amount of distributions we can make to you.

 

The profitability of our acquisitions is uncertain.

 

Acquisition of properties entails risks that investments will fail to perform in accordance with expectations. In undertaking these acquisitions, we will incur certain risks, including the expenditure of funds on, and the devotion of management’s time to, transactions that may not come to fruition. Additional risks inherent in acquisitions include risks that the properties will not achieve anticipated occupancy levels and that estimates of the costs of improvements to bring an acquired property up to standards established for the market position intended for that property may prove inaccurate.

 

Real estate investments are illiquid.

 

Because real estate investments are relatively illiquid, our ability to vary our portfolio promptly in response to economic or other conditions will be limited. In addition, certain significant expenditures, such as debt service, real estate taxes, and operating and maintenance costs generally are not reduced in circumstances resulting in a reduction in income from the investment. The foregoing and any other factor or event that would impede our ability to respond to adverse changes in the performance of our investments could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Rising expenses could reduce cash flow and funds available for future acquisitions.

 

Our properties will be subject to increases in tax rates, utility costs, operating expenses, insurance costs, repairs and maintenance, administrative and other expenses. While some of our properties may be leased on a triple-net-lease basis or require the tenants to pay a portion of the expenses, renewals of leases or future leases may not be negotiated on that basis, in which event we will have to pay those costs. If we are unable to lease properties on a triple-net-lease basis or on a basis requiring the tenants to pay all or some of the expenses, we would be required to pay those costs, which could adversely affect funds available for future acquisitions or cash available for distributions.

 

We may depend on tenants who lease from us on a triple-net basis to pay the appropriate portion of expenses.

 

If the tenants who lease from us on a triple-net basis fail to pay required tax, utility and other impositions, we could be required to pay those costs for properties we invest in, which would adversely affect funds available for future acquisitions or cash available for distributions. If we lease properties on a triple-net basis, we run the risk of tenant default or downgrade in the tenant’s credit, which could lead to default and foreclosure on the underlying property.

 

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If we purchase assets at a time when the commercial, residential and hospitality real estate market is experiencing substantial influxes of capital investment and competition for properties, the real estate we purchase may not appreciate or may decrease in value.

 

The commercial, residential and hospitality real estate markets may experience substantial influxes of capital from investors. This substantial flow of capital, combined with significant competition for real estate, may result in inflated purchase prices for such assets. To the extent we purchase real estate in such an environment, we are subject to the risk that if the real estate market ceases to attract the same level of capital investment in the future as it is currently attracting, or if the number of companies seeking to acquire such assets decreases, our returns will be lower and the value of our assets may not appreciate or may decrease significantly below the amount we paid for such assets.

 

The bankruptcy or insolvency of a major commercial tenant would adversely impact us.

 

Any or all of our commercial tenants, or a guarantor of a commercial tenant’s lease obligations, could be subject to a bankruptcy proceeding. The bankruptcy or insolvency of a significant commercial tenant or a number of smaller commercial tenants would have an adverse impact on our income and our ability to pay distributions because a tenant or lease guarantor bankruptcy could delay efforts to collect past due balances under the relevant leases, and could ultimately preclude full collection of these sums. Such an event could cause a decrease or cessation of rental payments, which would mean a reduction in our cash flow and the amount available for distributions to stockholders.

 

Generally, under bankruptcy law, a tenant has the option of continuing or terminating any unexpired lease. In the event of a bankruptcy, we cannot assure you that the tenant or its trustee will continue our lease. If a given lease, or guaranty of a lease, is not assumed, our cash flow and the amounts available for distributions to you may be adversely affected. If the tenant continues its current lease, the tenant must cure all defaults under the lease and provide adequate assurance of its future performance under the lease. If the tenant terminates the lease, we will lose future rent under the lease and our claim for past due amounts owing under the lease will be treated as a general unsecured claim and may be subject to certain limitations. General unsecured claims are the last claims paid in a bankruptcy and therefore this claim could be paid only in the event funds were available, and then only in the same percentage as that realized on other unsecured claims.

 

The terms of new leases may adversely impact our income.

 

Even if the tenants of the properties we invest in do renew their leases, or we relet the units to new tenants, the terms of renewal or reletting may be less favorable than current lease terms. If the lease rates upon renewal or reletting are significantly lower than expected rates, then our results of operations and financial condition will be adversely affected. As noted above, certain significant expenditures associated with each equity investment in real estate (such as mortgage payments, real estate taxes and maintenance costs) are generally not reduced when circumstances result in a reduction in rental income.

 

We may depend on commercial tenants for our revenue and therefore our revenue may depend on the success and economic viability of our commercial tenants. Our reliance on single or significant commercial tenants in certain buildings may decrease our ability to lease vacated space.

 

Our financial results will depend in part on leasing space in the properties we acquire to tenants on economically favorable terms. A default by a commercial tenant, the failure of a guarantor to fulfill its obligations or other premature termination of a lease, or a commercial tenant’s election not to extend a lease upon its expiration could have an adverse effect on our income, general financial condition and ability to pay distributions. Therefore, our financial success depends on the success of the businesses operated by the commercial tenants of our properties.

 

Lease payment defaults by commercial tenants would most likely cause us to reduce the amount of distributions to stockholders. In the event of a tenant default, we may experience delays in enforcing our rights as landlord and may incur substantial costs in protecting our investment and re-letting our property. A default by a significant commercial tenant or a substantial number of commercial tenants at any one time on lease payments to us would cause us to lose the revenue associated with such lease(s) and cause us to have to find an alternative source of revenue to meet mortgage payments and prevent a foreclosure if the property is subject to a mortgage. Therefore, lease payment defaults by tenants could cause us to reduce the amount of distributions to stockholders.

 

Even if the tenants of our properties do renew their leases or we relet the units to new tenants, the terms of renewal or reletting may be less favorable than current lease terms. If the lease rates upon renewal or reletting are significantly lower than expected rates, then our results of operations and financial condition will be adversely affected. Commercial tenants may have the right to terminate their leases upon the occurrence of certain customary events of default and, in other circumstances, may not renew their leases or, because of market conditions, may be able to renew their leases on terms that are less favorable to us than the terms of the current leases. If a lease is terminated, we cannot assure you that we will be able to lease the property for the rent previously received or sell the property without incurring a loss. Therefore, the weakening of the financial condition of a significant commercial tenant or a number of smaller commercial tenants and vacancies caused by defaults of tenants or the expiration of leases may adversely affect our operations.

 

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A property that incurs a vacancy could be difficult to re-lease.

 

A property may incur a vacancy either by the continued default of a tenant under its lease or the expiration of one of our leases. If we terminate any lease following a default by a lessee, we will have to re-lease the affected property in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT. If a tenant vacates a property, we may be unable either to re-lease the property for the rent due under the prior lease or to re-lease the property without incurring additional expenditures relating to the property. In addition, we could experience delays in enforcing our rights against, and collecting rents (and, in some cases, real estate taxes and insurance costs) due from a defaulting tenant. Any delay we experience in re-leasing a property or difficulty in re-leasing at acceptable rates may reduce cash available to make distributions to our stockholders.

 

In many cases, tenant leases contain provisions giving the tenant the exclusive right to sell particular types of merchandise or provide specific types of services within the particular retail center, or limit the ability of other tenants to sell such merchandise or provide such services. When re-leasing space after a vacancy is necessary, these provisions may limit the number and types of prospective tenants for the vacant space.

 

We also may have to incur substantial expenditures in connection with any re-leasing. A number of our properties may be specifically suited to the particular needs of our tenants. Therefore, we may have difficulty obtaining a new tenant for any vacant space we have in our properties, particularly if the floor plan of the vacant space limits the types of businesses that can use the space without major renovation. If the vacancy continues for a long period of time, we may suffer reduced revenues resulting in less cash to be distributed to stockholders. As noted above, certain significant expenditures associated with each equity investment (such as mortgage payments, real estate taxes and maintenance costs) are generally not reduced when circumstances cause a reduction in income from the investment. The failure to re-lease or to re-lease on satisfactory terms could result in a reduction of our income, funds from operations and cash available for distributions and thus affect the amount of distributions to you. In addition, the resale value of the property could be diminished because the market value of a particular property will depend principally upon the value of the leases of such property.

 

We may be unable to sell a property if or when we decide to do so.

 

We may give some commercial tenants the right, but not the obligation, to purchase their properties from us beginning a specified number of years after the date of the lease. Some of our leases also generally provide the tenant with a right of first refusal on any proposed sale provisions. These policies may lessen the ability of the Advisor and our Board of Directors to freely control the sale of the property.

 

Although we may grant a lessee a right of first offer or option to purchase a property, there is no assurance that the lessee will exercise that right or that the price offered by the lessee in the case of a right of first offer will be adequate. In connection with the acquisition of a property, we may agree on restrictions that prohibit the sale of that property for a period of time or impose other restrictions, such as a limitation on the amount of debt that can be placed or repaid on that property. Even absent such restrictions, the real estate market is affected by many factors, such as general economic conditions, availability of financing, interest rates and other factors, including supply and demand, that are beyond our control. We may not be able to sell any property for the price or on the terms set by us, and prices or other terms offered by a prospective purchaser may not be acceptable to us. We cannot predict the length of time needed to find a willing purchaser and to close the sale of a property. We may be required to expend funds to correct defects or to make improvements before a property can be sold. We may not have funds available to correct such defects or to make such improvements.

 

We may not make a profit if we sell a property.

 

The prices that we can obtain when we determine to sell a property will depend on many factors that are presently unknown, including the operating history, tax treatment of real estate investments, demographic trends in the area and available financing. There is a risk that we will not realize any significant appreciation on our investment in a property. Accordingly, your ability to recover all or any portion of your investment under such circumstances will depend on the amount of funds so realized and claims to be satisfied there from.

 

We may incur liabilities in connection with properties we acquire.

 

Our anticipated acquisition activities are subject to many risks. We may acquire properties or entities that are subject to liabilities or that have problems relating to environmental condition, state of title, physical condition or compliance with zoning laws, building codes, or other legal requirements. In each case, our acquisition may be without any recourse, or with only limited recourse, with respect to unknown liabilities or conditions. As a result, if any liability were asserted against us relating to those properties or entities, or if any adverse condition existed with respect to the properties or entities, we might have to pay substantial sums to settle or cure it, which could adversely affect our cash flow and operating results. We will attempt to obtain appropriate representations and indemnities from the sellers of the properties or entities we acquire, although it is possible that the sellers may not have the resources to satisfy their indemnification obligations if a liability arises. Unknown liabilities to third parties with respect to properties or entities acquired might include:

 

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·liabilities for clean-up of undisclosed environmental contamination;
·claims by tenants, vendors or other persons dealing with the former owners of the properties;
·liabilities incurred in the ordinary course of business; and
·claims for indemnification by general partners, directors, officers and others indemnified by the former owners of the properties.

 

Competition with third parties in acquiring and operating properties may reduce our profitability and the return on your investment.

 

We compete with many other entities engaged in real estate investment activities, many of which have greater resources than we do. Specifically, there are numerous commercial developers, real estate companies, REITs and U.S. institutional and foreign investors that operate in the markets in which we may operate, that will compete with us in acquiring residential, office, retail, lodging, industrial and other properties that will be seeking investments and tenants for these properties. Many of these entities have significant financial and other resources, including operating experience, allowing them to compete effectively with us. Competitors with substantially greater financial resources than us may generally be able to accept more risk than we can prudently manage, including risks with respect to the creditworthiness of entities in which investments may be made or risks attendant to a geographic concentration of investments. In addition, those competitors that are not REITs may be at an advantage to the extent they can utilize working capital to finance projects, while we will be required by the annual distribution provisions under the Code to distribute significant amounts of cash from operations to our stockholders. Demand from third parties for properties that meet our investment objectives could result in an increase in the price of such properties. If we pay higher prices for properties, our profitability may be reduced and you may experience a lower return on your investment. In addition, our properties may be located in close proximity to other properties that will compete against our properties for tenants. These competing properties may be better located and/or appointed than the properties that we will acquire, giving these properties a competitive advantage over our properties, and we may, in the future, face additional competition from properties not yet constructed or even planned. This competition could adversely affect our business. The number of competitive properties could have a material effect on our ability to rent space at our properties and the amount of rents charged. We could be adversely affected if additional competitive properties are built in locations competitive with our properties, causing increased competition for residential renters, retail customer traffic and creditworthy commercial tenants. In addition, our ability to charge premium rental rates to tenants may be negatively impacted. This increased competition may increase our costs of acquisitions or lower the occupancies and the rent we may charge tenants. This could result in decreased cash flow from tenants and may require us to make capital improvements to properties which we would not have otherwise made, thus affecting cash available for distributions to you.

 

We may not have control over costs arising from rehabilitation of properties.

 

We may elect to acquire properties which may require rehabilitation. In particular, we may acquire affordable properties that we will rehabilitate and convert to market rate properties. Consequently, we intend to retain independent general contractors to perform the actual physical rehabilitation work and will be subject to risks in connection with a contractor’s ability to control rehabilitation costs, the timing of completion of rehabilitation, and a contractor’s ability to build in conformity with plans and specifications.

 

We may incur losses as a result of defaults by the purchasers of properties we sell in certain circumstances.

 

Under certain circumstances, we may sell our properties by providing financing to purchasers. When we provide financing to purchasers, we will bear the risk of default by the purchaser and will be subject to remedies provided by law. There are no limitations or restrictions on our ability to take purchase money obligations. We may incur losses as a result of such defaults, which may adversely affect our available cash and our ability to make distributions to stockholders.

 

We may experience energy shortages and allocations.

 

There may be shortages or increased costs of fuel, natural gas, water, electric power or allocations thereof by suppliers or governmental regulatory bodies in the areas where we purchase properties, in which event the operation of our properties may be adversely affected. Increased costs of fuel may reduce discretionary spending on luxury retail items, which may adversely affect our retail tenants if we purchase retail properties. Our revenues will be dependent upon payment of rent by retailers, which may be particularly vulnerable to uncertainty in the local economy and rising costs of energy for their customers. Such adverse economic conditions could affect the ability of our tenants to pay rent, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition, as well as our ability to pay distributions to you.

 

We have limited experience with international investments.

 

Neither we nor our Sponsor, The Lightstone Group, or any of its affiliates has any substantial experience investing in properties or other real estate-related assets located outside the United States. We may acquire real estate assets located outside the United States and may make or purchase mortgage or mezzanine loans made by a buyer located outside of the United States or secured by property located outside of the United States. We may not have the expertise necessary to maximize the return on our international investments.

 

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Your investment may be subject to additional risks if we make international investments.

 

We may purchase real estate assets located outside the United States and may make or purchase mortgage or mezzanine loans or joint venture interests in mortgage or mezzanine loans made by a borrower located outside the United States or secured by property located outside the United States. Any international investments may be affected by factors peculiar to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the borrower or the property is located. These laws may expose us to risks that are different from and in addition to those commonly found in the United States. Foreign investments could be subject to the following risks:

 

·governmental laws, rules and policies, including laws relating to the foreign ownership of real property or mortgages and laws relating to the ability of foreign persons or corporations to remove profits earned from activities within the country to the person’s or corporation’s country of origin;
·variations in currency exchange rates or exchange controls or other currency restrictions and fluctuations in exchange ratios related to foreign currency;
·adverse market conditions caused by inflation or other changes in national or local economic conditions;
·changes in relative interest rates;
·changes in the availability, cost and terms of mortgage funds resulting from varying national economic policies;
·changes in real estate and other tax rates, the tax treatment of transaction structures and other changes in operating expenses in a particular country where we have an investment;
·lack of uniform accounting standards (including availability of information in accordance with GAAP);
·changes in land use and zoning laws;
·more stringent environmental laws or changes in these laws;
·changes in the social stability or other political, economic or diplomatic developments in or affecting a country where we have an investment;
·legal and logistical barriers to enforcing our contractual rights; and
·expropriation, confiscatory taxation and nationalization of our assets located in the markets where we operate.

 

Any of these risks could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

We may acquire properties with lockout provisions which may prohibit us from selling a property, or may require us to maintain specified debt levels for a period of years on some properties.

 

We may acquire properties in exchange for Operating Partnership units and agree to restrictions on sales or refinancing, called “lockout” provisions that are intended to preserve favorable tax treatment for the owners of such properties who sell them to us. Lockout provisions may restrict sales or refinancings for a certain period in order to comply with the applicable government regulations. Lockout provisions could materially restrict us from selling or otherwise disposing of or refinancing properties. This would affect our ability to turn our investments into cash and thus affect cash available to return capital to stockholders. Lockout provisions could impair our ability to take actions during the lockout period that would otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders and, therefore, might have an adverse impact on the value of the shares, relative to the value that would result if the lockout provisions did not exist. In particular, lockout provisions could preclude us from participating in major transactions that could result in a disposition of our assets or a change in control even though that disposition or change in control might be in the best interests of our stockholders.

 

Changes in applicable laws may adversely affect the income and value of our properties.

 

The income and value of a property may be affected by such factors as environmental, rent control and other laws and regulations, changes in applicable general and real estate tax laws (including the possibility of changes in U.S. federal income tax laws or the lengthening of the depreciation period for real estate) and interest rates, the availability of financing, acts of nature (such as hurricanes and floods) and other factors beyond our control.

 

Retail Industry Risks

 

Retail conditions may adversely affect our income.

 

A retail property’s revenues and value may be adversely affected by a number of factors, many of which apply to real estate investment generally, but which also include trends in the retail industry and perceptions by retailers or shoppers of the safety, convenience and attractiveness of the retail property. In addition, to the extent that the investing public has a negative perception of the retail sector, the value of our common stock may be negatively impacted.

 

Some of our leases may provide for base rent plus contractual base rent increases. A number of our retail leases may also include a percentage rent clause for additional rent above the base amount based upon a specified percentage of the sales our tenants generate. Generally, retailers face declining revenues during downturns in the economy. As a result, the portion of our revenue which we may derive from percentage rent leases could decline upon a general economic downturn.

 

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Our revenue may be impacted by the success and economic viability of our anchor retail tenants. Our reliance on single or significant tenants in certain buildings may decrease our ability to lease vacated space.

 

In the retail sector, any tenant occupying a large portion of the gross leasable area (“GLA”) of a retail center, a tenant of any of the triple-net single-user retail properties outside the primary geographical area of investment, commonly referred to as an anchor tenant, or a tenant that is our anchor tenant at more than one retail center, may become insolvent, may suffer a downturn in business, or may decide not to renew its lease. Any of these events would result in a reduction or cessation in rental payments to us and would adversely affect our financial condition. A lease termination by an anchor tenant could result in lease terminations or reductions in rent by other tenants whose leases permit cancellation or rent reduction if another tenant’s lease is terminated. We may own properties where the tenants may have rights to terminate their leases if certain other tenants are no longer open for business. These “co-tenancy” provisions may also exist in some leases where we own a portion of a retail property and one or more of the anchor tenants leases space in that portion of the center not owned or controlled by us. If such tenants were to vacate their space, tenants with co-tenancy provisions would have the right to terminate their leases with us or seek a rent reduction from us. In such event, we may be unable to re-lease the vacated space. Similarly, the leases of some anchor tenants may permit the anchor tenant to transfer its lease to another retailer. The transfer to a new anchor tenant could cause customer traffic in the retail center to decrease and thereby reduce the income generated by that retail center. A lease transfer to a new anchor tenant could also allow other tenants to make reduced rental payments or to terminate their leases at the retail center. In the event that we are unable to re-lease the vacated space to a new anchor tenant, we may incur additional expenses in order to re-model the space to be able to re-lease the space to more than one tenant.

 

Competition with other retail channels may reduce our profitability and the return on your investment.

 

Retail tenants will face potentially changing consumer preferences and increasing competition from other forms of retailing, such as discount shopping centers, outlet centers, upscale neighborhood strip centers, catalogues and other forms of direct marketing, discount shopping clubs, internet and telemarketing. Other retail centers within the market area of properties we invest in will compete with our properties for customers, affecting their tenants’ cash flows and thus affecting their ability to pay rent. In addition, tenants’ rent payments may be based on the amount of sales revenue that they generate. If these tenants experience competition, the amount of their rent may decrease and our cash flow will decrease.

 

Residential Industry Risks

 

The short-term nature of our residential leases may adversely impact our income.

 

Because substantially all of our residential leases will be for apartments, they will generally be for terms of no more than one or two years. If our residents decide not to renew their leases upon expiration, we may not be able to relet their units. If we are unable to promptly renew the leases or relet the units then our results of operations and financial condition will be adversely affected. Certain significant expenditures associated with each equity investment in real estate (such as mortgage payments, real estate taxes and maintenance costs) are generally not reduced when circumstances result in a reduction in rental income.

 

An economic downturn could adversely affect the residential industry and may affect operations for the residential properties that we acquire.

 

As a result of the effects of an economic downturn, including increased unemployment rates, the residential industry may experience a significant decline in business caused by a reduction in overall renters. The current economic downturn and increase in unemployment rates may have an adverse affect on our operations if the tenants occupying the residential and office properties we acquire cease making rent payments to us or if there a change in spending patterns resulting in reduced traffic at the retail properties we acquire. Moreover, low residential mortgage interest rates could accompany an economic downturn and encourage potential renters to purchase residences rather than lease them. The residential properties we acquire may experience declines in occupancy rate due to any such decline in residential mortgage interest rates.

 

Lodging Industry Risks

 

We may be subject to the risks common to the lodging industry.

 

Our hotels will be subject to all of the risks common to the hotel industry and subject to market conditions that affect all hotel properties. These risks could adversely affect hotel occupancy and the rates that can be charged for hotel rooms as well as hotel operating expenses, and generally include:

 

·increases in supply of hotel rooms that exceed increases in demand;

 

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·increases in energy costs and other travel expenses that reduce business and leisure travel;

 

·reduced business and leisure travel due to continued geo-political uncertainty, including terrorism;

 

·adverse effects of declines in general and local economic activity;

 

·adverse effects of a downturn in the hotel industry; and

 

·risks generally associated with the ownership of hotels and real estate, as discussed below.

 

We do not have control over the market and business conditions that affect the value of our lodging properties, and adverse changes with respect to such conditions could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Hotel properties, including extended stay hotels, are subject to varying degrees of risk generally common to the ownership of hotels, many of which are beyond our control, including the following:

 

·increased competition from other existing hotels in our markets;

 

·new hotels entering our markets, which may adversely affect the occupancy levels and average daily rates of our lodging properties;

 

·declines in business and leisure travel;

 

·increases in energy costs, increased threat of terrorism; terrorist events, airline strikes or other factors that may affect travel patterns and reduce the number of business and leisure travelers;

 

·increases in operating costs due to inflation and other factors that may not be offset by increased room rates;

 

·changes in, and the related costs of compliance with, governmental laws and regulations, fiscal policies and zoning ordinances; and

 

·adverse effects of international, national, regional and local economic and market conditions.

 

Adverse changes in any or all of these factors could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, thereby adversely impacting our ability to service debt and to make distributions to our stockholders.

 

Third-party management of lodging properties can adversely affect our properties.

 

Our lodging properties will be operated by a third-party management company and could be adversely affected if that third-party management company, or its affiliated brands, experiences negative publicity or other adverse developments, such as financial disagreements between the third party manager and the owner, disagreements about marketing between the third party manager and the owner and the third party manager’s brand falling out of favor.

 

As a REIT, we cannot directly operate our lodging properties.

 

We cannot and will not directly operate our lodging properties and, as a result, our results of operations, financial position, ability to service debt and ability to make distributions to stockholders are dependent on the ability of our third-party management companies and our tenants to operate our hotel properties successfully. In order for us to satisfy certain REIT qualification rules, we cannot directly operate any lodging properties we may acquire or actively participate in the decisions affecting their daily operations. Instead, through a TRS, we must enter into management agreements with a third-party management company, or we must lease our lodging properties to third-party tenants on a triple-net lease basis. We cannot and will not control this third-party management company or the tenants who operate and are responsible for maintenance and other day-to-day management of our lodging properties, including, but not limited to, the implementation of significant operating decisions. Thus, even if we believe our lodging properties are being operated inefficiently or in a manner that does not result in satisfactory operating results, we may not be able to require the third-party management company or the tenants to change their method of operation of our lodging properties. Our results of operations, financial position, cash flows and our ability to service debt and to make distributions to stockholders are, therefore, dependent on the ability of our third-party management company and tenants to operate our lodging properties successfully.

 

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We will rely on a third-party hotel management company to establish and maintain adequate internal controls over financial reporting at our lodging properties. In doing this, the property manager should have policies and procedures in place which allows them to effectively monitor and report to us the operating results of our lodging properties which ultimately are included in our consolidated financial statements. Because the operations of our lodging properties ultimately become a component of our consolidated financial statements, we evaluate the effectiveness of the internal controls over financial reporting at all of our properties, including our lodging properties, in connection with the certifications we provide in our quarterly and annual reports on Form 10-Q and Form 10-K, respectively, pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. However, we will not control the design or implementation of or changes to internal controls at any of our lodging properties. Thus, even if we believe that our lodging properties are being operated without effective internal controls, we may not be able to require the third-party management company to change its internal control structure. This could require us to implement extensive and possibly inefficient controls at a parent level in an attempt to mitigate such deficiencies. If such controls are not effective, the accuracy of the results of our operations that we report could be affected. Accordingly, our ability to conclude that, as a company, our internal controls are effective is significantly dependent upon the effectiveness of internal controls that our third-party management company will implement at our lodging properties. It is possible that we could have a significant deficiency or material weakness as a result of the ineffectiveness of the internal controls at one or more of our lodging properties.

 

If we replace a third-party management company or tenant, we may be required by the terms of the relevant management agreement or lease to pay substantial termination fees, and we may experience significant disruptions at the affected lodging properties. If we experience such disruptions, it may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and our cash flows, including our ability to service debt and to make distributions to our stockholders.

 

Our use of the TRS structure will increase our expenses.

 

A TRS structure will subject us to the risk of increased lodging operating expenses. The performance of our TRS lessees will be based on the operations of our lodging properties. Our operating risks will include not only changes in hotel revenues and changes to our TRS lessees’ ability to pay the rent due to us under the leases, but also increased hotel operating expenses, including, but not limited to, the following cost elements:

 

·wage and benefit costs;
·repair and maintenance expenses;
·energy costs;
·property taxes;
·insurance costs; and
·other operating expenses.

 

Any increases in one or more these operating expenses could have a significant adverse impact on our results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

 

Failure to maintain franchise licenses could decrease our revenues.

 

Our inability or that of our third-party management companies or our third-party tenants to maintain franchise licenses could decrease our revenues. Maintenance of franchise licenses for our lodging properties is subject to maintaining our franchisor’s operating standards and other terms and conditions. Franchisors periodically inspect lodging properties to ensure that we, our third-party tenants or our third-party management company maintain their standards. Failure by us or one of our third-party tenants or our third-party management company to maintain these standards or comply with other terms and conditions of the applicable franchise agreement could result in a franchise license being canceled. If a franchise license terminates due to our failure to make required improvements or to otherwise comply with its terms, we may also be liable to the franchisor for a termination fee. As a condition to the maintenance of a franchise license, our franchisor could also require us to make capital expenditures, even if we do not believe the capital improvements are necessary, desirable, or likely to result in an acceptable return on our investment. We may risk losing a franchise license if we do not make franchisor-required capital expenditures.

 

If our franchisor terminates the franchise license, we may try either to obtain a suitable replacement franchise or to operate the lodging property without a franchise license. The loss of a franchise license could materially and adversely affect the operations or the underlying value of the lodging property because of the loss associated with the brand recognition and/or the marketing support and centralized reservation systems provided by the franchisor. A loss of a franchise license for one or more lodging properties could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and our cash flows, including our ability to service debt and make distributions to our stockholders.

 

There are risks associated with employing hotel employees.

 

We will generally be subject to risks associated with the employment of hotel employees. Any lodging properties we acquire will be leased to a wholly-owned TRS entity and be subject to management agreements with a third-party manager to operate the properties that we do not lease to a third party under a net lease. Hotel operating revenues and expenses for these properties will be included in our consolidated results of operations. As a result, although we do not directly employ or manage the labor force at our lodging properties, we are subject to many of the costs and risks generally associated with the hotel labor force. Our third-party manager will be responsible for hiring and maintaining the labor force at each of our lodging properties and for establishing and maintaining the appropriate processes and controls over such activities. From time to time, the operations of our lodging properties may be disrupted through strikes, public demonstrations or other labor actions and related publicity. We may also incur increased legal costs and indirect labor costs as a result of the aforementioned disruptions, or contract disputes or other events. Our third-party manager may be targeted by union actions or adversely impacted by the disruption caused by organizing activities. Significant adverse disruptions caused by union activities and/or increased costs affiliated with such activities could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and our cash flows, including our ability to service debt and make distributions to our stockholders.

 

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The travel and hotel industries may be affected by economic slowdowns, terrorist attacks and other world events.

 

If there is less travelling due to an economic slowdown, increased unemployment rates or a rise in fuel prices, the lodging properties we may acquire may be adversely affected. As a result of terrorist attacks around the world, the war in Afghanistan and the effects of the recent economic recession, the lodging industry experienced a significant decline in business caused by a reduction in both business and leisure travel. We cannot presently determine the impact that future events such as military or police activities in the U.S. or foreign countries, future terrorist activities or threats of such activities, natural disasters or health epidemics could have on our business. Our business and lodging properties may continue to be affected by such events, including our hotel occupancy levels and average daily rates, and, as a result, our revenues may decrease or not increase to levels we expect. In addition, other terrorist attacks, natural disasters, health epidemics, acts of war, prolonged U.S. involvement in military activity could have additional adverse effects on the economy in general, and the travel and lodging industry in particular. These factors could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows, thereby impacting our ability to service debt and ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

 

The hotel industry is very competitive.

 

The hotel industry is intensely competitive, and, as a result, if our third-party management company and our third-party tenants are unable to compete successfully or if our competitors’ marketing strategies are more effective, our results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows including our ability to service debt and to make distributions to our stockholders, may be adversely affected. Our lodging properties compete with other existing and new hotels in their geographic markets.

 

Since we do not operate our lodging properties, our revenues depend on the ability of our third-party management company and our-third party tenants to compete successfully with other hotels in their respective markets. Some of our competitors have substantially greater marketing and financial resources than we do. If our third-party management company and our third-party tenants are unable to compete successfully or if our competitors’ marketing strategies are effective, our results of operations, financial condition, ability to service debt and ability to make distributions to our stockholders may be adversely affected.

 

The hotel industry is seasonal which can adversely affect our hotel properties.

 

The hotel industry is seasonal in nature, and, as a result, our lodging properties may be adversely affected. The seasonality of the hotel industry can be expected to cause quarterly fluctuations in our revenues. In addition, our quarterly earnings may be adversely affected by factors outside our control, such as extreme or unexpectedly mild weather conditions or natural disasters, terrorist attacks or alerts, outbreaks of contagious diseases, airline strikes, economic factors and other considerations affecting travel. To the extent that cash flows from operations are insufficient during any quarter, due to temporary or seasonal fluctuations in revenues, we may attempt to borrow in order to make distributions to our stockholders or be required to reduce other expenditures or distributions to stockholders.

 

The expanding use of internet travel websites by customers can adversely affect our profitability.

 

The increasing use of internet travel intermediaries by consumers may cause fluctuations in operating performance during the year and otherwise adversely affect our profitability and cash flows. Our third party hotel management company will rely upon Internet travel intermediaries to generate demand for our lodging properties. As Internet bookings increase, these intermediaries may be able to obtain higher commissions, reduced room rates or other significant contract concessions from our third-party management company. Moreover, some of these Internet travel intermediaries are attempting to offer hotel rooms as a commodity, by increasing the importance of price and general indicators of quality (such as “three-star downtown hotel”) at the expense of brand identification. Consumers may eventually develop brand loyalties to their reservations system rather than to our third-party management company and/or our brands, which could have an adverse effect on our business because we will rely heavily on brand identification. If the amount of sales made through Internet intermediaries increases significantly and our third-party management company and our third-party tenants fail to appropriately price room inventory in a manner that maximizes the opportunity for enhanced profit margins, room revenues may flatten or decrease and our profitability may be adversely affected.

 

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Industrial Industry Risks

 

Potential liability as the result of, and the cost of compliance with, environmental matters is greater if we invest in industrial properties or lease our properties to tenants that engage in industrial activities.

 

Under various U.S. federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner or operator of real property may be liable for the cost of removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances on such property. Such laws often impose liability whether or not the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances.

 

We may invest in properties historically used for industrial, manufacturing and commercial purposes. Some of these properties are more likely to contain, or may have contained, underground storage tanks for the storage of petroleum products and other hazardous or toxic substances. All of these operations create a potential for the release of petroleum products or other hazardous or toxic substances.

 

Leasing properties to tenants that engage in industrial, manufacturing, and commercial activities will cause us to be subject to increased risk of liabilities under environmental laws and regulations. The presence of hazardous or toxic substances, or the failure to properly remediate these substances, may adversely affect our ability to sell, rent or pledge such property as collateral for future borrowings.

 

Industrial properties are subject to fluctuations in manufacturing activity in the United States.

 

To the extent we acquire industrial properties, such properties may be adversely affected if manufacturing activity decreases in the United States. Trade agreements with foreign countries have given employers the option to utilize less expensive non-US manufacturing workers. The outsourcing of manufacturing functions could lower the demand for our industrial properties. Moreover, an increase in the cost of raw materials or decrease in the demand for housing could cause a slowdown in manufacturing activity, such as furniture, textiles, machinery and chemical products, and our profitability may be adversely affected.

 

Office Industry Risks

 

The loss of anchor tenants for our office properties could adversely affect our profitability.

 

We may acquire office properties and, as with our retail properties, we are subject to the risk that tenants may be unable to make their lease payments or may decline to extend a lease upon its expiration. A lease termination by a tenant that occupies a large area of space in one of our office properties (commonly referred to as an anchor tenant) could impact leases of other tenants. Other tenants may be entitled to modify the terms of their existing leases in the event of a lease termination by an anchor tenant or the closure of the business of an anchor tenant that leaves its space vacant, even if the anchor tenant continues to pay rent. Any such modifications or conditions could be unfavorable to us as the property owner and could decrease rents or expense recoveries. In the event of default by an anchor tenant, we may experience delays and costs in enforcing our rights as landlord to recover amounts due to us under the terms of our agreements with those parties.

 

Declines in overall activity in our markets may adversely affect the performance of our office properties.

 

Rental income from office properties fluctuates with general market and economic conditions. Our office properties may be adversely affected during periods of diminished economic growth and a decline in white-collar employment. We may experience a decrease in occupancy and rental rates accompanied by increases in the cost of re-leasing space (including for tenant improvements) and in uncollectible receivables. Early lease terminations may significantly contribute to a decline in occupancy of our office properties and may adversely affect our profitability. While lease termination fees increase current period income, future rental income may be diminished because, during periods in which market rents decline, it is unlikely that we will collect from replacement tenants the full contracted amount which had been payable under the terminated leases.

 

Risks Related to Real Estate-Related Investments

 

Risks Associated with Investments in Mezzanine and Mortgage Loans

 

Our Advisor does not have substantial experience investing in mezzanine and mortgage loans, which could result in losses to us.

 

Neither our Advisor nor any of its affiliates have substantial experience investing in mezzanine or mortgage loans. If we make or acquire such loans, or participations in them, we may not have the necessary expertise to maximize the return on our investment in these types of loans.

 

The risk of default on mezzanine and mortgage loans is caused by many factors beyond our control, and our ability to recover our investment in foreclosure may be limited.

 

The default risk on mezzanine and mortgage loans is caused by factors beyond our control, including local and other economic conditions affecting real estate values, interest rate changes, rezoning and failure by the borrower to maintain the property. We do not know whether the values of the property securing the loans will remain at the levels existing on the dates of origination of the loans. If the values of the underlying properties drop, our risk will increase because of the lower value of the security associated with such loans.

 

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In the event that there are defaults under these loans, we may not be able to quickly repossess and sell the properties securing such loans. An action to foreclose on a property securing a loan is regulated by state statutes and regulations and is subject to many delays and expenses typical of any foreclosure action. In the event of default by a mortgagor, these restrictions, among other things, may impede our ability to foreclose on or sell the mortgaged property or to obtain proceeds sufficient to repay all amounts due to us on the loan, which could reduce the value of our investment in the defaulted loan.

 

The mezzanine loans in which we may invest involve greater risks of loss than senior loans secured by income-producing real properties.

 

We may invest in mezzanine loans that take the form of subordinated loans secured by second mortgages on the underlying real property or loans secured by a pledge of the ownership interests of either the entity owning the real property or the entity that owns the interest in the entity owning the real property. These types of investments involve a higher degree of risk than long-term senior mortgage lending secured by income producing real property because the investment may become unsecured as a result of foreclosure by the senior lender. In the event of a bankruptcy of the entity providing the pledge of its ownership interests as security, we may not have full recourse to the assets of the entity, or the assets of the entity may not be sufficient to satisfy our mezzanine loan. If a borrower defaults on our mezzanine loan or debt senior to our loan, or in the event of a borrower bankruptcy, our mezzanine loan will be satisfied only after the senior debt. As a result, we may not recover some or all of our investment.

 

Our mortgage or mezzanine loans will be subject to interest rate fluctuations, which could reduce our returns as compared to market interest rates and reduce the value of the loans in the event we sell them.

 

If we invest in fixed-rate, long-term mortgage or mezzanine loans and interest rates rise, the loans could yield a return lower than then-current market rates. If interest rates decrease, we will be adversely affected to the extent that mortgage or mezzanine loans are prepaid, because we may not be able to make new loans at the previously higher interest rate. If we invest in variable-rate loans and interest rates decrease, our revenues will also decrease. Fluctuations in interest rates adverse to our loans could adversely affect our returns on such loans.

 

The liquidation of our assets may be delayed as a result of our investment in mortgage or mezzanine loans, which could delay distributions to our stockholders.

 

The mezzanine and mortgage loans we may purchase will be illiquid investments due to their short life, their unsuitability for securitization and the greater difficulty of recoupment in the event of a borrower’s default. If we enter into mortgage or mezzanine loans with terms that expire after the date we intend to have sold all of our properties, any intended liquidation of us may be delayed beyond the time of the sale of all of our properties until all mortgage or mezzanine loans expire or are sold.

 

Risks Related to Investments in Real Estate-Related Securities

 

We may invest in various types of real estate-related securities.

 

We may invest in real estate-related securities, including securities issued by other real estate companies, commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS ”) or collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs ”). We may also invest in real estate-related securities of both publicly traded and private real estate companies. Neither we nor our Advisor may have the expertise necessary to maximize the return on our investment in real estate-related securities. If our Advisor determines that it is advantageous to us to make the types of investments in which our Advisor or its affiliates do not have experience, our Advisor intends to employ persons, engage consultants or partner with third parties that have, in our Advisor’s opinion, the relevant expertise necessary to assist our Advisor in evaluating, making and administering such investments.

 

Investments in real estate-related securities will be subject to specific risks relating to the particular issuer of the securities and may be subject to the general risks of investing in subordinated real estate securities, which may result in losses to us.

 

Our investments in real estate-related securities will involve special risks relating to the particular issuer of the securities, including the financial condition and business outlook of the issuer. Issuers of real estate-related securities generally invest in real estate or real estate-related assets and are subject to the inherent risks associated with real estate-related investments including risks relating to rising interest rates.

 

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Real estate-related securities are often unsecured and also may be subordinated to other obligations of the issuer. As a result, investments in real estate-related securities are subject to risks of (1) limited liquidity in the secondary trading market in the case of unlisted or thinly traded securities, (2) substantial market price volatility resulting from changes in prevailing interest rates in the case of traded equity securities, (3) subordination to the prior claims of banks and other senior lenders to the issuer, (4) the operation of mandatory sinking fund or call/redemption provisions during periods of declining interest rates that could cause the issuer to reinvest redemption proceeds in lower yielding assets, (5) the possibility that earnings of the issuer may be insufficient to meet its debt service and distribution obligations and (6) the declining creditworthiness and potential for insolvency of the issuer during periods of rising interest rates and economic slowdown or downturn. These risks may adversely affect the value of outstanding real estate-related securities and the ability of the issuers thereof to repay principal and interest or make distribution payments.

 

The mortgage loans in which we invest and the commercial mortgage loans underlying the CMBS in which we may invest will be subject to delinquency, foreclosure and loss, which could result in losses to us.

 

Commercial mortgage loans are secured by multifamily or other types of commercial property, and are subject to risks of delinquency and foreclosure and risks of loss that are greater than similar risks associated with loans made on the security of single family residential property. The ability of a borrower to repay a loan secured by a property typically is dependent primarily upon the successful operation of such property rather than upon the existence of independent income or assets of the borrower. If the net operating income of the property is reduced, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired. Net operating income of an income producing property can be affected by, among other things: tenant mix, success of tenant businesses, property management decisions, property location and condition, competition from comparable types of properties, changes in laws that increase operating expense or limit rents that may be charged, any need to address environmental contamination at the property, the occurrence of any uninsured casualty at the property, changes in national, regional or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments, declines in regional or local real estate values, declines in regional or local rental or occupancy rates, increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses, changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies, including environmental legislation, acts of God, terrorism, social unrest and civil disturbances.

 

In the event of any default under a mortgage loan held directly by us, we will bear a risk of loss of principal to the extent of any deficiency between the value of the collateral and the principal and accrued interest of the mortgage loan, which could have a material adverse effect on our cash flow from operations and limit amounts available for distribution to our stockholders. In the event of the bankruptcy of a mortgage loan borrower, the mortgage loan to such borrower will be deemed to be secured only to the extent of the value of the underlying collateral at the time of bankruptcy (as determined by the bankruptcy court), and the lien securing the mortgage loan will be subject to the avoidance powers of the bankruptcy trustee or debtor-in-possession to the extent the lien is unenforceable under state law. Foreclosure of a mortgage loan can be an expensive and lengthy process which could have a substantial negative effect on our anticipated return on the foreclosed mortgage loan.

 

The CMBS and CDOs in which we may invest are subject to several types of risks.

 

CMBS are bonds which evidence interests in, or are secured by, a single commercial mortgage loan or a pool of commercial mortgage loans. CDOs backed by commercial real estate assets, such as CMBS, commercial mortgage loans, B-notes, or mezzanine paper. Accordingly, the CMBS and CDOs we may invest in are subject to all the risks of the underlying mortgage loans.

 

In a rising interest rate environment, the value of CMBS and CDOs may be adversely affected when payments on underlying mortgages do not occur as anticipated, resulting in the extension of the security’s effective maturity and the related increase in interest rate sensitivity of a longer-term instrument. The value of CMBS and CDOs may also change due to shifts in the market’s perception of issuers and regulatory or tax changes adversely affecting the mortgage securities markets as a whole. In addition, CMBS and CDOs are subject to the credit risk associated with the performance of the underlying mortgage properties. In certain instances, third party guarantees or other forms of credit support can reduce the credit risk.

 

CMBS and CDOs are also subject to several risks created through the securitization process. Subordinate CMBS and CDOs are paid interest only to the extent that there are funds available to make payments. To the extent the collateral pool includes a large percentage of delinquent loans, there is a risk that interest payment on subordinate CMBS and CDOs will not be fully paid. Subordinate securities of CMBS and CDOs are also subject to greater credit risk than those CMBS and CDOs that are more highly rated.

 

If we use leverage in connection with our investment in CMBS or CDOs, the risk of loss associated with this type of investment will increase.

 

We may use leverage in connection with our investment in CMBS or CDOs. The use of leverage may substantially increase the risk of loss. There can be no assurance that leveraged financing will be available to us on favorable terms or that, among other factors, the terms of such financing will parallel the maturities of the underlying securities acquired. Therefore, such financing may mature prior to the maturity of the CMBS or CDOs acquired by us. If alternative financing is not available, we may have to liquidate assets at unfavorable prices to pay off such financing. We may utilize repurchase agreements as a component of our financing strategy. Repurchase agreements economically resemble short-term, variable-rate financing and usually require the maintenance of specific loan-to-collateral value ratios. If the market value of the CMBS or CDOs subject to a repurchase agreement decline, we may be required to provide additional collateral or make cash payments to maintain the loan to collateral value ratio. If we are unable to provide such collateral or cash repayments, we may lose our economic interest in the underlying securities.

 

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Investments in real estate-related preferred equity securities involve a greater risk of loss than traditional debt financing.

 

We may invest in real estate-related preferred equity securities, which may involve a higher degree of risk than traditional debt financing due to several factors, including that such investments are subordinate to traditional loans and are not secured by property underlying the investment. If the issuer defaults on our investment, we would only be able to take action against the entity in which we have an interest, not the property owned by such entity underlying our investment. As a result, we may not recover some or all of our investment, which could result in losses to us.

 

Market conditions and the risk of further market deterioration may cause a decrease in the value of our real estate securities.

 

The U.S. credit markets and the sub-prime residential mortgage market have previously experienced and could in the future experience severe dislocations and liquidity disruptions. Sub-prime mortgage loans have previously experienced and could in the future experience increased rates of delinquency, foreclosure and loss. These and other related events had a significant impact on the capital markets associated not only with sub-prime mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities and CDOs, but also with the U.S. credit and financial markets as a whole.

 

We may invest in any real estate securities, including CMBS and CDOs, that contain assets that could be classified as sub-prime residential mortgages. The values of many of these securities are sensitive to the volatility of the credit markets, and many of these securities may be adversely affected by future developments. In addition, to the extent there is turmoil in the credit markets, it has the potential to materially affect both the value of our real estate related securities investments and/or the availability or the terms of financing that we may anticipate utilizing in order to leverage our real estate related securities investments.

 

Market volatility may make the valuation of these securities more difficult, particularly the CMBS and CDO assets. Management’s estimate of the value of these investments will incorporate a combination of independent pricing of agency and third-party dealer valuations, as well as comparable sales transactions. However, the methodologies that we will use in valuing individual investments are generally based on a variety of estimates and assumptions specific to the particular investments, and actual results related to the investments therefore often vary materially from such assumptions or estimates.

 

Because there is significant uncertainty in the valuation of, or in the stability of the value of, certain of these securities holdings, the fair values of such investments as reflected in our results of operations may not reflect the prices that we would obtain if such investments were actually sold. Furthermore, due to market events, many of these investments are subject to rapid changes in value caused by sudden developments which could have a material adverse effect on the value of these investments.

 

A portion of our real estate securities investments may be illiquid and we may not be able to adjust our portfolio in response to changes in economic and other conditions.

 

Certain of the real estate securities that we may purchase in the future in connection with privately negotiated transactions may not be registered under the relevant securities laws, resulting in a prohibition against their sale, transfer, pledge or other disposition except in a transaction exempt from the registration requirements of those laws. As a result, our ability to vary our portfolio in response to changes in economic and other conditions may be relatively limited.

 

Interest rate and related risks may cause the value of our real estate securities investments to be reduced.

 

Interest rate risk is the risk that fixed income securities will decline in value because of changes in market interest rates. Generally, when interest rates rise, the market value of such securities will decline, and vice versa. Our investment in such securities means that the net asset value and market price of the common shares may tend to decline if interest rates rise.

 

During periods of rising interest rates, the average life of certain types of securities may be extended because of slower than expected principal payments. This may lock in a below-market interest rate, increase the security’s duration and reduce the value of the security. This is known as extension risk. During periods of declining interest rates, an issuer may be able to exercise an option to prepay principal earlier than scheduled, which is generally known as call or prepayment risk. If this occurs, we may be forced to reinvest in lower yielding securities. This is known as reinvestment risk. An issuer may redeem an obligation if the issuer can refinance the debt at a lower cost due to declining interest rates or an improvement in the credit standing of the issuer. These risks may reduce the value of our real estate securities investments.

 

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Real Estate Financing Risks

 

General Financing Risks

 

We have incurred mortgage indebtedness and other borrowings, which may increase our business risks.

 

We have incurred mortgage indebtedness and other borrowings, and may acquire properties subject to existing financing. In addition, we may increase our mortgage debt by obtaining loans secured by selected or all of the real properties to obtain funds to acquire additional real properties. We may also borrow funds if necessary to satisfy the requirement that we annually distribute to stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (which does not equal net income, as calculated in accordance with GAAP), determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain, or otherwise as is necessary or advisable to assure that we maintain our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

We incur mortgage debt on a particular real property if we believe the property’s projected cash flow is sufficient to service the mortgage debt. However, if there is a shortfall in cash flow, requiring us to use cash from other sources to make the mortgage payments on the property, then the amount available for distributions to stockholders may be affected. In addition, incurring mortgage debt increases the risk of loss since defaults on indebtedness secured by properties may result in foreclosure actions initiated by lenders and our loss of the property securing the loan which is in default. For tax purposes, a foreclosure of any of our properties would be treated as a sale of the property for a purchase price equal to the outstanding balance of the debt secured by the mortgage. If the outstanding balance of the debt secured by the mortgage exceeds our tax basis in the property, we would recognize taxable income on foreclosure, but would not receive any cash proceeds. We may, in some circumstances, give a guaranty on behalf of an entity that owns one of our properties. In these cases, we will be responsible to the lender for satisfaction of the debt if it is not paid by such entity. If any mortgages contain cross-collateralization or cross-default provisions, there is a risk that more than one real property may be affected by a default.

 

Certain of our mortgage debt contains clauses providing for prepayment penalties. If a lender invokes these penalties upon the sale of a property or the prepayment of a mortgage on a property, the cost to us to sell the property could increase substantially, and may even be prohibitive. This could lead to a reduction in our income, which would reduce cash available for distribution to stockholders and may prevent us from borrowing more money. Moreover, if we enter into financing arrangements involving balloon payment obligations, such financing arrangements will involve greater risks than financing arrangements whose principal amount is amortized over the term of the loan. At the time the balloon payment is due, we may not be able to refinance the balloon payment on terms as favorable as the original loan or sell the property at a price sufficient to make the balloon payment.

 

If we have insufficient working capital reserves, we will have to obtain financing from other sources.

 

If our working capital reserves are insufficient to meet our cash needs, we may have to obtain financing to fund our cash requirements. Sufficient financing may not be available or, if available, may not be available on economically feasible terms or on terms acceptable to us. If mortgage debt is unavailable at reasonable rates, we will not be able to place financing on the properties, which could reduce the number of properties we can acquire and the amount of distributions per share. If we place mortgage debt on the properties, we run the risk of being unable to refinance the properties when the loans come due, or of being unable to refinance on favorable terms. If interest rates are higher when the properties are refinanced, our income could be reduced, which would reduce cash available for distribution to stockholders and may prevent us from borrowing more money. Additional borrowing for working capital purposes will increase our interest expense, and therefore our financial condition and our ability to pay distributions may be adversely affected.

 

We may not have funding or capital resources for future improvements.

 

When a commercial tenant at one of our properties does not renew its lease or otherwise vacates its space in one of our buildings, it is likely that, in order to attract one or more new tenants, we will be required to expend substantial funds for leasing costs, tenant improvements and tenant refurbishments to the vacated space. We will incur certain fixed operating costs during the time the space is vacant as well as leasing commissions and related costs to re-lease the vacated space. We may also have similar future capital needs in order to renovate or refurbish any of our properties for other reasons.

 

Also, in the event we need to secure funding sources in the future but are unable to secure such sources or are unable to secure funding on terms we feel are acceptable, we may be required to defer capital improvements or refurbishment to a property. This may cause such property to suffer from a greater risk of obsolescence or a decline in value and/or produce decreased cash flow as the result of our inability to attract tenants to the property. If this happens, we may not be able to maintain projected rental rates for affected properties, and our results of operations may be negatively impacted. Or, we may be required to secure funding on unfavorable terms.

 

We may be adversely affected by limitations in our charter on the aggregate amount we may borrow.

 

Our charter provides that the aggregate amount of borrowing, both secured and unsecured, may not exceed 300% of net assets in the absence of a satisfactory showing that a higher level is appropriate, the approval of our Board of Directors and disclosure to stockholders. Net assets means our total assets, other than intangibles, at cost before deducting depreciation, reserves for bad debt or other non-cash reserves, less our total liabilities, calculated at least quarterly on a basis consistently applied. Any excess in borrowing over such 300% of net assets level must be approved by a majority of our independent directors and disclosed to our stockholders in our next quarterly report to stockholders, along with justification for such excess.

 

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That limitation could have adverse business consequences such as:

 

·limiting our ability to purchase additional properties;

 

·causing us to lose our REIT status if additional borrowing was necessary to pay the required minimum amount of cash distributions to our stockholders to maintain our status as a REIT;

 

·causing operational problems if there are cash flow shortfalls for working capital purposes; and

 

·resulting in the loss of a property if, for example, financing was necessary to repay a default on a mortgage.

 

Our debt financing for acquisitions will frequently be determined from appraised values in lieu of acquisition cost. As appraisal values are typically greater than acquisition cost for the type of value assets we seek to acquire, our debt can be expected to exceed certain leverage limitations of the Lightstone REIT II. Our Board of Directors, including all of its independent directors, will approve any leverage exceptions as required by the Lightstone REIT II’s Articles of Incorporation.

 

Any excess borrowing over the 300% level will be disclosed to stockholders in our next quarterly report, along with justification for such excess. As of December 31, 2016, our total borrowings represented 73% of net assets.

 

Lenders may require us to enter into restrictive covenants relating to our operations.

 

In connection with obtaining financing, a bank or other lender could impose restrictions on us affecting our ability to incur additional debt and our distribution and operating policies. Loan documents we enter into may contain negative covenants limiting our ability to, among other things, further mortgage our properties, discontinue insurance coverage or replace Lightstone Value Plus REIT II LLC as our Advisor. In addition, prepayment penalties imposed by banks or other lenders could affect our ability to sell properties when we want.

 

If lenders are not willing to make loans to our Sponsor because of previous defaults on some of the Sponsor’s properties, lenders may be less inclined to make loans to us and we may not be able to obtain financing for our acquisitions.

 

In recent years U.S. and international markets experienced increased levels of volatility due to a combination of factors, including decreasing values of residential and commercial real estate, limited access to credit, and the collapse or near collapse of certain financial institutions, higher energy costs, decreased consumer spending and a national and global recession. Certain of our Sponsor’s program and non-program properties were adversely affected by these market conditions and their impact on the real estate market. For example, increased unemployment and the resulting decrease in business travel had adversely affected the occupancy rates and revenues per room at our Sponsor’s lodging properties. After an analysis of these factors and other factors, taking into account the increased costs of borrowing, the dislocation in the credit markets and that certain properties are not generating sufficient cash flow to cover their fixed costs, the Sponsor elected to stop making payments on the non-recourse debt obligations for certain program and non-program properties. As a result, lenders may be less willing to make loans to our Sponsor or its affiliates. If lenders are unwilling to make loans to us, we may be unable to purchase certain properties or may be required to defer capital improvements or refurbishments to our properties. Additionally, sellers of real property may be less inclined to enter into negotiations with us if they believe that we may be unable to obtain financing. The inability to purchase certain properties may increase the time it takes for us to generate funds from operations. Additionally, the inability to improve our properties may cause such property to suffer from a greater risk of obsolescence or a decline in value, which could result in a decrease in our cash flow from the inability to attract tenants.

 

Financing Risks on the Property Level

 

Some of our mortgage loans may have “due on sale” provisions.

 

We may obtain financing with “due-on-sale” and/or “due-on-encumbrance” clauses. Due-on-sale clauses in mortgages allow a mortgage lender to demand full repayment of the mortgage loan if the borrower sells the mortgaged property. Similarly, due-on-encumbrance clauses allow a mortgage lender to demand full repayment if the borrower uses the real estate securing the mortgage loan as security for another loan. These clauses may cause the maturity date of such mortgage loans to be accelerated and such financing to become due. In such event, we may be required to sell our properties on an all-cash basis, to acquire new financing in connection with the sale, or to provide seller financing. It is not our intent to provide seller financing, although it may be necessary or advisable for us to do so in order to facilitate the sale of a property. It is unknown whether the holders of mortgages encumbering our properties will require such acceleration or whether other mortgage financing will be available. Such factors will depend on the mortgage market and on financial and economic conditions existing at the time of such sale or refinancing.

 

Lenders may be able to recover against our other properties under our mortgage loans.

 

We may seek recourse financing to finance properties, in which event, in addition to the property securing the loan, the lender may look to our other assets for satisfaction of the debt. Thus, should we be unable to repay a recourse loan with the proceeds from the sale or other disposition of the property securing the loan, the lender could look to one or more of our other properties for repayment. Also, in order to facilitate the sale of a property, we may allow the buyer to purchase the property subject to an existing loan whereby we remain responsible for the debt.

 

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Our presently outstanding mortgage loans charge variable interest, as may any mortgage loans we incur in the future.

 

Our presently outstanding mortgage loans will be subject to fluctuating interest rates based on Libor. Future increases in Libor would result in increases in debt service on these loans and thus reduce funds available for acquisitions of properties and distributions to the stockholders.

 

In addition, we may incur mortgage loans in the future that charge variable interest based on index rates such as the prime rate or Libor, and these loans would subject us to similar risks.

 

Insurance Risks

 

We may suffer losses that are not covered by insurance.

 

If we suffer losses that are not covered by insurance or that are in excess of insurance coverage, we could lose invested capital and anticipated profits. Material losses may occur in excess of insurance proceeds with respect to any property as insurance proceeds may not provide sufficient resources to fund the losses. In addition, there are types of losses, generally of a catastrophic nature, such as losses due to wars, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, pollution, environmental matters, mold and terrorism which are either uninsurable or not economically insurable, or may be insured subject to limitations, such as large deductibles or co-payments.

 

Insurance companies have recently begun to exclude acts of terrorism from standard coverage. Terrorism insurance is currently available at an increased premium, and it is possible that the premium will increase in the future or that terrorism coverage will become unavailable. Mortgage lenders in some cases have begun to insist that specific coverage against terrorism be purchased by commercial owners as a condition for providing loans. We intend to obtain terrorism insurance if required by our lenders, but the terrorism insurance that we obtain may not be sufficient to cover loss for damages to our properties as a result of terrorist attacks. In addition, we may not be able to obtain insurance against the risk of terrorism because it may not be available or may not be available on terms that are economically feasible. In such instances, we may be required to provide other financial support, either through financial assurances or self-insurance, to cover potential losses. We cannot assure you that we will have adequate coverage for such losses. If such an event occurred to, or caused the destruction of, one or more of our properties, we could lose both our invested capital and anticipated profits from such property. In addition, certain losses resulting from these types of events are uninsurable and others may not be covered by our terrorism insurance. Terrorism insurance may not be available at a reasonable price or at all.

 

In addition, many insurance carriers are excluding asbestos-related claims from standard policies, pricing asbestos endorsements at prohibitively high rates or adding significant restrictions to this coverage. Because of our inability to obtain specialized coverage at rates that correspond to the perceived level of risk, we may not obtain insurance for acts of terrorism or asbestos-related claims. We will continue to evaluate the availability and cost of additional insurance coverage from the insurance market. If we decide in the future to purchase insurance for terrorism or asbestos, the cost could have a negative impact on our results of operations. If an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of insured limits occurs on a property, we could lose our capital invested in the property, as well as the anticipated future revenues from the property and, in the case of debt that is recourse to us, would remain obligated for any mortgage debt or other financial obligations related to the property. Any loss of this nature would adversely affect us. Although we intend to adequately insure our properties, we cannot assure that we will successfully do so.

 

Compliance with Laws

 

The costs of compliance with environmental laws and regulations may adversely affect our income and the cash available for any distributions.

 

All real property and the operations conducted on real property are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to environmental protection and human health and safety. These laws and regulations generally govern wastewater discharges, air emissions, the operation and removal of underground and above-ground storage tanks, the use, storage, treatment, transportation and disposal of solid and hazardous materials, and the remediation of contamination associated with disposals. Some of these laws and regulations may impose joint and several liability on tenants, owners or operators for the costs of investigation or remediation of contaminated properties, regardless of fault or the legality of the original disposal. Under various federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner, developer or operator of real estate may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances at, on, under or in its property. The costs of removal or remediation could be substantial. In addition, the presence of these substances, or the failure to properly remediate these substances, may adversely affect our ability to sell or rent such property or to use the property as collateral for future borrowing.

 

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Environmental laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of hazardous or toxic materials. Even if more than one person may have been responsible for the contamination, each person covered by the environmental laws may be held responsible for all of the clean-up costs incurred. In addition, third parties may sue the owner or operator of a site for damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination arising from that site. The presence of hazardous or toxic materials, or the failure to address conditions relating to their presence properly, may adversely affect the ability to rent or sell the property or to borrow using the property as collateral. Persons who dispose of or arrange for the disposal or treatment of hazardous or toxic materials may also be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of such materials, or for related natural resource damages, at or from an off-site disposal or treatment facility, whether or not the facility is or ever was owned or operated by those persons. In addition, environmental laws today can impose liability on a previous owner or operator of a property that owned or operated the property at a time when hazardous or toxic substances were disposed on, or released from, the property. A conveyance of the property, therefore, does not relieve the owner or operator from liability.

 

There may be potential liability associated with lead-based paint arising from lawsuits alleging personal injury and related claims. Typically, the existence of lead paint is more of a concern in residential units than in commercial properties. Although a structure built prior to 1978 may contain lead-based paint and may present a potential for exposure to lead, structures built after 1978 are not likely to contain lead-based paint.

 

Properties’ values may also be affected by their proximity to electric transmission lines. Electric transmission lines are one of many sources of electro-magnetic fields (“EMFs”) to which people may be exposed. Research completed regarding potential health concerns associated with exposure to EMFs has produced inconclusive results. Notwithstanding the lack of conclusive scientific evidence, some states now regulate the strength of electric and magnetic fields emanating from electric transmission lines, and other states have required transmission facilities to measure for levels of EMFs. On occasion, lawsuits have been filed (primarily against electric utilities) that allege personal injuries from exposure to transmission lines and EMFs, as well as from fear of adverse health effects due to such exposure. This fear of adverse health effects from transmission lines has been considered both when property values have been determined to obtain financing and in condemnation proceedings. We may not, in certain circumstances, search for electric transmission lines near our properties, but are aware of the potential exposure to damage claims by persons exposed to EMFs.

 

Recently, indoor air quality issues, including mold, have been highlighted in the media and the industry is seeing mold claims from lessees rising. To date, we have not incurred any material costs or liabilities relating to claims of mold exposure or abating mold conditions. However, due to the recent increase in mold claims and given that the law relating to mold is unsettled and subject to change, we could incur losses from claims relating to the presence of, or exposure to, mold or other microbial organisms, particularly if we are unable to maintain adequate insurance to cover such losses. We may also incur unexpected expenses relating to the abatement of mold on properties that we may acquire.

 

Limited quantities of asbestos-containing materials are present in various building materials such as floor coverings, ceiling texture material, acoustical tiles and decorative treatment. Environmental laws govern the presence, maintenance and removal of asbestos. These laws could be used to impose liability for release of, and exposure to, hazardous substances, including asbestos-containing materials, into the air. Such laws require that owners or operators of buildings containing asbestos (1) properly manage and maintain the asbestos, (2) notify and train those who may come into contact with asbestos and (3) undertake special precautions, including removal or other abatement, if asbestos would be disturbed during renovation or demolition of a building. Such laws may impose fines and penalties on building owners or operators who fail to comply with these requirements. These laws may allow third parties to seek recovery from owners or operators of real properties for personal injury associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. As the owner of our properties, we may be potentially liable for any such costs.

 

We cannot assure you that properties which we acquire in the future will not have any material environmental conditions, liabilities or compliance concerns. Accordingly, we have no way of determining at this time the magnitude of any potential liability to which we may be subject arising out of environmental conditions or violations with respect to the properties we own.

 

The costs of compliance with laws and regulations relating to our lodging and residential properties may adversely affect our income and the cash available for any distributions.

 

Various laws, ordinances, and regulations affect multi-family residential properties, including regulations relating to recreational facilities, such as activity centers and other common areas. In addition, rent control laws may be applicable to any of our residential properties.

 

Some of these laws and regulations have been amended so as to require compliance with new or more stringent standards as of future dates. Compliance with new or more stringent laws or regulations, stricter interpretation of existing laws or the future discovery of environmental contamination may require material expenditures by us. Future laws, ordinances or regulations may impose material environmental liabilities, and the current environmental condition of our properties might be affected by the operations of the tenants, by the existing condition of the land, by operations in the vicinity of the properties, such as the presence of underground storage tanks, or by the activities of unrelated third parties.

 

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These laws typically allow liens to be placed on the affected property. In addition, there are various local, state and federal fire, health, life-safety and similar regulations which we may be required to comply with, and which may subject us to liability in the form of fines or damages for noncompliance.

 

Any newly acquired or developed lodging or multi-family residential properties must comply with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) to the extent that such properties are “public accommodations” and/or “commercial facilities” as defined by the ADA. Compliance with the ADA requires removal of structural barriers to handicapped access in certain public areas of the properties where such removal is “readily achievable.” Our properties may not comply in all material respects with all present requirements under the ADA and applicable state laws. When acquiring properties, we may not succeed in placing the burden on the seller to ensure compliance with the ADA. Noncompliance with the ADA could result in the imposition of injunctive relief, monetary penalties or, in some cases, an award of damages to private litigants. The cost of defending against any claims of liability under the ADA or the payment of any fines or damages could adversely affect our financial condition and affect cash available to return capital and the amount of distributions to you.

 

The Fair Housing Act (the “FHA”) requires, as part of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, apartment communities first occupied after March 13, 1990 to be accessible to the handicapped. Noncompliance with the FHA could result in the imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants. The cost of defending against any claims of liability under the FHA or the payment of any fines or damages could adversely affect our financial condition.

 

Changes in applicable laws and regulations may adversely affect the income from and value of our properties.

 

The income from and value of a property may be affected by such factors as environmental, rent control and other laws and regulations and changes in applicable general and real estate tax laws (including the possibility of changes in the U.S. federal income tax laws or the lengthening of the depreciation period for real estate). For example, the properties we will acquire will be subject to real and personal property taxes that may increase as property tax rates change and as the properties are assessed or reassessed by taxing authorities. We anticipate that most of our leases will generally provide that the property taxes, or increases therein, are charged to the lessees as an expense related to the properties that they occupy. As the owner of the properties, however, we are ultimately responsible for payment of the taxes to the government. If property taxes increase, our tenants may be unable to make the required tax payments, ultimately requiring us to pay the taxes. In addition, we will generally be responsible for property taxes related to any vacant space. If we purchase residential properties, the leases for such properties typically will not allow us to pass through real estate taxes and other taxes to residents of such properties. Consequently, any tax increases may adversely affect our results of operations at such properties.

 

Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations where we invest could result in fines, suspension of personnel of our Advisor, or other sanctions. Compliance with new laws or regulations or stricter interpretation of existing laws may require us to incur material expenditures, which could reduce the available cash flow for distributions to our stockholders. Additionally, future laws, ordinances or regulations may impose material environmental liability, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

Risks Related to General Economic Conditions

 

Adverse economic conditions may negatively affect our returns and profitability.

 

The timing, length and severity of any economic slowdown that the nation may experience cannot be predicted with certainty. Since we may liquidate within seven to ten years after the proceeds from our Follow-On Offering were fully invested, there is a risk that depressed economic conditions at that time could cause cash flow and appreciation upon the sale of our properties, if any, to be insufficient to allow sufficient cash remaining after payment of our expenses for a significant return on stockholders’ investment.

 

The instability of the U.S. economy may reduce the number of suitable investment opportunities available to us and may slow the pace at which those investments are made. In addition, armed hostilities and acts of terrorism may directly impact our properties. These developments may subject us to increased risks and, depending on their magnitude, could have a material adverse effect on our business and stockholders’ investment.

 

State of debt markets could limit our ability to obtain financing which may have a material adverse impact on our earnings and financial condition.

 

The commercial real estate debt markets have experienced volatility as a result of certain factors including the tightening of underwriting standards by lenders and credit rating agencies and the significant inventory of unsold CMBS in the market. Credit spreads for major sources of capital widened significantly as investors demanded a higher risk premium. This resulted in lenders increasing the cost for debt financing. Should the overall cost of borrowings increase, either by increases in the index rates or by increases in lender spreads, we will need to factor such increases into the economics of our acquisitions. This may result in our acquisitions generating lower overall economic returns and potentially reducing cash flow available for distribution.

 

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Dislocations in the debt markets may reduce the amount of capital available to finance real estate, which, in turn, (a) will no longer allow real estate investors to rely on capitalization rate compression to generate returns and (b) has slowed real estate transaction activity, all of which may reasonably be expected to have a material impact, favorable or unfavorable, on revenues or income from the acquisition and operations of real properties and mortgage loans. Investors will need to focus on market-specific growth dynamics, operating performance, asset management and the long-term quality of the underlying real estate.

 

In addition, the state of the debt markets could have an impact on the overall amount of capital investing in real estate which may result in price or value decreases of real estate assets.

 

U.S. Federal Income Tax Risks

 

Our failure to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT would subject us to U.S. federal income tax and potentially state and local tax, and would adversely affect our operations and the market price of our common stock.

 

We believe that we have qualified to be taxed as a REIT commencing with our taxable year ending December 31, 2009, and intend to operate in a manner that would allow us to continue to qualify as a REIT. However, we may terminate our REIT qualification, if our Board of Directors determines that not qualifying as a REIT is in the best interests of our stockholders, or inadvertently. Our qualification as a REIT depends upon our satisfaction of certain asset, income, organizational, distribution, stockholder ownership and other requirements on a continuing basis. We intend to structure our activities in a manner designed to satisfy all the requirements for qualification as a REIT. However, the REIT qualification requirements are extremely complex and interpretation of the U.S. federal income tax laws governing qualification as a REIT is limited. Furthermore, any opinion of counsel, including tax counsel, as to our eligibility to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT is not binding on the IRS and is not a guarantee that we will qualify, or continue to qualify as a REIT. Accordingly, we cannot be certain that we will be successful in operating so we can qualify or remain qualified as a REIT. Our ability to satisfy the asset tests depends on our analysis of the characterization and fair market values of our assets, some of which are not susceptible to a precise determination, and for which we will not obtain independent appraisals. Our compliance with the REIT income or quarterly asset requirements also depends on our ability to successfully manage the composition of our income and assets on an ongoing basis. Accordingly, if certain of our operations were to be recharacterized by the IRS, such recharacterization would jeopardize our ability to satisfy all the requirements for qualification as a REIT. Furthermore, future legislative, judicial or administrative changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws could be applied retroactively, which could result in our disqualification as a REIT.

 

If we fail to qualify as a REIT for any taxable year, and we do not qualify for certain statutory relief provisions, we will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our taxable income at corporate rates. In addition, we would generally be disqualified from treatment as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year of losing our REIT qualification. Losing our REIT qualification would reduce our net earnings available for investment or distribution to stockholders because of the additional tax liability. In addition, distributions to stockholders would no longer qualify for the dividends paid deduction, and we would no longer be required to make distributions. If this occurs, we might be required to borrow funds or liquidate some investments in order to pay the applicable tax.

 

Even if we qualify as a REIT, in certain circumstances, may incur tax liabilities that would reduce our cash available for distribution to you.

 

Even if we qualify and maintain our status as a REIT, we may be subject to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes. For example, net income from the sale of properties that are “dealer” properties sold by a REIT (a “prohibited transaction” under the Code) will be subject to a 100% tax. We may not make sufficient distributions to avoid excise taxes applicable to REITs. We also may decide to retain net capital gain we earn from the sale or other disposition of our property and pay U.S. federal income tax directly on such income. In that event, our stockholders would be treated as if they earned that income and paid the tax on it directly. However, stockholders that are tax-exempt, such as charities or qualified pension plans, would have no benefit from their deemed payment of such tax liability unless they file U.S. federal income tax returns and thereon seek a refund of such tax. We also will be subject to corporate tax on any undistributed REIT taxable income. We also may be subject to state and local taxes on our income or property, including franchise, payroll and transfer taxes, either directly or at the level of our Operating Partnership or at the level of the other companies through which we indirectly own our assets, such as our TRSs, which are subject to full U.S. federal, state, local and foreign corporate-level income taxes. Any taxes we pay directly or indirectly will reduce our cash available for distribution to you.

 

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To qualify as a REIT we must meet annual distribution requirements, which may force us to forgo otherwise attractive opportunities or borrow funds during unfavorable market conditions. This could delay or hinder our ability to meet our investment objectives and reduce your overall return.

 

In order to qualify and maintain our status as a REIT, we must annually distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for distributions paid and excluding net capital gain. We will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our undistributed REIT taxable income and net capital gain and to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on any amount by which distributions we pay with respect to any calendar year are less than the sum of (a) 85% of our ordinary income, (b) 95% of our capital gain net income and (c) 100% of our undistributed income from prior years. These requirements could cause us to distribute amounts that otherwise would be spent on investments in real estate assets and it is possible that we might be required to borrow funds, possibly at unfavorable rates, or sell assets to fund these distributions. Although we intend to make distributions sufficient to meet the annual distribution requirements and to avoid U.S. federal income and excise taxes on our earnings while we qualify as a REIT, it is possible that we might not always be able to do so.

 

Certain of our business activities are potentially subject to the prohibited transaction tax, which could reduce the return on your investment.

 

For so long as we qualify as a REIT, our ability to dispose of property during the first few years following acquisition may be restricted to a substantial extent as a result of our REIT qualification. Under applicable provisions of the Code regarding prohibited transactions by REITs, while we qualify as a REIT, we will be subject to a 100% penalty tax on any gain recognized on the sale or other disposition of any property (other than foreclosure property) that we own, directly or through any subsidiary entity, including our Operating Partnership, but generally excluding our TRSs, that is deemed to be inventory or property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. Whether property is inventory or otherwise held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business depends on the particular facts and circumstances surrounding each property. While we qualify as a REIT, we avoid the 100% prohibited transaction tax by (1) conducting activities that may otherwise be considered prohibited transactions through a TRS (but such TRS will incur corporate rate income taxes with respect to any income or gain recognized by it), (2) conducting our operations in such a manner so that no sale or other disposition of an asset we own, directly or through any subsidiary, will be treated as a prohibited transaction or (3) structuring certain dispositions of our properties to comply with the requirements of the prohibited transaction safe harbor available under the Code for properties that, among other requirements have been held for at least two years. Despite our present intention no assurance can be given that any particular property we own, directly or through any subsidiary entity, including our Operating Partnership, but generally excluding our TRSs, will not be treated as inventory or property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business.

 

Our TRSs are subject to corporate-level taxes and our dealings with our TRSs may be subject to 100% excise tax.

 

A REIT may own up to 100% of the stock of one or more TRS. Both the subsidiary and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation of which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the stock will automatically be treated as a TRS. Overall, no more than 20% of the value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more TRS.

 

A TRS may hold assets and earn income that would not be qualifying assets or income if held or earned directly by a REIT, including gross income from operations pursuant to management contracts. We must operate our “qualified lodging facilities” through one or more TRS that lease such properties from us. We may use our TRSs generally for other activities as well, such as to hold properties for sale in the ordinary course of business or to hold assets or conduct activities that we cannot conduct directly as a REIT. A TRS will be subject to applicable U.S. federal, state, local and foreign income tax on its taxable income. In addition, the rules which are applicable to us as a REIT also impose a 100% excise tax on certain transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis.

 

If our leases to our TRSs are not respected as true leases for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would fail to qualify as a REIT.

 

To qualify as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income tests, under which specified percentages of our gross income must be derived from certain sources, such as “rents from real property.” In order for such rent to qualify as “rents from real property” for purposes of the REIT gross income tests, the leases must be respected as true leases for U.S. federal income tax purposes and not be treated as service contracts, joint ventures or some other type of arrangement. If our leases are not respected as true leases for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would fail to qualify as a REIT.

 

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If our Operating Partnership failed to qualify as a partnership or is not otherwise disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would cease to qualify as a REIT.

 

We intend to maintain the status of the Operating Partnership as a partnership or a disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes. However, if the IRS were to successfully challenge the status of the Operating Partnership as a partnership or disregarded entity for such purposes, it would be taxable as a corporation. In such event, this would reduce the amount of distributions that the Operating Partnership could make to us. This also would result in our failing to qualify as a REIT, and becoming subject to a corporate level tax on our income. This substantially would reduce our cash available to pay distributions and the yield on your investment. In addition, if any of the partnerships or limited liability companies through which the Operating Partnership owns its properties, in whole or in part, loses its characterization as a partnership and is otherwise not disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it would be subject to taxation as a corporation, thereby reducing distributions to the Operating Partnership. Such a recharacterization of an underlying property owner could also threaten our ability to maintain our REIT qualification.

 

If our “qualified lodging facilities” are not properly leased to a TRS or the managers of such “qualified lodging facilities” do not qualify as “eligible independent contractors,” we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

 

In general, we cannot operate any lodging facilities and can only indirectly participate in the operation of “qualified lodging facilities” on an after-tax basis through leases of such properties to our TRSs. A “qualified lodging facility” is a hotel, motel, or other establishment in which more than one-half of the dwelling units are used on a transient basis at which or in connection with which wagering activities are not conducted. Rent paid by a lessee that is a “related party tenant” of ours will not be qualifying income for purposes of the two gross income tests applicable to REITs. A TRS that leases lodging facilities from us will not be treated as a “related party tenant” with respect to our lodging facilities that are managed by an independent management company, so long as the independent management company qualifies as an “eligible independent contractor.”

 

Each of the management companies that enters into a management contract with our TRSs must qualify as an “eligible independent contractor” under the REIT rules in order for the rent paid to us by our TRSs to be qualifying income for purposes of the REIT gross income tests. An “eligible independent contractor” is an independent contractor that, at the time such contractor enters into a management or other agreement with a TRS to operate a “qualified lodging facility,” is actively engaged in the trade or business of operating “qualified lodging facilities” for any person not related, as defined in the Code, to us or the TRS. Among other requirements, in order to qualify as an independent contractor a manager must not own, directly or applying attribution provisions of the Code, more than 35% of our outstanding shares of stock (by value), and no person or group of persons can own more than 35% of our outstanding shares and 35% of the ownership interests of the manager (taking into account only owners of more than 5% of our shares and, with respect to ownership interest in such managers that are publicly traded, only holders of more than 5% of such ownership interests). The ownership attribution rules that apply for purposes of the 35% thresholds are complex. Although we intend to monitor ownership of our stock by our managers and their owners, there can be no assurance that these ownership levels will not be exceeded.

 

Our investments in certain debt instruments may cause us to recognize “phantom income” for U.S. federal income tax purposes even though no cash payments have been received on the debt instruments, and certain modifications of such debt by us could cause the modified debt to not qualify as a good REIT asset, thereby jeopardizing our REIT qualification.

 

Our taxable income may substantially exceed our net income as determined based on GAAP, or differences in timing between the recognition of taxable income and the actual receipt of cash may occur. For example, we may acquire assets, including debt securities requiring us to accrue original issue discount, or OID, or recognize market discount income, that generate taxable income in excess of economic income or in advance of the corresponding cash flow from the assets referred to as “phantom income.” In addition, if a borrower with respect to a particular debt instrument encounters financial difficulty rendering it unable to pay stated interest as due, we may nonetheless be required to continue to recognize the unpaid interest as taxable income with the effect that we will recognize income but will not have a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

 

As a result of the foregoing, we may generate less cash flow than taxable income in a particular year and find it difficult or impossible to meet the REIT distribution requirements in certain circumstances. In such circumstances, we may be required to (a) sell assets in adverse market conditions, (b) borrow on unfavorable terms, (c) distribute amounts that would otherwise be used for future acquisitions or used to repay debt, or (d) make a taxable distribution of our shares of common stock as part of a distribution in which stockholders may elect to receive shares of common stock or (subject to a limit measured as a percentage of the total distribution) cash, in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements.

 

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Moreover, we may acquire distressed debt investments that require subsequent modification by agreement with the borrower. If the amendments to the outstanding debt are “significant modifications” under the applicable Treasury Regulations, the modified debt may be considered to have been reissued to us in a debt-for-debt taxable exchange with the borrower. This deemed reissuance may prevent the modified debt from qualifying as a good REIT asset if the underlying security has declined in value and would cause us to recognize income to the extent the principal amount of the modified debt exceeds our adjusted tax basis in the unmodified debt.

 

The failure of a mezzanine loan to qualify as a real estate asset would adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT.

 

In general, in order for a loan to be treated as a qualifying real estate asset producing qualifying income for purposes of the REIT asset and income tests, the loan must be secured by real property. We may acquire mezzanine loans that are not directly secured by real property but instead secured by equity interests in a partnership or limited liability company that directly or indirectly owns real property. In Revenue Procedure 2003-65, the IRS provided a safe harbor pursuant to which a mezzanine loan that is not secured by real estate would, if it meets each of the requirements contained in the Revenue Procedure, be treated by the IRS as a qualifying real estate asset. Although the Revenue Procedure provides a safe harbor on which taxpayers may rely, it does not prescribe rules of substantive tax law and in many cases it may not be possible for us to meet all the requirements of the safe harbor. We cannot provide assurance that any mezzanine loan in which we invest would be treated as a qualifying asset producing qualifying income for REIT qualification purposes. If any such loan fails either the REIT income or asset tests, we may be disqualified as a REIT.

 

We may choose to make distributions in our own stock, in which case you may be required to pay income taxes in excess of the cash dividends you receive.

 

In connection with our qualification as a REIT, we are required to distribute annually to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (which does not equal net income as calculated in accordance with GAAP), determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding net capital gain. In order to satisfy this requirement, we may make distributions that are payable in cash and/or shares of our common stock (which could account for up to 80% of the aggregate amount of such distributions) at the election of each stockholder. Taxable stockholders receiving such distributions will be required to include the full amount of such distributions as ordinary dividend income to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, U.S. stockholders may be required to pay U.S. federal income taxes with respect to such distributions in excess of the cash portion of the distribution received. Accordingly, U.S. stockholders receiving a distribution of our shares may be required to sell shares received in such distribution or may be required to sell other stock or assets owned by them, at a time that may be disadvantageous, in order to satisfy any tax imposed on such distribution. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock that it receives as part of the distribution in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the distribution, depending on the market price of our stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to certain non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold U.S. tax with respect to such distribution, including in respect of all or a portion of such distribution that is payable in stock, by withholding or disposing of part of the shares included in such distribution and using the proceeds of such disposition to satisfy the withholding tax imposed. In addition, if a significant number of our stockholders determine to sell shares of our common stock in order to pay taxes owed on dividend income, such sale may put downward pressure on the price of our common stock.

 

Various tax aspects of such a taxable cash/stock distribution are uncertain and have not yet been addressed by the IRS. No assurance can be given that the IRS will not impose requirements in the future with respect to taxable cash/stock distributions, including on a retroactive basis, or assert that the requirements for such taxable cash/stock distributions have not been met.

 

Our stockholders may have tax liability on distributions that they elect to reinvest in common stock, but they would not receive the cash from such distributions to pay such tax liability.

 

If our stockholders participate in our DRIP, they will be deemed to have received, and for U.S. federal income tax purposes will be taxed on, the amount reinvested in shares of our common stock to the extent the amount reinvested was not a tax-free return of capital. In addition, our stockholders will be treated for tax purposes as having received an additional distribution to the extent the shares are purchased at a discount to fair market value. As a result, unless a stockholder is a tax-exempt entity, it may have to use funds from other sources to pay its tax liability on the value of the shares of common stock received.

 

Dividends payable by REITs generally do not qualify for the reduced tax rates available for some dividends.

 

Currently, the maximum tax rate applicable to qualified dividend income payable to U.S. stockholders that are individuals, trusts and estates is 20%. Dividends payable by REITs, however, generally are not eligible for the reduced rates. Although this does not adversely affect the taxation of REITs or dividends payable by REITs, the more favorable rates applicable to regular corporate qualified dividends could cause investors who are individuals, trusts and estates to perceive investments in REITs to be relatively less attractive than investments in the stocks of non-REIT corporations that pay dividends, which could adversely affect the value of the shares of REITs, including our common stock.

 

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If we were considered to actually or constructively pay a “preferential dividend” to certain of our stockholders, our status as a REIT could be adversely affected.

 

In order to qualify as a REIT, we must annually distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding net capital gain. In order for distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirements for REITs, and to provide us with a REIT-level tax deduction, the distributions must not be “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if the distribution is pro rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class, and in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in our organizational documents. Currently, there is uncertainty as to the IRS’s position regarding whether certain arrangements that REITs have with their stockholders could give rise to the inadvertent payment of a preferential dividend (e.g., the pricing methodology for stock purchased under a distribution reinvestment program inadvertently causing a greater than 5% discount on the price of such stock purchased). There is no de minimis exception with respect to preferential dividends; therefore, if the IRS were to take the position that we inadvertently paid a preferential dividend, we may be deemed to have failed the 90% distribution test, and our status as a REIT could be terminated for the year in which such determination is made if we were unable to cure such failure. While we believe that our operations have been structured in such a manner that we will not be treated as inadvertently paying preferential dividends, we can provide no assurance to this effect.

 

Complying with REIT requirements may limit our ability to hedge our liabilities effectively and may cause us to incur tax liabilities.

 

The REIT provisions of the Code may limit our ability to hedge our liabilities. Any income from a hedging transaction we enter into to manage risk of interest rate changes, price changes or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made to acquire or carry real estate assets, if properly identified under applicable Treasury Regulations, does not constitute “gross income” for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income tests. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions will likely be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both of the gross income tests. As a result of these rules, we may need to limit our use of advantageous hedging techniques or implement those hedges through a taxable REIT subsidiary. This could increase the cost of our hedging activities because our taxable REIT subsidiaries would be subject to tax on gains or expose us to greater risks associated with changes in interest rates than we would otherwise want to bear. In addition, losses in a taxable REIT subsidiary generally will not provide any tax benefit, except for being carried forward against future taxable income of such taxable REIT subsidiary.

 

Complying with REIT requirements may force us to forgo and/or liquidate otherwise attractive investment opportunities.

 

To qualify as a REIT, we must ensure that we meet the REIT gross income tests annually and that at the end of each calendar quarter, at least 75% of the value of our assets consists of cash, cash items, government securities and qualified REIT real estate assets, including certain mortgage loans and certain kinds of mortgage-related securities. The remainder of our investment in securities (other than government securities and qualified real estate assets) generally cannot include more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer or more than 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer. In addition, in general, no more than 5% of the value of our assets (other than government securities and qualified real estate assets) can consist of the securities of any one issuer, and no more than 25% of the value of our total assets can be represented by securities of one or more TRS. If we fail to comply with these requirements at the end of any calendar quarter, we must correct the failure within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter or qualify for certain statutory relief provisions to avoid losing our REIT qualification and suffering adverse tax consequences. As a result, we may be required to liquidate assets from our portfolio or not make otherwise attractive investments in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT. These actions could have the effect of reducing our income and amounts available for distribution to our stockholders.

 

The ability of our Board of Directors to revoke our REIT qualification without stockholder approval may subject us to U.S. federal income tax and reduce distributions to our stockholders.

 

Our charter provides that our Board of Directors may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without the approval of our stockholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interest to continue to qualify as a REIT. While we have elected to be taxed as a REIT, we may terminate our REIT election if we determine that qualifying as a REIT is no longer in the best interests of our stockholders. If we cease to be a REIT, we would become subject to U.S. federal income tax on our taxable income and would no longer be required to distribute most of our taxable income to our stockholders, which may have adverse consequences on our total return to our stockholders and on the market price of our common stock.

 

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We may be subject to adverse legislative or regulatory tax changes that could increase our tax liability, reduce our operating flexibility and reduce the price of our common stock.

 

In recent years, numerous legislative, judicial and administrative changes have been made in the provisions of U.S. federal income tax laws applicable to investments similar to an investment in shares of our common stock. Additional changes to the tax laws are likely to continue to occur, and we cannot assure you that any such changes will not adversely affect the taxation of a stockholder. Any such changes could have an adverse effect on an investment in our shares or on the market value or the resale potential of our assets. You are urged to consult with your tax advisor with respect to the impact of recent legislation on your investment in our shares and the status of legislative, regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in our shares. You also should note that our counsel’s tax opinion is based upon existing law, applicable as of the date of its opinion, all of which will be subject to change, either prospectively or retroactively.

 

Reform proposals have been recently put forth by members of Congress and the President which, if ultimately proposed as legislation and enacted as law, would substantially change the U.S. federal taxation of (among other things) individuals and businesses. Their proposals set forth a variety of principles to guide potential tax reform legislation. As of the date of this annual report, no legislation has been introduced in Congress. If ultimately reduced to legislation enacted by Congress and signed into law by the President in a form that is consistent with those principles, such reform could change dramatically the U.S. federal taxation applicable to us and our stockholders. No reform proposal specifically addresses the taxation of REITs, but because any tax reform is likely to significantly reduce the tax rates applicable to corporations and dividends received by stockholders, the tax benefits applicable to the REIT structure may be diminished in relation to corporations. Furthermore, proposed tax reform would limit the deductibility of net interest expense and would allow for the immediate deduction of any investment in tangible property (other than land) and intangible assets. Finally, the tax reform proposals do not include any principles regarding how to transition from our current system of taxation to a new tax system based on the principles in such proposed reform. Given how dramatic the changes could be, transition rules are crucial. While it is impossible to predict whether and to what extent any tax reform legislation (or other legislative, regulatory or administrative change to the U.S. federal tax laws) will be proposed or enacted, any such change in the U.S. federal tax laws could affect materially the value of any investment in our stock. You are encouraged to consult with your tax advisor regarding possible legislative and regulatory changes and the potential effect of such changes on an investment in our shares.

 

Although REITs generally receive better tax treatment than entities taxed as regular corporations, it is possible that future legislation would result in a REIT having fewer tax advantages, and it could become more advantageous for a company that invests in real estate to elect to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a corporation. As a result, our charter provides our Board of Directors with the power, under certain circumstances, to revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election and cause us to be taxed as a regular corporation, without the vote of our stockholders. Our Board of Directors has fiduciary duties to us and our stockholders and could only cause such changes in our tax treatment if it determines in good faith that such changes are in the best interest of our stockholders.

 

Non-U.S. stockholders will be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax and may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on distributions received from us and upon the disposition of our shares.

 

Subject to certain exceptions, distributions received from us will be treated as dividends of ordinary income to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. Such dividends ordinarily will be subject to U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate, or such lower rate as may be specified by an applicable income tax treaty, unless the distributions are treated as “effectively connected” with the conduct by the non-U.S. stockholder of a U.S. trade or business. Capital gain distributions attributable to sales or exchanges of U.S. real property generally will be taxed to a non-U.S. stockholder as if such gain were effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. However, a capital gain dividend will not be treated as effectively connected income if (a) the distribution is received with respect to a class of stock that is regularly traded on an established securities market located in the United States and (b) the non-U.S. stockholder does not own more than 5% of the class of our stock at any time during the one-year period ending on the date the distribution is received. We do not anticipate that our shares will be “regularly traded” on an established securities market for the foreseeable future, and therefore, this exception is not expected to apply.

 

Gain recognized by a non-U.S. stockholder upon the sale or exchange of our common stock generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation unless such stock constitutes a “U.S. real property interest” within the meaning of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, or FIRPTA. Our common stock will not constitute a “U.S. real property interest” so long as we are a “domestically-controlled qualified investment entity.” A domestically-controlled qualified investment entity includes a REIT if at all times during a specified testing period, less than 50% in value of such REIT’s stock is held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. stockholders. We believe, but cannot assure you, that we will be a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity.

 

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Even if we do not qualify as a domestically-controlled qualified investment entity at the time a non-U.S. stockholder sells or exchanges our common stock, gain arising from such a sale or exchange would not be subject to U.S. taxation under FIRPTA as a sale of a U.S. real property interest if (a) our common stock is “regularly traded,” as defined by applicable Treasury regulations, on an established securities market, and (b) such non-U.S. stockholder owned, actually and constructively, 5% or less of our common stock at any time during the five-year period ending on the date of the sale. However, it is not anticipated that our common stock will be “regularly traded” on an established market. We encourage you to consult your tax advisor to determine the tax consequences applicable to you if you are a non-U.S. stockholder.

 

Potential characterization of distributions or gain on sale may be treated as unrelated business taxable income to tax-exempt investors.

 

If (a) we are a “pension-held REIT,” (b) a tax-exempt stockholder has incurred (or deemed to have incurred) debt to purchase or hold our common stock, or (c) a holder of common stock is a certain type of tax-exempt stockholder, dividends on, and gains recognized on the sale of, common stock by such tax-exempt stockholder may be subject to U.S. federal income tax as unrelated business taxable income under the Code.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS:

 

None applicable.

 

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES:

 

   Location  Year Built  Leasable Square Feet  

Percentage Occupied as of

December 31, 2016

  

Annualized Revenues Based on

Rents as of

December 31, 2016

  

Annualized Revenues per Square Foot

as of December 31, 2016

 
                       
Unconsolidated Affiliated Real Estate Entity:                          
Retail                          
Brownmill LLC (2 retail properties)  Old Bridge and Vauxhall, New Jersey  1962   155,928    60%  $2.5 million   $16.08 

 

Consolidated Properties:

 

Hospitality        Year to Date  

Percentage Occupied

for the Year Ended

  

Revenue per Available Room for

the

  

Average Daily Rate For the Year

Ended

 
   Location  Year Built  Available Rooms   12/31/2016   Year Ended December 31, 2016   December 31, 2016 
                       
TownePlace Suites - Metairie  Harahan, Louisiana  2000   45,384    81.3%   86.59   $106.54 
                           
SpringHill Suites - Peabody  Peabody, Massachusetts  2002   60,024    77.5%   95.45   $123.19 
                           
Fairfield Inn - East Rutherford  East Rutherford, New Jersey  1990   51,606    79.2%   98.14   $123.89 
                           
TownePlace Suites - Fayetteville  Johnson/Springdale, Arkansas  2009   33,672    69.7%   70.81   $101.66 
                           
TownePlace Suites - Little Rock  Little Rock, Arkansas  2009   33,672    74.8%   58.32   $77.94 
                           
Holiday Inn - Opelika  Opelika, Alabama  2009   31,824    70.8%   76.75   $108.48 
                           
Aloft - Tucson  Tucson, Arizona  1971   56,364    72.6%   91.80   $126.53 
                           
Hampton Inn – Fort Myers Beach  Fort Myers Beach, Florida  2001   43,920    78.6%   100.58   $127.91 
                           
Aloft - Philadelphia  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  2008   49,776    71.5%   92.69   $129.70 
                           
Four Points by Sheraton - Philadelphia  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  1985   64,782    83.7%   81.26   $97.06 
                           
Courtyard - Willoughby  Willoughby, Ohio  1999   32,940    76.1%   95.09   $124.91 
                           
Fairfield Inn - DesMoines  West Des Moines, Iowa  1997   37,332    71.5%   77.61   $108.58 
                           
SpringHill Suites - DesMoines  West Des Moines, Iowa  1999   35,502    69.2%   73.10   $105.63 
                           
Hampton Inn - Miami  Miami, Florida  1996   46,116    76.3%   90.55   $118.70 
                           
Hampton Inn & Suites - Fort Lauderdale  Fort Lauderdale, Florida  1996   38,064    78.9%   110.94   $140.61 
                           
Courtyard - Parsippany  Parsippany, New Jersey  2001   55,266    64.7%   94.19   $145.69 
                           
Residence Inn - Baton Rouge  Baton Rouge, Louisiana  2000   39,528    85.7%   98.29   $114.74 
                           
Holiday Inn Express - Auburn  Auburn, Alabama  2002   30,012    64.3%   77.33   $120.25 
                           
Aloft - Rogers  Rogers, Arkansas  2008   47,580    58.5%   75.02   $128.17 
                           
Fairfield Inn - Jonesboro  Jonesboro, Arkansas  2009   30,378    80.3%   89.67   $111.67 
                           
Courtyard - Baton Rouge  Baton Rouge, Louisiana  1997   44,286    80.3%   88.01   $109.58 
                           
      Hospitality Total   908,028    74.8%  $87.67   $117.26 

 

Annualized revenue is defined as the minimum monthly payments due as of December 31, 2016 annualized, excluding periodic contractual fixed increases and rents calculated based on a percentage of tenants' sales. The annualized base rent disclosed in the table above includes all concessions, abatements and reimbursements of rent to tenants.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS:

 

From time to time in the ordinary course of business, we may become subject to legal proceedings, claims or disputes.

 

On July 13, 2011, JF Capital Advisors, filed a lawsuit against The Lightstone Group, LLC, us, and Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. in the Supreme Court of the State of New York seeking payment for services alleged to have been rendered, and to be rendered prospectively, under theories of unjust enrichment and breach of contract. Effective January 4, 2017, the litigation was settled in its entirety  for an insignificant amount and this matter has now been fully disposed of.

 

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As of the date hereof, we are not a party to any material pending legal proceedings of which the outcome is probable or reasonably possible to have a material adverse effect on its results of operations or financial condition, which would require accrual or disclosure of the contingency and possible range of loss. Additionally, we have not recorded any loss contingencies related to legal proceedings in which the potential loss is deemed to be remote.

 

ITEM 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

 

Not applicable.

 

PART II.

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES:

 

Shareholder Information

 

As of March 15, 2017, we had approximately 18.3 million shares of common stock outstanding, held by a total of 5,463 stockholders. The number of stockholders is based on the records of DST Systems Inc., which serves as our registrar and transfer agent.

 

Estimated Net Asset Value (“NAV”) and NAV per Share of Common Stock (“NAV per Share”)

 

On March 17, 2017, our board of directors determined and approved our estimated NAV of approximately $184.1 million and resulting estimated NAV per Share of $10.00 after allocations of value to subordinated profits interests, or Subordinated Profits Interests, in our Operating Partnership held by Lightstone SLP II LLC, an affiliate of our Advisor, assuming a liquidation event, both as of December 31, 2016. From our inception through the termination of our Follow-On Offering on September 27, 2014, Lightstone SLP II LLC contributed (i) cash of approximately $12.9 million and (ii) aggregate equity interests of 48.6% in Brownmill, which were aggregately valued at $4.8 million, in exchange for 177.0 Subordinated Profits Interests, at a cost of $100,000 per unit, with an aggregate value of $17.7 million.

 

We believe there have been no material changes between December 31, 2016 and the date of this filing to the net values of our assets and liabilities that existed as of December 31, 2016, other than those already reflected in the valuation and disclosed herein.

 

Process and Methodology

 

Our Advisor, along with any necessary material assistance or confirmation of a third-party valuation expert or service, is responsible for calculating our estimated NAV and resulting NAV per Share, which we currently expect will be done on at least an annual basis unless and until our Common Shares are approved for listing on a national securities exchange. Our board of directors will review and approve each estimate of NAV and resulting NAV per Share.

 

Our estimated NAV and resulting NAV per Share as of December 31, 2016 were calculated with the assistance of both our Advisor and Robert A. Stanger & Co. Inc. (‘‘Stanger’’), an independent third-party valuation firm engaged by us to assist with the valuation of our assets, liabilities and any allocations of value to Subordinated Profits Interests, assuming a liquidation event. Our Advisor recommended and our board of directors established the estimated NAV per Share as of December 31, 2016 based upon the analyses and reports provided by our Advisor and Stanger. The process for estimating the value of our assets, liabilities and any allocation of value to the Subordinated Profits Interests, assuming a liquidation event, is performed in accordance with the provisions of the Investment Program Association Practice Guideline 2013-01, ‘‘Valuation of Publicly Registered Non-Listed REITs.’’ We believe that our valuations were developed in a manner reasonably designed to ensure their reliability.

 

The engagement of Stanger with respect to our estimated NAV and resulting NAV per Share as of December 31, 2016 was approved by our board of directors, including all of our independent directors. Stanger has extensive experience in conducting asset valuations, including valuations of commercial real estate, debt, properties and real estate-related investments.

 

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With respect to our estimated NAV and resulting NAV per Share as of December 31, 2016, Stanger prepared appraisal reports (the ‘‘Stanger Appraisal Reports’’), summarizing key inputs and assumptions, on the 23 properties (the ‘‘Stanger Appraised Properties’’) in which we held ownership interests as of December 31, 2016. Stanger also prepared a NAV report (the ‘‘December 2016 NAV Report’’) which estimated the NAV per Share as of December 31, 2016. The December 2016 NAV Report relied upon the Stanger Appraisal Reports for the Stanger Appraised Properties, Stanger’s estimated value of our mortgage notes payable and other debt, both receivable and payable, Stanger’s estimate of the allocation of value to the Subordinated Profits Interests, assuming a liquidation event, and our Advisor’s estimate of the value of our cash and cash equivalents, marketable equity securities, restricted escrows, other assets, other liabilities and other non-controlling interests, to calculate estimated NAV per Share, all as of December 31, 2016.

 

The table below sets forth the calculation of our estimated NAV and resulting estimated NAV per Share as of December 31, 2016, as well as the comparable calculation as of December 31, 2015. For periods prior to December 31, 2015, we had previously estimated our NAV per Share at $10.00 based on the offering price per share of common stock during our Follow-On Offering, which terminated on September 27, 2014. Dollar and share amounts are presented in thousands, except per share data.

 

   As of December 31, 2016   As of December 31, 2015 
   Value   Per Share   Value   Per Share 
                 
Net Assets:                    
Real Estate Properties  $289,789   $15.74   $286,373   $15.41 
Non-Real Estate Assets:                    
Cash and cash equivalents   43,179         37,381      
Marketable equity securities   8,738         15,464      
Restricted escrows   3,488         7,243      
Notes receivable from related party   -         2,055      
Other assets   3,983         3,942      
Total non-real estate assets   59,388    3.23    66,085    3.56 
Total Assets   349,177    18.97    352,458    18.97 
Liabilities:                    
Mortgages payable   (128,098)        (130,331)     
Margin loan   (3,854)        (7,577)     
Other liabilities   (16,552)        (10,896)     
Total liabilities   (148,504)   (8.07)   (148,804)   (8.01)
Other Non-Controlling Interests   (4,384)   (0.24)   (3,469)   (0.19)
Net Asset Value before Allocations to Subordinated Profits Interests   196,289   $10.66    200,185   $10.77 
Allocations to Subordinated Profits Interests   (12,179)   (0.66)   (11,868)   (0.64)
Net Asset Value  $184,110   $10.00   $188,317   $10.13 
                     
Shares of Common Stock Outstanding   18,411         18,586      

  

Use of Independent Valuation Firm:

 

As discussed above, our Advisor is responsible for calculating our NAV. In connection with determining our NAV, our Advisor may rely on the material assistance or confirmation of a third-party valuation expert or service. In this regard, Stanger was selected by our board of directors to assist our Advisor in the calculation of our estimated NAV and resulting estimated NAV per Share as of December 31, 2016. Stanger’s services included appraising the Stanger Appraised Properties and preparing the December 2016 NAV Report. Stanger is engaged in the business of appraising commercial real estate properties and is not affiliated with us or our Advisor. The compensation we paid to Stanger was based on the scope of work and not on the appraised values of our real estate properties. The appraisals were performed in accordance with the Code of Ethics and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, or USPAP, the real estate appraisal industry standards created by The Appraisal Foundation. The Stanger Appraisal Reports were reviewed, approved, and signed by an individual with the professional designation of MAI licensed in the state where each real property is located. The use of the reports is subject to the requirements of the Appraisal Institute relating to review by its duly authorized representatives. In preparing its reports, Stanger did not, and was not requested to; solicit third-party indications of interest for our common stock in connection with possible purchases thereof or the acquisition of all or any part of us.

 

Stanger collected reasonably available material information that it deemed relevant in appraising these real estate properties. Stanger relied in part on property-level information provided by our Advisor, including (i) property historical and projected operating revenues and expenses; and (ii) information regarding recent or planned capital expenditures.

 

In conducting their investigation and analyses, Stanger took into account customary and accepted financial and commercial procedures and considerations as they deemed relevant. Although Stanger reviewed information supplied or otherwise made available by us or our Advisor for reasonableness, they assumed and relied upon the accuracy and completeness of all such information and of all information supplied or otherwise made available to them by any other party and did not independently verify any such information. Stanger assumed that any operating or financial forecasts and other information and data provided to or otherwise reviewed by or discussed with Stanger were reasonably prepared in good faith on bases reflecting the then best currently available estimates and judgments of our management, our board of directors, and/or our Advisor. Stanger relied on us to advise them promptly if any information previously provided became inaccurate or was required to be updated during the period of their review.

 

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In performing its analyses, Stanger made numerous other assumptions as of various points in time with respect to industry performance, general business, economic, and regulatory conditions, and other matters, many of which are beyond their control and our control. Stanger also made assumptions with respect to certain factual matters. For example, unless specifically informed to the contrary, Stanger assumed that we have clear and marketable title to each real estate property appraised, that no title defects exist, that any improvements were made in accordance with law, that no hazardous materials are present or were present previously, that no significant deed restrictions exist, and that no changes to zoning ordinances or regulations governing use, density, or shape are pending or being considered. Furthermore, Stanger’s analyses, opinions, and conclusions were necessarily based upon market, economic, financial, and other circumstances and conditions existing as of or prior to the date of the Stanger Appraisal Reports, and any material change in such circumstances and conditions may affect Stanger’s analyses and conclusions. The Stanger Appraisal Reports contain other assumptions, qualifications, and limitations that qualify the analyses, opinions, and conclusions set forth therein. Furthermore, the prices at which our real estate properties may actually be sold could differ from Stanger’s analyses.

 

Stanger is actively engaged in the business of appraising commercial real estate properties similar to those owned by us in connection with public security offerings, private placements, business combinations, and similar transactions. We do not believe that there are any material conflicts of interest between Stanger, on the one hand, and us, our Sponsor, our Advisor, and our affiliates, on the other hand. Our Advisor engaged Stanger on behalf of our board of directors to deliver their reports to assist in the NAV calculation as of December 31, 2016 and Stanger received compensation for those efforts. In addition, we agreed to indemnify Stanger against certain liabilities arising out of this engagement. Stanger has previously assisted in our prior NAV calculations and has also been engaged by us for certain appraisal and valuation services in connection with our financial reporting requirements. Stanger has received usual and customary fees in connection with those services. Stanger may from time to time in the future perform other services for us and our Sponsor or other affiliates of the Sponsor, so long as such other services do not adversely affect the independence of Stanger as certified in the Appraisal Reports. During the past two years Stanger has also been engaged to provide appraisal services to another non-trade REIT sponsored by our Sponsor for which it was paid usual and customary fees.

.

Although Stanger considered any comments received from us and our Advisor relating to their reports, the final appraised values of the Stanger Appraised Properties were determined by Stanger. The reports were addressed to our board of directors to assist our board of directors in calculating an estimated value per share of our common stock as of December 31, 2016. The reports were not addressed to the public, may not be relied upon by any other person to establish an estimated value per share of our common stock, and do not constitute a recommendation to any person to purchase or sell any shares of our common stock.

 

Our goal in calculating our estimated NAV is to arrive at values that are reasonable and supportable using what we deem to be appropriate valuation methodologies and assumptions. The reports, including the analysis, opinions, and conclusions set forth in such reports, are qualified by the assumptions, qualifications, and limitations set forth in the respective reports. The following is a summary of our valuation methodologies used to value our assets and liabilities by key component:

 

Real Estate Properties: We have ownership interests in both consolidated and unconsolidated real estate properties (collectively, the ‘‘Real Estate Properties’’). As of December 31, 2016, on a collective basis, we wholly owned and consolidated the operating results and financial condition of 21 hospitality properties, or select services hotels, containing a total of 2,481 rooms. Additionally, as of December 31, 2016, we held a 48.6% ownership interest in Brownmill, an affiliated real estate entity, which owns two retail properties that we do not consolidate but rather account for under the equity method of accounting.

 

As described above, we engaged Stanger to provide an appraisal of the Stanger Appraised Properties, which consisted of the 23 properties in which we held ownership interests as of December 31, 2016. In preparing the appraisal reports, Stanger, among other things:

 

·performed a site visit of each property in connection with this assignment or other assignments;
·interviewed our officers or our Advisor’s personnel to obtain information relating to the physical condition of each appraised property, including known environmental conditions, status of ongoing or planned property additions and reconfigurations, and other factors for such leased properties;
·reviewed lease agreements for those properties subject to a long-term lease and discussed with us or our Advisor certain lease provisions and factors on each property; and
·reviewed the acquisition criteria and parameters used by real estate investors for properties similar to the subject properties, including a search of real estate data sources and publications concerning real estate buyer’s criteria, discussions with sources deemed appropriate, and a review of transaction data for similar properties.

 

Stanger employed the income approach and the sales comparison approach to estimate the value of the appraised properties. The income approach involves an economic analysis of the property based on its potential to provide future net annual income. As part of the valuation, a discounted cash flow analysis (‘‘DCF Analysis’’) and direct capitalization analysis was used in the income approach to determine the value of our interest in the portfolio. The indicated value by the income approach represents the amount an investor may pay for the expectation of receiving the net cash flow from the property.

 

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The direct capitalization analysis is based upon the net operating income of the property capitalized at an appropriate capitalization rate for the property based upon property characteristics and competitive position and market conditions at the date of the appraisal.

 

In applying the DCF Analysis, pro forma statements of operations for the property including revenues and expenses are analyzed and projected over a multi-year period. The property is assumed to be sold at the end of the multi-year holding period. The reversion value of the property which can be realized upon sale at the end of the holding period is calculated based on the capitalization of the estimated net operating income of the property in the year of sale, utilizing a capitalization rate deemed appropriate in light of the age, anticipated functional and economic obsolescence and competitive position of the property at the time of sale. Net proceeds to owners are determined by deducting appropriate costs of sale. The discount rate selected for the DCF Analysis is based upon estimated target rates of return for buyers of similar properties.

 

The sales comparison approach utilizes indices of value derived from actual or proposed sales of comparable properties to estimate the value of the subject property. The appraiser analyzed such comparable sale data as was available to develop a market value conclusion for the subject property.

 

Stanger prepared the Stanger Appraisal Reports, summarizing key inputs and assumptions, for each of the appraised properties using financial information provided by us and our Advisor. From such review, Stanger selected the appropriate cash flow discount rate, residual discount rate, and terminal capitalization rate in the DCF Analysis, the appropriate capitalization rate in the direct capitalization analysis and the appropriate price per unit in the sales comparison analysis.

 

The following summarizes the key assumptions that were used in the discounted cash flow models to estimate the value of the 23 properties included in our Real Estate Properties, as of December 31, 2016:

 

   Consolidated   Unconsolidated 
   Real Estate Properties   Real Estate Properties 
   (21 hospitality properties)   (2 retail properties) 
Weighted-average:          
Exit capitalization rate   8.74%   7.48%
Discount rate   10.68%   8.14%
Annual market rent growth rate   3.00%   2.39%
Annual net operating income growth rate   2.75%   3.02%
Holding period (in years)   10.0    10.0 

 

While we believe that the assumptions made by Stanger are reasonable, a change in these assumptions would impact the calculations of the estimated value of the 23 properties included in our Real Estate Properties. Assuming all other factors remain unchanged, the following table summarizes the estimated change in the values (dollars in thousands) of the 23 properties included in our Real Estate Properties which would result from a 25 basis point increase or decrease in exit capitalization rates and discount rates:

 

   Consolidated   Unconsolidated 
   Real Estate Properties   Real Estate Properties 
   (21 hospitality properties)   (2 retail properties) 
Increase of 25 basis points:          
Exit capitalization rate  $(3,409)  $(273)
Discount rate   (4,319)   (288)
Decrease of 25 basis points:          
Exit capitalization rate   3,615    292 
Discount rate   4,414    295 

 

As of December 31, 2016, the aggregate estimated fair value of our interests in the Real Estate Properties was approximately $289.8 million, including our (i) 21 select service hotels, which were valued at $280.0 million, and (ii) 48.6% non-managing membership interest in Brownmill, which was valued at $9.8 million, and the aggregate cost of our interests in the Real Estate Properties was approximately $263.7 million, including approximately $24.6 million of capital and tenant improvements invested subsequent to our acquisition. The estimated fair value of our Real Estate Properties compared to their original acquisition price plus subsequent capital improvements through December 31, 2016, results in an estimated overall increase in the real estate value of 9.9%.

 

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Cash and Cash Equivalents: The estimated values of our cash and cash equivalents approximate their carrying values due to their short maturities.

 

Marketable Securities: The estimated values of our marketable securities are based on Level 1 inputs. Level 1 inputs are inputs that are observable, either directly or indirectly, such as quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.

 

Restricted Escrows: The estimated values of our restricted escrows approximate their carrying values due to their short maturities.

 

Other Assets: Our other assets consist of tenant accounts receivable and prepaid expenses and other assets. The estimated values of these items approximate their carrying values due to their short maturities. Certain other items, primarily straight-line rent receivable, intangibles and deferred costs, have been eliminated for the purpose of the valuation because those items were already considered in our valuation of the respective investments in real estate properties or financial instruments.

 

Mortgage Notes Payable: The values for our mortgage loans were estimated using a discounted cash flow analysis, which used inputs based on the remaining loan terms and estimated current market interest rates for mortgage loans with similar characteristics, including remaining loan term and loan-to-value ratios. The current market interest rate was generally determined based on market rates for available comparable debt. The estimated current market interest rates for mortgage loans ranged from 4.33% to 6.01%.

 

Margin Loan: The estimated value of our margin loan which is due on demand ($3.9 million outstanding as of December 31, 2016) approximates its carrying value because of its short maturity.

 

Other Liabilities: Our other liabilities consist of our accounts payable and accrued expenses, amounts due to related parties, deposits payable, distributions payable and deferred rental income as of December 31, 2016. The carrying values of these items were considered to equal their fair value due to their short maturities. Certain other items, primarily intangibles, have been eliminated for the purpose of the valuation because those items are already considered in our valuation of the respective real estate properties or financial instruments.

 

Additionally, we have included the Catch-Up Distribution which totaled approximately $6.3 million ($2.1 million and $4.2 million related to our Common Shares and the Subordinated Profits Interests, respectively) in our other liabilities. On February 28, 2017, our board of directors declared the Catch-Up Distribution payable to shareholders of record as of February 28, 2017 and Lightstone SLP II, LLC. The Catch-Up Distribution was paid on March 15, 2017. We believe the effect of the Catch-Up Distribution should be reflected in our estimated NAV and resulting NAV per Share calculations as of December 31, 2016 because it related to periods through December 31, 2016.

 

Other Noncontrolling Interests: Our other noncontrolling interests represent the estimated values of the ownership interests of others in certain of our properties pursuant to the terms of their applicable operating agreements.

 

Allocations of Value to Subordinated Profits Interests: The carrying value of the Subordinated Profits Interests held by Lightstone SLP II LLC, an affiliate of our Advisor, are classified in noncontrolling interests on our consolidated balance sheet. The IPA’s Practice Guideline 2013—01 provides for adjustments to the NAV for preferred securities, special interests and incentive fees based on the aggregate NAV of the company and payable to the sponsor in a hypothetical liquidation of the company as of the valuation date in accordance with the provisions of the partnership or advisory agreements and the terms of the preferred securities. Because certain distributions related to our Subordinated Profits Interests are only payable to their holder in a liquidation event, we believe they should be valued for our NAV in accordance with these provisions.

 

Our operating agreement provides for distributions to be made during our liquidating stage to our stockholders and the holder of the Subordinated Profits Interests at certain prescribed thresholds. In connection with our initial public offering and Follow-On Offering of common stock, Lightstone SLP II LLC acquired an aggregate of approximately $17.7 million of Subordinated Profits Interests. In the calculation of our estimated NAV, an approximately $12.2 million allocation of value was made to the Subordinated Profits Interests representing the amount of estimated distributions which would have been payable to the holder of the Subordinated Profits Interests, assuming a liquidation event as of December 31, 2016.

 

Limitations and Risks

 

As with any valuation methodology, the methodology used to determine our estimated NAV and resulting estimated NAV per Share is based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that may prove later not to be accurate or complete. Further, different market participants with different property-specific and general real estate and capital market assumptions, estimates, judgments and standards could derive different estimated NAVs per Share, which could be significantly different from the estimated NAV per Share approved by our board of directors. The estimated NAV per Share approved by our board of directors does not represent the fair value of our assets less liabilities in accordance with GAAP, and such estimated NAV per Share is not a representation, warranty or guarantee that:

 

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·a stockholder would be able to resell his or her shares of common stock at the estimated NAV per Share;
·a stockholder would ultimately realize distributions per share of common stock equal to the estimated NAV per Share upon liquidation of our assets and settlement of our liabilities or a sale of the Company;
·our shares of common stock would trade at the estimated NAV per Share on a national securities exchange;
·an independent third-party appraiser or other third-party valuation firm would agree with the estimated NAV per Share; or
·the methodology used to estimate our NAV per Share would be acceptable to FINRA or under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act with respect to their respective requirements.

 

The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor do not provide any guidance on the methodology an issuer must use to determine its estimated NAV per share. FINRA guidance provides that NAV valuations be derived from a methodology that conforms to standard industry practice.

 

As with any valuation methodology, our methodology is based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that may not be accurate or complete. Different parties with different assumptions and estimates could derive different estimated NAVs and resulting NAVs per share, and these differences could be significant. The estimated NAV per Share is not audited and does not represent the fair value of our assets less our liabilities in accordance GAAP, nor do they represent an actual liquidation value of our assets and liabilities or the amount shares of our common stock would trade at on a national securities exchange. As of the date of this filing, although we have not sought stockholder approval to adopt a plan of liquidation of the Company, certain distributions may be payable to Lightstone SLP, LLC for its SLP Units in connection with a liquidation event. Accordingly, our estimated NAV reflects any allocations of value to the SLP Units representing the amount that would be payable to Lightstone SLP, LLC in connection with a liquidation event pursuant to the guidelines for estimating NAV contained in IPA Practice Guideline 2013-01, ‘‘Valuation of Publicly Registered Non-Listed REITs.’’ Our estimated NAV per Share is based on the estimated value of our assets less the estimated value of our liabilities and other non-controlling interests less any allocations to the Subordinated Profits Interests divided by the number of our diluted shares of common stock outstanding, all as of the date indicated. Our estimated NAV per Share does not reflect a discount for the fact we are externally managed, nor does it reflect a real estate portfolio premium/discount versus the sum of the individual property values. Our estimated NAV per Share does not take into account estimated disposition costs or fees or penalties, if any, that may apply upon the prepayment of certain of our debt obligations or the impact of restrictions on the assumption of certain debt. Our estimated NAV per Share will fluctuate over time as a result of, among other things, future acquisitions or dispositions of assets, developments related to individual assets and the management of those assets and changes in the real estate and capital markets. Different parties using different assumptions and estimates could derive different NAVs and resulting estimated NAVs per share, and these differences could be significant. Markets for real estate and real estate-related investments can fluctuate and values are expected to change in the future. We currently expect that our Advisor will estimate our NAV on at least an annual basis. Our board of directors will review and approve each estimate of NAV and resulting estimated NAV per Share.

 

The following factors may cause a stockholder not to ultimately realize distributions per share of common stock equal to the estimated NAV per Share upon liquidation:

 

·The methodology used to determine estimated NAV per Share includes a number of estimates and assumptions that may not prove to be accurate or complete as compared to the actual amounts received in the liquidation;
·In a liquidation, certain assets may not be liquidated at their estimated values because of transfer fees and disposition fees, which are not reflected in the estimated NAV calculation;
·In a liquidation, debt obligations may have to be prepaid and the costs of any prepayment penalties may reduce the liquidation amounts. Prepayment penalties are not included in determining the estimated value of liabilities in determining estimated NAV;
·In a liquidation, the real estate assets may derive a portfolio premium which premium is not considered in determining estimated NAV;
·In a liquidation, the potential buyers of the assets may use different estimates and assumptions than those used in determining estimated NAV;
·If the liquidation occurs through a listing of the common stock on a national securities exchange, the capital markets may value the Company’s net assets at a different amount than the estimated NAV. Such valuation would likely be based upon customary REIT valuation methodology including funds from operation (‘‘FFO’’) multiples of other comparable REITs, FFO coverage of dividends and adjusted FFO payout of the Company’s anticipated dividend; and

 

If the liquidation occurs through a merger of the Company with another REIT, the amount realized for the common stock may not equal the estimated NAV per Share because of many factors including the aggregate consideration received, the make-up of the consideration (e.g., cash, stock or both), the performance of any stock received as part of the consideration during the merger process and thereafter, the reception of the merger in the market and whether the market believes the pricing of the merger was fair to both parties.

 

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Share Repurchase Program

 

Our share repurchase program may provide eligible stockholders with limited, interim liquidity by enabling them to sell shares of common stock back to us, subject to restrictions and applicable law. A selling stockholder must be unaffiliated with us, and must have beneficially held the shares of common stock for at least one year prior to offering the shares of common stock for sale to us through the share repurchase program. Subject to the limitations described in the Registration Statement, we will also redeem shares of common stock upon the request of the estate, heir or beneficiary of a deceased stockholder.

 

The price at which stockholders who have held shares of common stock for the required one-year period may sell shares of common stock back to us is currently the lesser of (i) $10.00 per share of common stock or (ii) the purchase price per share of common stock if purchased from the dealer manager at a reduced price.

 

On December 21, 2012, our Board of Directors declared that in the case of the death of the stockholder, the purchase price per share is the lesser of the actual amount paid by the stockholder to acquire the shares or $10.00 per share.

 

Redemption of shares, when requested, will be made quarterly. Subject to funds being available, we will limit the number of shares repurchased during any 12-month period to two percent of the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the prior calendar year. Funding for the share repurchase program will come exclusively from operating funds, if any, as the Board of Directors, at its sole discretion, may reserve for this purpose.

 

Our Board of Directors, at its sole discretion, may choose to terminate the share repurchase program after the end of the offering period, change the price per share of common stock under the share repurchase program, or reduce the number of shares purchased under the program, if it determines that the funds allocated to the share repurchase program are needed for other purposes, such as the acquisition, maintenance or repair of properties, or for use in making a declared distribution. A determination by our Board of Directors to eliminate or reduce the share repurchase program will require the unanimous affirmative vote of the independent directors.

 

Our share repurchase program may provide our stockholders with limited, interim liquidity by enabling them to sell their shares of common stock back to us, subject to restrictions. From our inception through December 31, 2015, we redeemed 0.3 million common shares at an average price per share of $9.29 per share. During 2016, we redeemed 0.2 million common shares or 100% of redemption requests received during the period, at an average price per share of $9.80 per share. We funded share redemptions for the periods noted above from the cumulative proceeds of the sale of shares of common shares pursuant to our DRIP and from our operating funds.

 

Our Board of Directors, at its sole discretion, has the power to terminate the share repurchase program after the end of the offering period, change the price per share under the share repurchase program or reduce the number of shares purchased under the program, if it determines that the funds allocated to the share repurchase program are needed for other purposes, such as the acquisition, maintenance or repair of properties, or for use in making a declared distribution. A determination by our Board of Directors to eliminate or reduce the share repurchase program requires the unanimous affirmative vote of the independent directors.

 

Distributions

 

U.S. federal income tax law requires that a REIT distribute annually at least 90% of its REIT taxable income (which does not equal net income, as calculated in accordance with GAAP) determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain. In order to continue to qualify for REIT status, we may be required to make distributions in excess of cash available.

 

Distributions are at the discretion of our Board of Directors. We commenced regular quarterly distributions beginning with the fourth quarter of 2009. We may fund future distributions with cash proceeds from borrowings if we do not generate sufficient cash flow from our operations to fund distributions. Our ability to continue to pay regular distributions and the size of these distributions will depend upon a variety of factors. For example, our borrowing policy permits us to incur short-term indebtedness, having a maturity of two years or less, and we may have to borrow funds on a short-term basis to meet the distribution requirements that are necessary to achieve the tax benefits associated with qualifying as a REIT. We cannot assure that regular quarterly distributions will continue to be made or that we will maintain any particular level of distributions that we have established or may establish.

 

We are an accrual basis taxpayer, and as such our REIT taxable income could be higher than the cash available to us. We may therefore borrow to make distributions, which could reduce the cash available to us, in order to distribute 90% of our REIT taxable income as a condition to our election to be taxed as a REIT. These distributions made with borrowed funds may constitute a return of capital to stockholders. “Return of capital” refers to distributions to investors in excess of net income. To the extent that distributions to stockholders exceed earnings and profits, such amounts constitute a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes, although such distributions might not reduce stockholders’ aggregate invested capital. Because our earnings and profits are reduced for depreciation and other non-cash items, it is likely that a portion of each distribution will constitute a tax-deferred return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

 

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Distributions Declared by our Board of Directors and Source of Distributions

 

On March 30, 2009, our Board of Directors declared the annualized distribution rate for each quarterly period commencing 30 days subsequent to us achieving the minimum offering of 500,000 shares of our common stock. The distribution was calculated based on stockholders of record each day during the applicable period at a rate of $0.00178082191 per share per day (the “Initial Annualized Distribution Rate”), and equaled a daily amount that, if paid each day for a 365-day period, would equal a 6.5% annualized rate based on the share price of $10.00.

 

At the beginning of October 2009, we achieved our minimum offering of 500,000 shares of common stock and on November 3, 2009, our Board of Directors declared our first quarterly distribution at the Initial Annualized Distribution Rate for the three-month period ending December 31, 2009. Subsequently, our Board of Directors declared regular quarterly distributions at the Initial Annualized Distribution Rate.

 

On September 25, 2015, the Board of Directors resolved that future distributions declared to shareholders of record on the close of business on the last day of the quarter during the applicable quarter would be targeted to be paid at a rate of $0.0019178 per day (the “Revised Annualized Distribution Rate”), which would equal a daily amount that, if paid each day for a 365-day period, would equal a 7.0% annualized rate based on a share price of $10.00, which would be an increase over the prior quarterly distributions of an annualized rate of 6.5%. Commencing with the three-month period ended December 31, 2015, our Board of Directors has declared regular quarterly distributions at the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate.

 

Total distributions declared during the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 and were $13.0 million, $12.3 million, and $8.2 million, respectively. The entire distribution for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 was paid from cash flows provided by operations. The distribution for the year ended December 31, 2014 was paid from cash flows provided by operations ($3.8 million or 46%) and excess cash proceeds from the issuance of common stock through the Company’s DRIP ($4.4 million or 54%).

 

On February 28, 2017, our Board of Directors declared a special distribution, payable to stockholders of record on February 28, 2017, for the difference between the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate and the Initial Annualized Distribution Rate for the period from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2015. This distribution was calculated based on stockholders of record each day during the applicable period at a rate of $0.000136986 per share per day, and equals a daily amount that, if paid each day for a 365-day period, would equal an 0.5% annualized rate based on the share price of s$10.00. The Company had previously commenced making regular quarterly distributions to shareholders at the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate for quarterly periods commencing on October 1, 2015. Additionally, on March 17, 2017, the Board of Directors also declared a special distribution on the Subordinated Profits Interests for the period commencing with their issuance through December 31, 2016 at the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate. The special distributions declared on February 28, 2017 are collectively referred to as the “Catch-Up Distribution.” The Catch-Up Distribution, which was paid on March 15, 2017, totaled $6.3 million ($2.1 million and $4.2 million on common shares and Subordinated Profits Interests, respectively.

 

On March 17, 2017, our Board of Directors declared the quarterly distribution for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017 at the Revised Annualized Distribution Rate payable to stockholders of record on the close of business on the last day of the quarter, which will be paid on or about April 15, 2017.

 

Our stockholders had the option to elect the receipt of shares of common stock in lieu of cash under our DRIP. On January 19, 2015, our Board of Directors suspended our DRIP effective April 15, 2015. For so long as the DRIP remains suspended, all future distributions will be in the form of cash.

 

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

 

The description of the sale of Subordinated Profits Interests set forth under “- Use of Public Offering Proceeds” is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Use of Public Offering Proceeds

 

On April 24, 2009, we commenced an initial public offering (the “Offering”) to sell a maximum of 51.0 million shares of common stock at a price of $10.00 per share and 6.5 million shares of common stock available pursuant to our DRIP. We also had 255,000 shares reserved for issuance under our Employee and Director Incentive Restricted Share Plan. Our Registration Statement was declared effective under the Securities Act of 1933 on February 17, 2009, and on April 24, 2009, we began offering our shares of common stock for sale to the public.

 

The Offering, which terminated on August 15, 2012, raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $49.8 million from the sale of approximately 5.0 million shares of common stock. After allowing for the payment of approximately $5.2 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $4.5 million in organization and other offering expenses, the Offering generated aggregate net proceeds of approximately $40.1 million. In addition, through August 15, 2012 (the termination date of the Offering), we had issued approximately 0.3 million shares of common stock under its DRIP, representing approximately $2.9 million of additional proceeds.

 

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The Follow-On Offering, pursuant to which we were offering to sell up to 30.0 million shares of our common stock for $10.00 per share, subject to certain volume discounts (exclusive of 2,500,000 shares available pursuant to our DRIP at an initial purchase price of $9.50 per share and 255,000 shares reserved for issuance under our Employee and Director Incentive Restricted Share Plan) was declared effective by SEC under the Securities Act of 1933 on September 27, 2012. The Follow-On Offering, which terminated on September 27, 2014, raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $127.5 million from the sale of approximately 12.9 million shares of common stock. After allowing for the payment of approximately $11.0 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $4.0 million in organization and other offering expenses, the Follow-On Offering generated aggregate net proceeds of approximately $112.5 million.

 

As of December 31, 2016, the Advisor owned 20,000 shares of common stock which were issued on May 20, 2008 for $200,000 or $10.00 per share. In addition, as of September 30, 2009, we had reached the minimum offering under our Offering by receiving subscriptions of our common shares, representing gross offering proceeds of approximately $6.5 million, and effective October 1, 2009 investors were admitted as stockholders and the Operating Partnership commenced operations. Through December 31, 2016, cumulative gross offering proceeds of $177.3 million were released to us. We invested the proceeds received from the Offering, the Follow-On Offering and the Advisor in the Operating Partnership, and as a result, held a 99% general partnership interest as of December 31, 2016 in the Operating Partnership’s common units.

 

Lightstone SLP II LLC, which is wholly owned by our Sponsor, committed to purchase Subordinated Profits Interests at a cost of $100,000 per unit for each $1.0 million in subscriptions up to ten percent of the proceeds from the primary shares under the Offering and Follow-On Offering on a semi-annual basis beginning with the quarter ended June 30, 2010. Lightstone SLP II LLC had the option to purchase the Subordinated Profits Interests with either cash or an interest in real property of equivalent value. Proceeds received from the cash sale of the Subordinated Profits Interests were used to offset payments made by us from offering proceeds to pay the dealer manager fees, selling commissions and organization and other offering expenses.

 

From our inception through the termination of the Follow-On Offering, our Sponsor contributed cash of approximately $12.9 million and elected to contribute equity interests totaling 48.6% in Brownmill, which were valued at $4.8 million, in exchange for 177.0 Subordinated Profits Interests with an aggregate value of $17.7 million. See “Sponsor’s Contribution of Equity Interests in Brownmill” below for additional information.

 

Below is a summary of the expenses we have incurred in connection with the issuance and distribution of the registered securities since our inception through the investment of the offering proceeds:

 

(Dollars in Thousands)    
Type of Expense Amount     
Underwriting discounts and commissions  $16,257 
Other expenses incurred to be paid non-affiliates   8,506 
Total  offering expenses  incurred from inception through investment  $24,763 

 

Cumulatively since our inception through the investment of the offering proceeds, we have used the net offering proceeds of $152.5 million, after deduction of offering expenses paid since inception of $24.8 million, as follows:

 

(Dollars in thousands)    
Purchase of investment properties, net of mortgage financings  $132,315 
Purchase of investments in unconsolidated affiliated entities   3,744 
Purchase of marketable securities, net of margin loan   11,641 
Cash distributions not funded by operations   3,572 
Funding of restricted escrows   2,228 
Other uses (primarily timing of payables)   (980)
      
Total uses  $152,520 

 

As of March 15, 2017, we have sold approximately 18.3 million shares of common stock, net of redemptions, at an aggregate of price of approximately $183.7 million; these include approximately 1.1 million shares of common stock at an aggregate price of approximately $10.0 million under our DRIP.

 

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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA:

 

The following selected consolidated and combined financial data are qualified by reference to and should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and Notes thereto and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” below.

 

   As of and for the Years Ended December 31, 
(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)  2016   2015   2014   2013   2012 
                     
Operating Data:                         
Revenues  $83,421   $71,368   $23,566   $13,058   $5,942 
                          
Bargain purchase gain  $-   $-   $2,790   $1,263   $7,857 
                          
Net income  $6,242   $5,457   $4,540   $1,370   $9,764 
                          
Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests   (297)   (144)   (68)   (40)   (555)
                          
Net income applicable to Company's common shares  $5,945   $5,313   $4,472   $1,330   $9,209 
                          
Basic and diluted earnings per Company's common shares  $0.32   $0.29   $0.35   $0.21   $1.84 
                          
Dividends declared on Company's common shares  $12,968   $12,339   $8,194   $4,050   $3,268 
Weighted average common shares outstanding-basic and diluted   18,496    18,629    12,608    6,235    5,016 
Balance Sheet Data:                         
Total assets  $297,873   $312,456   $207,693   $95,826   $64,734 
Mortgages payable, net  $127,140   $129,824   $23,761   $24,260   $11,157 
Company's  Stockholder's Equity  $136,435   $144,159   $153,184   $59,424   $42,873 
                          
Other financial data:                         
Funds from operations (FFO) attributable to Company's common shares (1)  $16,726   $14,547   $5,611   $2,479   $2,317 

 

1.For more information about FFO and MFFO, including a reconciliation to our GAAP net income/(loss) for each period reported, please see Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - “Funds from Operations and Modified Funds from Operations.”

 

ITEM 7.     MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS:

 

You should read the following discussion and analysis together with our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following information contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Please see “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” above for a description of these risks and uncertainties.  Dollar amounts are presented in thousands, except per share data and where indicated in millions.

 

Overview

 

Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust II, Inc. (the “Lightstone REIT II”), together with Lightstone Value Plus REIT II, LP (the “Operating Partnership” and collectively “the Company”, also referred to as “we”, “our” or “us”) has and may continue to acquire and operate in the future commercial, residential and hospitality properties and make real estate-related investments, principally in the United States. Our acquisitions and investments are principally conducted through our Operating Partnership and may include both portfolios and individual properties. Our commercial holdings currently consist of retail (primarily multi-tenanted shopping centers) and hospitality properties. All of such properties have been and will continue to be acquired and operated by us alone or jointly with others.

 

Capital used for the purchase of our real estate and real estate related investments was principally obtained from the public offering of shares of our common stock, and from indebtedness that we incurred in connection with the acquisition of real estate and real estate related investments thereafter. A Registration Statement on Form S-11 covering our public offering (the “Offering”) was declared effective under the Securities Act of 1933 on February 17, 2009. The Offering, which commenced on April 24, 2009 and terminated on August 15, 2012, raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $49.8 million from the sale of approximately 5.0 million shares of common stock. After allowing for the payment of approximately $5.2 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $4.5 million in organization and other offering expenses, the Offering generated aggregate net proceeds of approximately $40.1 million. In addition, through August 15, 2012 (the termination date of the Offering), we had issued approximately 0.3 million shares of common stock under our DRIP, representing approximately $2.9 million of additional proceeds.

 

Our registration statement on Form S-11 (the “Follow-On Offering”), pursuant to which we offered to sell up to 30.0 million shares of our common stock for $10.00 per share, subject to certain volume discounts (exclusive of 2,500,000 shares available pursuant to its DRIP at an initial purchase price of $9.50 per share and 255,000 shares reserved for issuance under our Employee and Director Incentive Restricted Share Plan) was declared effective by SEC under the Securities Act of 1933 on September 27, 2012. The Follow-On Offering, which terminated on September 27, 2014, raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $127.5 million from the sale of approximately 12.9 million shares of common stock. After allowing for the payment of approximately $11.0 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $4.0 million in organization and other offering expenses, the Follow-On Offering generated aggregate net proceeds of approximately $112.5 million.

 

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We do not have employees. We entered into an advisory agreement dated February 17, 2009 with Lightstone Value Plus REIT II LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, which we refer to as the “Advisor,” pursuant to which the Advisor supervises and manages our day-to-day operations and selects our real estate and real estate related investments, subject to oversight by our Board of Directors. We pay the Advisor fees for services related to the investment and management of our assets, and we will reimburse the Advisor for certain expenses incurred on our behalf.

 

Beginning with the year ended December 31, 2009, we qualified to be taxed as a real estate investment trust (a “REIT”), under Sections 856 through 860 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). To qualify as a REIT, we must meet certain organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement to distribute at least 90% of our ordinary taxable income to stockholders. As a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on taxable income that we distribute to our stockholders. If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, it will then be subject to federal income taxes on its taxable income at regular corporate rates and will not be permitted to qualify for treatment as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes for four years following the year during which qualification is lost unless the Internal Revenue Service grants us relief under certain statutory provisions. Such an event could materially adversely affect our net income and net cash available for distribution to our stockholders. As of December 31, 2016, we continue to comply with the requirements for maintaining our REIT status.

 

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we engage in certain activities through a wholly-owned taxable REIT subsidiary (“TRS”). As such, we are subject to U.S. federal and state income and franchise taxes from these activities.

 

Acquisitions and Investment Strategy

 

We have made or may make direct or indirect real estate investments that will satisfy our primary investment objectives of preserving capital, paying regular quarterly cash distributions and achieving appreciation of our assets over the long term.

 

We will continue to seek to acquire and operate commercial, residential, and hospitality properties, principally in the United States. Our commercial holdings may consist of retail (primarily multi-tenanted shopping centers), industrial and office properties. We may acquire and operate all such properties alone or jointly with another party. In addition, we may invest up to 20% of its net assets in collateralized debt obligations, commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) and mortgage and mezzanine loans secured, directly or indirectly, by the same types of properties which we may acquire directly. Through our Operating Partnership, we have and will continue to acquire and operate commercial and hospitality properties and make real estate-related investments, principally in North America through our Operating Partnership. Our holdings currently consist of retail (primarily multi-tenanted shopping centers) and hospitality properties. All our properties have been and will continue to be acquired and operated by us alone or jointly with others. Since inception, we have completed the following significant property and investments transactions:

 

Property and Investments Transactions

 

·HGF: During 2009, we acquired a 32.42% Class D Member Interest in HG CMBS Finance, LLC (“HGF”), a real estate limited liability company that primarily invested in CMBS, which were sold by HGF during 2010.

 

·Brownmill: We have an aggregate 48.6% equity interest in Brownmill, LLC (“Brownmill”), which includes two retail properties known as the Browntown Shopping Center and the Millburn Mall, located in Old Bridge, New Jersey and Vauxhall, New Jersey, respectively, which was acquired in June 2010 (with respect to a 26.25% equity interest), December 2010 (with respect to a 8.163% equity interest), December 2011 (with respect to a 5.587% equity interest), June 2012 (with respect to a 5.102% equity interest) and October 2012 (with respect to an 3.4776% equity interest).

 

·TownePlace Suites – Metairie: In January 2011, we acquired a 95.0% ownership interest in a TownePlace Suites hotel (the “TownePlace Suites – Metairie”) located in Harahan, Louisiana and in August 2015, we acquired the remaining 5.0% ownership interest in the TownePlace Suites – Metairie and as a result, now have a 100.0% ownership interest.

 

·CP Boston Joint Venture: In March 2011, we acquired a 20.0% ownership interest in LVP CP Boston Holdings, LLC (the “CP Boston Joint Venture”), a joint venture which owns a hotel and water park located in Danvers, Massachusetts, which we subsequently disposed of in February 2012 with an effective date of January 1, 2012.

 

·Rego Park Joint Venture: In April 2011, we acquired a 10.0% ownership interest in LVP Rego Park, LLC(the “Rego Park Joint Venture”), a joint venture which owned a second mortgage loan secured by a residential apartment complex located in Queens, New York, which was paid in full in June 2013.

 

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·SpringHill Suites – Peabody: In July 2012, we acquired a SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel (the “SpringHill Suites – Peabody”) located in Peabody, Massachusetts.

 

·Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford: In December 2012, we acquired an aggregate 87.7% ownership interest in a Fairfield Inn hotel (the “Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford”) located in East Rutherford, New Jersey as a result of the restructuring of our mortgage loan receivable secured by the Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford , which was previously acquired in June 2010;

 

·Arkansas Hotel Portfolio: In June 2013, we acquired a 95.0% ownership interest in a portfolio comprised of two TownePlace Suites hotels located in Little Rock (the “TownePlace Suites – Little Rock”) and Johnson/Springdale, Arkansas (the “TownePlace Suites – Fayetteville” and collectively, the “Arkansas Hotel Portfolio”), respectively, and in June 2015, we acquired the remaining 5.0% membership interest in all of these hotels and as a result, now have 100.0% ownership interests.

 

·Holiday Inn – Opelika: In April 2014, we acquired a Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites (the “Holiday Inn — Opelika”) located in Opelika, Alabama.

 

·Aloft Tucson: In April 2014, we acquired an Aloft Hotel (the “Aloft — Tucson”) located in Tucson, Arizona.

 

·Hampton Inn – Fort Myers Beach: In October 2014. we acquired a Hampton Inn Hotel (the “Hampton Inn — Fort Myers Beach”) located in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

 

·Philadelphia Airport Hotel Portfolio: In December 2014, we acquired a portfolio comprised of two hotels and a land parcel located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Aloft Philadelphia Airport (the “Aloft - Philadelphia”) and the Four Points by Sheraton Philadelphia Airport (the “Four Points by Sheraton - Philadelphia”, and collectively, the “Philadelphia Airport Hotel Portfolio”).

 

·LVP REIT Hotels:

 

In January 2015, our Board of Directors provided approval for us to form a joint venture (the “Joint Venture”) with Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. (“Lightstone I”), a real estate investment trust also sponsored by our Sponsor, The Lightstone Group, and for the Joint Venture to acquire Lightstone I’s membership interest in up to 11 limited service hotels (the “LVP REIT Hotels”). Our advisor elected to waive the acquisition fee associated with this transaction.

 

Subsequently in January 2015, we, through the Operating Partnership, entered into an agreement to form the Joint Venture with Lightstone I whereby we and Lightstone I have 97.5% and 2.5% membership interests in the Joint Venture, respectively. We are the managing member. Each member may receive distributions and make future capital contributions based upon its respective ownership percentage, as required.

 

In January 2015, we, through the Joint Venture, completed the acquisition of 100.0% membership interest in a portfolio of five limited service hotels (the “Hotel I Portfolio”), which were part of the LVP REIT Hotels. The five limited service hotels included in the Hotel I Portfolio are as follows:

 

·a Courtyard by Marriott located in Willoughby, Ohio (the “Courtyard – Willoughby”);
·a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott located in West Des Moines, Iowa (the “Fairfield Inn – Des Moines”);
·a SpringHill Suites by Marriott located in West Des Moines, Iowa (the SpringHill Suites – Des Moines”);
·a Hampton Inn located in Miami, Florida (the “Hampton Inn – Miami”); and
·a Hampton Inn & Suites located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (the “Hampton Inn & Suites – Fort Lauderdale”).

 

In February 2015, we, through the Joint Venture, completed the acquisition of Lightstone I’s (i) 100.0% membership interest in a Courtyard by Marriott located in Parsippany, New Jersey (the “Courtyard – Parsippany”) and (ii) 90.0% membership interest in a Residence Inn by Marriott located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (the “Residence Inn - Baton Rouge. These two hotels were part of the LVP REIT Hotels.

 

The acquisition of the above seven hotels during the first quarter of 2015 are collectively referred to as the “1st Quarter 2015 Acquisitions”.

 

In June 2015, we, through the Joint Venture, completed the acquisition of Lightstone I’s (i) 100.0% membership interest in a Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites located in Auburn, Alabama (the “Holiday Inn Express – Auburn”), (ii) 100.0% membership interest in an Aloft Hotel located in Rogers, Arkansas (the “Aloft – Rogers”) and (iii) 95.0% membership interest in a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott located in Jonesboro, Arkansas (the “Fairfield Inn – Jonesboro” and collectively, the “Hotel II Portfolio”). These three hotels were part of the LVP REIT Hotels.

 

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In June 2015, we, through the Joint Venture, completed the acquisition of Lightstone I’s 90.0% membership interest in a Courtyard by Marriott located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (the “Courtyard – Baton Rouge”). This hotel was part of the LVP REIT Hotels.

 

The acquisition of the above four hotels during the second quarter of 2015 are collectively referred to as the “2nd Quarter 2015 Acquisitions”.

 

Current Environment

 

Our operating results as well as our investment opportunities are impacted by the health of the North American economies.  Our business and financial performance may be adversely affected by current and future economic conditions, such as availability of credit, financial markets volatility, and recession.

 

We are not aware of any other material trends or uncertainties, favorable or unfavorable, other than national economic conditions affecting real estate generally, that may be reasonably anticipated to have a material impact on either capital resources or the revenues or income to be derived from the acquisition and operation of real estate and real estate related investments, other than those referred to in this Form 10-K.

 

Critical Accounting Estimates and Policies

 

General.

 

Our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report include our accounts and the Operating Partnership (over which we exercise financial and operating control). All inter-company balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

 

The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”). The preparation of our financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments about the effects of matters or future events that are inherently uncertain. These estimates and judgments may affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities.

 

On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates, including contingencies and litigation. We base these estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable in the circumstances. These estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

 

To assist in understanding our results of operations and financial position, we have identified our critical accounting policies and discussed them below. These accounting policies are most important to the portrayal of our results and financial position, either because of the significance of the financial statement items to which they relate or because they require management's most difficult, subjective or complex judgments.

 

Revenue Recognition and Valuation of Related Receivables.

 

Our revenue is comprised primarily of revenue from the operations of hotels. Hotel revenue will be recognized as earned, which is generally defined as the date upon which a guest occupies a room or utilizes the hotel’s services.

 

Investments in Real Estate.

 

We generally record investments in real estate at cost and capitalize improvements and replacements when they extend the useful life or improve the efficiency of the asset. We expense costs of repairs and maintenance as incurred. We compute depreciation using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of our real estate assets, which is approximately 39 years for buildings and improvements, 5 to 10 years for furniture and fixtures and the shorter of the useful life or the remaining lease term for tenant improvements and leasehold interests.

 

We make subjective assessments as to the useful lives of our properties for purposes of determining the amount of depreciation to record on an annual basis with respect to our investments in real estate. These assessments have a direct impact on our net income because, if we were to shorten the expected useful lives of our investments in real estate, we would depreciate these investments over fewer years, resulting in more depreciation expense and lower net income on an annual basis.

 

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When circumstances such as adverse market conditions indicate a possible impairment of the value of a property, we review the recoverability of the property’s carrying value. The review of recoverability is based on our estimate of the future undiscounted cash flows, excluding interest charges, expected to result from the property’s use and eventual disposition. Our forecast of these cash flows considers factors such as expected future operating income, market and other applicable trends and residual value, as well as the effects of leasing demand, competition and other factors. If impairment exists due to the inability to recover the carrying value of a property, we will record an impairment loss to the extent that the carrying value exceeds the estimated fair value of the property.

 

We make subjective assessments as to whether there are impairments in the values of our investments in real estate. We evaluate our ability to collect both interest and principal related to any real estate related investments in which we invest. If circumstances indicate that such investment is impaired, we reduce the carrying value of the investment to its net realizable value. Such reduction in value is reflected as a charge to operations in the period in which the determination is made.

 

Real Estate Purchase Price Allocation.

 

When we make an investment in real estate, the fair value of the real estate acquired is allocated to the acquired tangible assets, consisting of land, building and tenant improvements, identified intangible assets and liabilities, consisting of the value of above-market and below-market leases for acquired in-place leases and the value of tenant relationships, and certain liabilities such as assumed debt and contingent liabilities, based in each case on their fair values. Purchase accounting is applied to assets and liabilities related to real estate entities acquired based upon the percentage of interest acquired. Fees incurred related to acquisitions are expensed as incurred within general and administrative costs within the consolidated statements of operations. Transaction costs such as professional fees, commissions, acquisition fees and closing costs incurred related to our investment in unconsolidated real estate entities, accounted for under the equity method of accounting, are capitalized as part of the cost of the investment.

 

Upon acquisition of real estate operating properties, we estimate the fair value of acquired tangible assets and identified intangible assets and liabilities, assumed debt and contingent liabilities at the date of acquisition, based upon an evaluation of information and estimates available at that date. Based on these estimates, we allocate the initial purchase price to the applicable assets, liabilities and noncontrolling interest, if any. As final information regarding fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed and noncontrolling interest is received and estimates are refined, appropriate adjustments are made to the purchase price allocation. The allocations are finalized within twelve months of the acquisition date.

 

We allocate the purchase price of an acquired property to tangible assets based on the estimated fair values of those tangible assets assuming the building was vacant. We record above-market and below-market in-place lease values for acquired properties based on the present value (using an interest rate which reflects the risks associated with the leases acquired) of the difference between (1) the contractual amounts to be paid pursuant to the in-place leases and (2) management’s estimate of fair market lease rates for the corresponding in-place leases, measured over a period equal to the remaining non-cancelable term of the lease. We amortize capitalized above-market lease values as a reduction of rental income over the remaining non-cancelable terms of the respective leases. We amortize any capitalized below-market lease values as an increase to rental income over the initial term and any fixed-rate renewal periods in the respective leases.

 

We measure the aggregate value of other intangible assets acquired based on the difference between (1) the property valued with existing in-place leases adjusted to market rental rates and (2) the property valued as if vacant. The fair value of in-place leases includes direct costs associated with obtaining a new tenant, opportunity costs associated with lost rentals which are avoided by acquiring an in-place lease, and tenant relationships. Direct costs associated with obtaining a new tenant include commissions, tenant improvements, and other direct costs and are estimated based upon independent appraisals and management’s consideration of current market costs to execute similar leases. These direct costs are included in intangible lease assets in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet and are amortized over the remaining terms of the respective lease. The value of customer relationship intangibles are amortized to expense over the initial term in the respective leases, but in no event is the amortization period for intangible assets in excess of the remaining depreciable life of the building. Should a tenant terminate its lease, the unamortized portion of the in-place lease value and customer relationship intangibles is charged to expense.

 

Investments in Unconsolidated Entities.

 

We evaluate investments in other entities for consolidation. We consider the percentage interest in the joint venture, evaluation of control and whether a variable interest entity exists when determining if the investment qualifies for consolidation.

 

Under the equity method, the investment is recorded initially at cost, and subsequently adjusted for equity in net income (loss) and cash contributions and distributions. The net income or loss of each investor is allocated in accordance with the provisions of the applicable operating agreements of the entities.  The allocation provisions in these agreements may differ from the ownership interest held by each investor.  Differences between the carrying amount of our investment in the respective joint venture and our share of the underlying equity of such unconsolidated entities are amortized over the respective lives of the underlying assets as applicable. These items are reported as a single line item in the consolidated statements of operations as income or loss from investments in unconsolidated affiliated entities.

 

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Under the cost method of accounting, the investment is recorded initially at cost, and subsequently adjusted for cash contributions and distributions resulting from any capital events. Dividends earned from the underlying entities are recorded as interest income.

 

On a quarterly basis, we assess whether the value of our investments in unconsolidated entities has been impaired.  An investment is impaired only if management’s estimate of the fair value of the investment is less than the carrying value of the investment, and such decline in value is deemed to be other than temporary.  The ultimate realization of our investment in partially owned entities is dependent on a number of factors including the performance of that entity and market conditions. If we determine that a decline in the value of a partially owned entity is other than temporary, we record an impairment charge.

 

Accounting for Derivative Financial Investments and Hedging Activities.

 

We may enter into derivative financial instrument transactions in order to mitigate interest rate risk on a related financial instrument. We may designate these derivative financial instruments as hedges and apply hedge accounting. We will record all derivative instruments at fair value on the consolidated balance sheet.

 

Derivative instruments designated in a hedge relationship to mitigate exposure to variability in expected future cash flows, or other types of forecasted transactions, will be considered cash flow hedges. We will formally document all relationships between hedging instruments and hedged items, as well as our risk- management objective and strategy for undertaking each hedge transaction. We will periodically review the effectiveness of each hedging transaction, which involves estimating future cash flows. Cash flow hedges will be accounted for by recording the fair value of the derivative instrument on the consolidated balance sheet as either an asset or liability, with a corresponding amount recorded in other comprehensive income (loss) within stockholders’ equity. Amounts will be reclassified from other comprehensive income (loss) to the consolidated statement of operations in the period or periods the hedged forecasted transaction affects earnings. Derivative instruments designated in a hedge relationship to mitigate exposure to changes in the fair value of an asset, liability, or firm commitment attributable to a particular risk, such as interest rate risk, will be considered fair value hedges. The effective portion of the derivatives gain or loss is initially reported as a component of other comprehensive income and subsequently reclassified into earnings when the transaction affects earnings. The ineffective portion of the gain or loss is reported in earnings immediately.

 

Accounting for Organization and Other Offering Costs.

 

Selling commissions and dealer manager fees paid to the Dealer Manager, and other third-party offering expenses such as registration fees, due diligence fees, marketing costs, and professional fees, are accounted for as a reduction against additional paid-in capital. Any organization costs are expensed to general and administrative costs.

 

Inflation

 

We will be exposed to inflation risk as income from long-term leases is expected to be the primary source of our cash flows from operations. Our long-term leases are expected to contain provisions to mitigate the adverse impact of inflation on our operating results. Such provisions will include clauses entitling us to receive scheduled base rent increases and base rent increases based upon the consumer price index.  In addition, our leases are expected to require tenants to pay a negotiated share of operating expenses, including maintenance, real estate taxes, insurance and utilities, thereby reducing our exposure to increases in cost and operating expenses resulting from inflation.

 

Treatment of Management Compensation, Expense Reimbursements and Operating Partnership Profits Interest

 

Management of our operations is outsourced to our Advisor and certain other affiliates of our Sponsor. Fees related to each of these services are accounted for based on the nature of such service and the relevant accounting literature. Fees for services performed that represent our period costs are expensed as incurred. Such fees include acquisition fees associated with the purchase of interests in real estate entities; asset management fees paid to our Advisor and property management fees paid to our Property Managers, which manage certain of the properties we acquire, or to other unaffiliated third-party property managers, principally for the management of our hospitality properties. These fees are expensed or capitalized to the basis of acquired assets, as appropriate.

 

Our Property Managers may also perform fee-based construction management services for both our development and redevelopment activities and tenant construction projects. These fees will be considered incremental to the construction effort and will be capitalized to the associated real estate project as incurred. Costs incurred for tenant construction will be depreciated over the shorter of their useful life or the term of the related lease. Costs related to development and redevelopment activities will be depreciated over the estimated useful life of the associated project.

 

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Leasing activity at certain of our properties has also been outsourced to our Property Managers. Any corresponding leasing fees we pay will be capitalized and amortized over the life of the related lease.

 

Expense reimbursements made to both our Advisor and Property Managers will be expensed or capitalized to the basis of acquired assets, as appropriate.

 

Lightstone SLP II, LLC, which is wholly owned by our Sponsor, committed to purchase subordinated profits interests (“Subordinated Profits Interests”) in our Operating Partnership at a cost of $100,000 per unit for each $1.0 million in subscriptions up to ten percent of the proceeds from the primary shares under the Offering and the Follow-On Offering on a semi-annual basis beginning with the quarter ended June 30, 2010. Lightstone SLP II, LLC had the option to purchase the Subordinated Profits Interests with either cash or an interest in real property of equivalent value. These Subordinated Profits Interests, the purchase price of which will be repaid only after stockholders receive a stated preferred return and their net investment, will entitle Lightstone SLP II, LLC to a portion of any regular distributions made by our Operating Partnership. Such distributions will always be subordinated until stockholders receive a stated preferred return. The cash proceeds, if any, received from the sale of the Subordinated Profits Interests were used to offset payments made by us from offering proceeds to pay the dealer manager fees, selling commissions and organization and other offering costs. Through the termination of the Follow-On Offering, Lightstone SLP II, LLC had purchased 177 units of Subordinated Profits Interests by contributing $12.9 million and an aggregate 48.6% equity interest it owned in Brownmill (see Note 4 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements).

 

Income Taxes

 

We elected to be taxed as a REIT in conjunction with the filing of our 2009 U.S. federal income tax return. If we remain qualified as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our net taxable income that we distribute currently to our stockholders. To maintain our REIT qualification under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, we must meet a number of organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement that we annually distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (which does not equal net income, as calculated in accordance with GAAP, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain. If we fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT in any subsequent year and do not qualify for certain statutory relief provisions, our income for that year will be taxed at regular corporate rates, and we may be precluded from qualifying for treatment as a REIT for the four-year period following our failure to qualify as a REIT. Such an event could materially adversely affect our net income and net cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

 

As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, we had no material uncertain income tax positions. Additionally, even if we qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we may still be subject to some U.S. federal, state and local taxes on our income and property and to U.S. federal income taxes and excise taxes on our undistributed income.

 

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we engage in certain activities through taxable REIT subsidiaries (“TRSs”). As such, we are subject to U.S. federal and state income and franchise taxes from these activities.

 

Results of Operations

 

We currently have one operating segment. As of December 31, 2016, we majority owned and consolidated the operating results and financial condition of 21 limited service hotels containing a total of 2,481 rooms. Additionally, we held a 48.6% membership interest in Brownmill, which we account for under the equity method of accounting.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2016, our consolidated results of operations included the operating results from i) the TownePlace Suites - Metairie, (ii) the SpringHill Suites - Peabody, (iii) the Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford, (iv) the TownePlace Suites – Fayetteville and the TownePlace Suites – Little Rock (collectively, the “Arkansas Hotel Portfolio”), (v) the Holiday Inn - Opelika (vi) the Aloft – Tucson, (vii) the Hampton Inn – Fort Myers Beach, (viii) the Aloft – Philadelphia and the Four Points by Sheraton - Philadelphia (collectively, the “Philadelphia Airport Hotels”), (ix) the Hotel I Portfolio, (x) the Courtyard – Parsippany and the Residence Inn - Baton Rouge, (xi) the Hotel II Portfolio and (xii) the Courtyard - Baton Rouge.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2015, our consolidated results of operations included the operating results from i) the TownePlace Suites - Metairie, (ii) the SpringHill Suites - Peabody, (iii) the Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford, (iv) the Arkansas Hotel Portfolio, (v) the Holiday Inn - Opelika (vi) the Aloft – Tucson, (vii) the Hampton Inn – Fort Myers Beach, (viii) the Philadelphia Airport Hotels, (ix) the Hotel I Portfolio from the date it was acquired (January 29, 2015), (x) the Courtyard – Parsippany and the Residence Inn - Baton Rouge both from the date they were acquired (February 11, 2015), (xi) the Hotel II Portfolio from the date it was acquired (June 10, 2015) and (xii) the Courtyard - Baton Rouge from the date it was acquired (June 30, 2015).

 

For the year ended December 31, 2014, the Company’s consolidated results of operations included the operating results from (i) the TownePlace Suites - Metairie, (ii) the SpringHill Suites - Peabody, (iii) the Fairfield Inn – East Rutherford, (iv) the Arkansas Hotel Portfolio, (v) the Holiday Inn - Opelika from the date it was acquired (April 1, 2014), (vi) the Aloft – Tucson from the date it was acquired (April 8, 2014), (vii) the Hampton Inn — Fort Myers Beach from the date it was acquired (October 2, 2014) and (viii) the Philadelphia Airport Hotel Portfolio from the date they were acquired (December 17, 2014).

 

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See Note 3 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on our acquisitions.

 

Comparison of the year ended December 31, 2016 vs. December 31, 2015

 

Consolidated

 

Rental revenue

 

Rental revenue increased by $12.0 million to $83.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $71.4 million for the same period in 2015. Approximately $8.9 million of the increase is attributable to the timing of the acquisitions of the hotels described above: (i) an aggregate of $2.8 million related to the 1st Quarter 2015 Acquisitions and (ii) an aggregate of $6.1 million related to the 2nd Quarter 2015 Acquisitions. The additional increase of approximately $3.1 million was attributable to the properties that we have owned and operated since prior to 2015 as a result of increased occupancy levels and higher average daily revenue rates.

 

Property operating expenses

 

Property operating expenses increased by $6.5 million to $52.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $46.1 million for the same period in 2015. Approximately $5.7 million of the increase is attributable to the timing of acquisitions of the hotels described above: (i) an aggregate of $2.0 million related to the 1st Quarter 2015 Acquisitions and (ii) an aggregate of $3.7 million related to the 2nd Quarter 2015 Acquisitions. The additional increase of approximately $0.8 million was attributable to the properties that we have owned and operated since prior to 2015 and correlate to the increased occupancy levels.

 

Real estate taxes

 

Real estate taxes increased by $0.3 million to $3.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $2.7 million for the same period in 2015. Approximately $0.3 million of the increase is attributable to the timing of the acquisitions of the hotels described above: (i) an aggregate of $0.2 million related to the 1st Quarter 2015 Acquisitions and (ii) an aggregate of $0.1 million related to the 2nd Quarter 2015 Acquisitions. Real estate taxes on all of the properties that we have owned and operated since prior to 2015 were relatively flat.

 

General and administrative expenses

 

General and administrative decreased by $0.2 million to $4.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $4.9 million for the same period in 2015. The decrease is primarily because the 2015 period included acquisition costs related to the Joint Venture’s acquisition of the LVP REIT Hotels.

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

Depreciation and amortization expense increased by $1.6 million to $10.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $8.9 million for the same period in 2015. Approximately $1.3 million of the increase is attributable to the timing of the acquisitions of the hotels described above: (i) an aggregate of $0.5 million related to the 1st Quarter 2015 Acquisitions and (ii) an aggregate of $0.8 million related to the 2nd Quarter 2015 Acquisitions. The additional increase of approximately $0.3 million was attributable to capital improvements made to the properties that we have owned and operated since prior to 2015.

 

Interest and dividend income

 

Interest and dividend income decreased by $0.8 million to $1.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $2.1 million for the same period in 2015. Approximately $0.4 million of the decrease is attributable to the repayment in full of our notes receivable – related party and the remaining decrease can be attributed to a decrease in dividend income from our investments in marketable securities resulting from the sale of approximate $7.6 million of marketable securities during the current period.

 

Other income, net

 

Other income, net decreased by $0.2 million to $0.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $0.3 million for the same period in 2015. The decrease is primarily attributable to a gain recognized on the sale of an unconsolidated investment carried at cost during the 2015 period.

 

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Earnings from investment in unconsolidated affiliated entity

 

Our income from investment in unconsolidated affiliated entity during the year ended December 31, 2016 was $107 compared to a loss of $136 for the same period in 2015. Our earnings from investment in unconsolidated affiliated entity are attributable to our ownership interest in Brownmill, LLC, which we account for under the equity method of accounting.

 

Interest expense

 

Interest expense was $7.9 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to $5.7 million for the same period in 2015. Interest expense during both periods primarily consisted of interest related to our mortgage indebtedness and increased during 2016 due to the financings associated with the Joint Venture’s acquisition of the LVP REIT Hotels in 2015 described above.

 

Noncontrolling interests

 

The income or loss allocated to noncontrolling interests relates to the interest in our Operating Partnership held by our Sponsor, membership interests held by Lightstone I in the Joint Venture, and the interests held by minority owners of certain of our hotels.

 

Comparison of the year ended December 31, 2015 vs. December 31, 2014

 

Consolidated

 

Rental revenue

 

Rental revenue increased by $47.8 million to $71.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $23.6 million for the same period in 2014. The increase is primarily attributable to the acquisition of the hotels described above as well as higher revenue at several of our hotels which underwent brand-required property improvement plans during 2014. Approximately $43.8 million of the increase was attributable to the hotels acquired during 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2014 (LVP REIT Hotels acquisition as well as the Philadelphia Airport Hotels and the Hampton Inn — Fort Myers Beach). Approximately $2.4 million of the increase was attributable to the Holiday Inn – Opelika and the Aloft – Tucson which were acquired early in the second quarter of 2014. The additional increase of approximately $1.6 million was attributable to the properties that we have owned and operated since prior to 2014 as a result of increased occupancy levels and higher average daily revenue rates.

 

Property operating expenses

 

Property operating expenses increased by $31.4 million to $46.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $14.7 million for the same period in 2014. Approximately $29.0 million of the increase was attributable to the hotels acquired during 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2014 (LVP REIT Hotels acquisition as well as the Philadelphia Airport Hotels and the Hampton Inn — Fort Myers Beach). Approximately $1.5 million of the increase was attributable to the Holiday Inn – Opelika and the Aloft – Tucson which were acquired early in the second quarter of 2014. The additional increase of approximately $0.9 million was attributable to the properties that we have owned and operated since prior to 2014 and correlate to the increased occupancy levels.

 

Real estate taxes

 

Real estate taxes increased by $1.8 million to $2.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $0.9 million for the same period in 2014. The increase is primarily attributable to the hotels acquired during 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2014 (LVP REIT Hotels acquisition as well as the Philadelphia Airport Hotels and the Hampton Inn — Fort Myers Beach).

 

General and administrative expenses

 

General and administrative expenses increased by $2.0 million to $4.9 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $2.9 million for the same period in 2014. The increase is attributable to the acquisition of the hotels described above and increased asset management fees.

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

Depreciation and amortization expense increased by $5.5 million to $8.9 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $3.4 million for the same period in 2014. Approximately $4.9 million of the increase was attributable to the hotels acquired during 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2014 (LVP REIT Hotels acquisition as well as the Philadelphia Airport Hotels and the Hampton Inn — Fort Myers Beach). Approximately $0.3 million of the increase was attributable to the Holiday Inn – Opelika and the Aloft – Tucson which were acquired early in the second quarter of 2014. The additional increase of approximately $0.3 million was attributable to capital improvements made to the properties that we have owned and operated since prior to 2014.

 

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Interest and dividend income

 

Interest and dividend income increased by $0.7 million to $2.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $1.4 million for the same period in 2014. The increase is primarily attributable to the interest income from our notes receivable from related parties offset by a decrease in dividend income from our investments in marketable securities.

 

Other income, net

 

Other income, net increased by $0.2 million to $0.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $0.1 million for the same period in 2014. The increase is primarily attributable to a gain recognized on the sale of an unconsolidated investment carried at cost during the 2015 period.

 

Earnings from investment in unconsolidated affiliated entity

 

Our loss from investment in unconsolidated affiliated entity was $0.1 million for both the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014. Our earnings from investment in unconsolidated affiliated entity is attributable to our ownership interest in Brownmill, LLC, which we account for under the equity method of accounting.

 

Interest expense

 

Interest expense was $5.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $1.3 million for the same period in 2014. Interest expense during both periods primarily consisted of interest related to our mortgage indebtedness and increased during 2015 due to the financing of the acquisition of the hotels described above.

 

Noncontrolling interests

 

The income or loss allocated to noncontrolling interests relates to (i) the interest in our Operating Partnership held by our Sponsor and (ii) the membership interests held by others in the Joint Venture and minority owners in certain of our hotels.

 

Overview:

 

Rental revenue, interest and dividend income and borrowings are our principal sources of funds to pay operating expenses, scheduled debt service, capital expenditures and distributions, excluding non-recurring capital expenditures.

 

We expect to meet our short-term liquidity requirements generally through working capital and borrowings. We believe that these cash resources will be sufficient to satisfy our cash requirements for the foreseeable future, and we do not anticipate a need to raise funds from other than these sources within the next twelve months.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2016, our primary sources of funds were (i) $17.3 million of operating cash flow, (ii) $7.6 million of proceeds from the sale of marketable securities, (iii) $3.8 million of proceeds from the release of restricted escrows and (iv) $2.0 million of net proceeds from collections on our notes receivable from related parties.

 

We currently have mortgage indebtedness totaling $127.9 million and a margin loan of $3.9 million. We have and intend to continue to limit our aggregate long-term permanent borrowings to 75% of the aggregate fair market value of all properties unless any excess borrowing is approved by a majority of the independent directors and is disclosed to our stockholders. Market conditions will dictate our overall leverage limit; as such our aggregate long-term permanent borrowings may be less than 75% of aggregate fair market value of all properties. We may also incur short-term indebtedness, having a maturity of two years or less.

 

Our charter provides that the aggregate amount of our borrowing, both secured and unsecured, may not exceed 300% of net assets in the absence of a satisfactory showing that a higher level is appropriate, the approval of our Board of Directors and disclosure to stockholders. Net assets means our total assets, other than intangibles, at cost before deducting depreciation or other non-cash reserves less our total liabilities, calculated at least quarterly on a basis consistently applied. Any excess in borrowing over such 300% of net assets level must be approved by a majority of our independent directors and disclosed to our stockholders in our next quarterly report to stockholders, along with justification for such excess. Market conditions will dictate our overall leverage limit; as such our aggregate borrowings may be less than 300% of net assets. As of December 31, 2016, our total borrowings aggregated $131.8 million which represented 73% of our net assets.

 

Our borrowings consist of single-property mortgages as well as mortgages cross-collateralized by a pool of properties. We typically have obtained level payment financing, meaning that the amount of debt service payable would be substantially the same each year. As such, most of the mortgages on our properties provide for a so-called “balloon” payment at maturity and are at a fixed interest rate.

 

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Additionally, in order to leverage our investments in marketable securities and seek a higher rate of return, we have access to borrowings under a margin loan. This loan is due on demand and any outstanding balance must be paid upon the liquidation of securities.

 

Any future properties that we may acquire may be funded through a combination of borrowings and the proceeds received from the selective disposition of certain of our commercial and hospitality assets. These borrowings may consist of single-property mortgages as well as mortgages cross-collateralized by a pool of properties. Such mortgages may be put in place either at the time we acquire a property or subsequent to our purchasing a property for cash. In addition, we may acquire properties that are subject to existing indebtedness where we choose to assume the existing mortgages. Generally, though not exclusively, we intend to seek to encumber our properties with debt, which will be on a non-recourse basis. This means that a lender’s rights on default will generally be limited to foreclosing on the property. However, we may, at our discretion, secure recourse financing or provide a guarantee to lenders if we believe this may result in more favorable terms. When we give a guaranty for a property owning entity, we will be responsible to the lender for the satisfaction of the indebtedness if it is not paid by the property owning entity.

 

We may also obtain lines of credit to be used to acquire properties. These lines of credit will be at prevailing market terms and will be repaid from proceeds from the sale or refinancing of properties, working capital or permanent financing. Our Sponsor or its affiliates may guarantee the lines of credit although they will not be obligated to do so.

 

In addition to making investments in accordance with our investment objectives, we have used and expect to continue use our capital resources to make certain payments to our Advisor, our Dealer Manager, and our Property Managers during the various phases of our organization and operation. During our organizational and offering stage, these payments included payments to our Dealer Manager for selling commissions and the dealer manager fee, and payments to our Advisor for the reimbursement of organization and other offering costs.

 

From our inception through the termination of the Follow-On Offering on September 27, 2014, selling commissions and dealer manager fees were paid to the Dealer Manager, pursuant to various agreements, and other third-party offering expenses such as registration fees, due diligence fees, marketing costs, and professional fees are accounted for as a reduction against additional paid-in capital as costs are incurred. Any organizational costs were accounted for as general and administrative costs. During the year ended December 31, 2014, the Company incurred $8.9 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $0.6 million in other offering costs. We have not incurred any of these costs for periods subsequent to 2014.

 

During the acquisition and development stage, payments may include asset acquisition fees and asset management fees, and the reimbursement of acquisition related expenses to our Advisor. During the operational stage, we will pay our Property Managers and/or other unaffiliated third party property managers a property management fee and our Advisor an asset management fee. We will also reimburse our Advisor and its affiliates for actual expenses it incurs for administrative and other services provided to us. Additionally, our Operating Partnership may be required to make distributions to Lightstone SLP II LLC, an affiliate of the Advisor.

 

The following table represents the fees incurred associated with the payments to our Advisor and its affiliates:

 

   For the Years Ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
Acquisition fees  $-   $-   $547 
Asset management fees   2,389    2,032    - 
Development fees   59    20    140 
Total  $2,448   $2,052   $687 

 

Pursuant to an advisory agreement, our Advisor is entitled to receive an asset management fee equal to 0.95% of our average invested assets, as defined. The asset management fee is payable quarterly and based on balances as of the end of each month in the quarterly period. Commencing with the quarter ended June 30, 2013, the Advisor elected to waive or reduce its quarterly asset management fee to the extent our non-GAAP measure modified funds from operations available, or MFFO, as defined by the Investment Program Association, or IPA, for the preceding twelve months period ending on the last day of the current quarter is less than the distributions declared with respect to the same twelve month period. As a result, asset management fees of $0.8 million were waived by the Advisor during the year ended December 31, 2014. No asset management fees have been waived for periods subsequent to 2014.

 

During the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, we did not incur any fees associated with payments to our Property Managers.

 

Other Related Party Transactions

 

From time to time, we purchase title insurance from an agent in which our Sponsor owns a 50% limited partnership interest. Because this title insurance agent receives significant fees for providing title insurance, our Advisor may face a conflict of interest when considering the terms of purchasing title insurance from this agent. However, before we purchase any title insurance, an independent title consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the title insurance industry reviews the transaction, and performs market research and competitive analysis on our behalf. During the year ended December 31, 2014 the Company paid approximately $44 in fees to this title insurance agent, no amounts were paid during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015.

 

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Summary of Cash Flows. The following summary discussion of our cash flows is based on the consolidated statements of cash flows and is not meant to be an all-inclusive discussion of the changes in our cash flows for the periods presented below:

 

  

Year Ended

December 31, 2016

  

Year Ended

December 31, 2015

  

Year Ended

December 31, 2014

 
             
Cash flows provided by operating activities  $17,314   $17,011   $4,351 
Cash flows provided by/(used in) investing activities   8,927    (110,700)   (69,172)
Cash flows (used in)/provided by financing activities   (20,443)   63,568    105,803 
Net change in cash and cash equivalents   5,798    (30,121)   40,982 
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of the year   37,381    67,502    26,520 
Cash and cash equivalents, end of the year  $43,179   $37,381   $67,502 

 

Our principal sources of cash flow were derived from the proceeds from operating cash flow, the sale of marketable securities, the release of restricted escrows and collections on our notes receivable from related parties. In the future, we expect to continue to operate properties which should provide a relatively consistent stream of cash flow to provide us with resources to fund our operating expenses, scheduled debt service and any regular quarterly distributions authorized by our Board of Directors.

 

Our principal demands for liquidity currently are distributions and scheduled debt service on our mortgages payable.

 

Operating activities

 

The net cash provided by operating activities of approximately $17.3 million during the 2016 period primarily related to our income of $6.2 million and depreciation and amortization, amortization of deferred financing costs and other non-cash items aggregating $11.3 million offset slightly by changes in assets and liabilities of $0.2 million.

 

Investing activities

 

The net cash provided by investing activities of approximately $8.9 million during the 2016 period primarily reflects (i) $7.6 million of proceeds from the sale of marketable securities, (ii) $3.8 million of proceeds from the release of restricted escrows and (iii) $2.1 million of net collections on loans receivable to Lightstone III offset by $4.7 million of capital expenditures.

 

Financing activities

 

The net cash used in financing activities of approximately $20.4 million during the 2016 period primarily consists of (i) net payments on mortgage payables and our margin loan of $5.6 million (ii) redemptions and cancellations of common shares of $1.7 million and (iii) distributions to common stockholders of $13.0 million.

 

We believe that these cash resources will be sufficient to satisfy our cash requirements for the foreseeable future, and we do not anticipate a need to raise funds from other than these sources within the next twelve months.

 

DRIP and Share Repurchase Programs

 

Our DRIP provides our stockholders with an opportunity to purchase additional shares of our common stock at a discount by reinvesting distributions.

 

On January 19, 2015, our Board of Directors suspended our DRIP effective April 15, 2015. For so long as the DRIP remains suspended, all future distributions will be in the form of cash.

 

Our share repurchase program may provide our stockholders with limited, interim liquidity by enabling them to sell their shares of common stock back to us, subject to restrictions. From our inception through December 31, 2015 we redeemed 0.3 million common shares at an average price per share of $9.29 per share. During 2016, we redeemed 0.2 million common shares or 100% of redemption requests received during the period, at an average price per share of $9.80 per share. We funded share redemptions for the periods noted above from the cumulative proceeds of the sale of shares of common shares pursuant to our DRIP and from our operating funds.

 

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Our Board of Directors reserves the right to terminate either program for any reason without cause by providing written notice of termination of the DRIP to all participants or written notice of termination of the share repurchase program to all stockholders.

 

Contractual Obligations

 

Contractual Obligations

 

The following is a summary of our estimated contractual obligations outstanding over the next five years and thereafter as of December 31, 2016.

 

Contractual Obligations  2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   Thereafter   Total 
                             
Principal maturities  $7,152   $120,755   $-   $-   $-   $-   $127,907 
                                    
Interest payments   6,938    2,314    -    -    -    -    9,252 
Total  $14,090   $123,069   $-   $-   $-   $-   $137,159 

 

In addition to the mortgage payable described above, we have a margin loan that was made available to us from a financial institution that holds custody of certain of our marketable securities. The margin loan is collateralized by the marketable securities in our account. The amounts available to us under the margin loan are at the discretion of the financial institution and not limited to the amount of collateral in our account. The amount outstanding under this margin loan was $3.9 million as of December 31, 2016 and is due on demand. The margin loan bears interest at Libor plus 0.85% (1.62% as of December 31, 2016).

 

Pursuant to our debt agreements, approximately $3.5 million and $2.2 million was held in lender restricted escrow accounts as of December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively. Such escrows are subject to release in accordance with the applicable debt agreement for the payment of real estate taxes, insurance and capital improvements, as required. Certain of our debt agreements also contain clauses providing for prepayment penalties and require the maintenance of certain ratios, including debt service coverage and fixed leverage charge ratio. We are currently in compliance with respect to all of our financial debt covenants.

 

Additionally, our mortgage loan (outstanding principal balance of $5.9 million as of December 31, 2016) secured by the Courtyard – Baton Rouge matures in May 2017 and our revolving credit facility secured by nine of our hotel properties (outstanding principal balance of $73.6 million as of December 31, 2016) matures in January 2018 and has two, one-year options to extend solely at the discretion of the lender. We currently intend to seek to extend, refinance and/or repay in full, using cash proceeds from the potential sale of assets, such existing indebtedness on or before its applicable stated maturity. Other than these financings, we have no additional significant maturities of mortgage debt over the next 12 months.

 

Funds from Operations and Modified Funds from Operations

 

The historical accounting convention used for real estate assets requires straight-line depreciation of buildings, improvements, and straight-line amortization of intangibles, which implies that the value of a real estate asset diminishes predictably over time. We believe that, because real estate values historically rise and fall with market conditions, including, but not limited to, inflation, interest rates, the business cycle, unemployment and consumer spending, presentations of operating results for a REIT using the historical accounting convention for depreciation and certain other items may be less informative.

 

Because of these factors, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts ("NAREIT"), an industry trade group, has published a standardized measure of performance known as funds from operations ("FFO"), which is used in the REIT industry as a supplemental performance measure. We believe FFO, which excludes certain items such as real estate-related depreciation and amortization, is an appropriate supplemental measure of a REIT's operating performance. FFO is not equivalent to our net income or loss as determined under GAAP.

 

We define FFO, a non-GAAP measure, consistent with the standards set forth in the White Paper on FFO approved by the Board of Governors of NAREIT, as revised in February 2004 (the "White Paper"). The White Paper defines FFO as net income or loss computed in accordance with GAAP, but excluding gains or losses from sales of property and real estate related impairments, plus real estate related depreciation and amortization, and after adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures.

 

We believe that the use of FFO provides a more complete understanding of our performance to investors and to management and reflects the impact on our operations from trends in occupancy rates, rental rates, operating costs, general and administrative expenses, and interest costs, which may not be immediately apparent from net income.

 

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Changes in the accounting and reporting promulgations under GAAP that were put into effect in 2009 subsequent to the establishment of NAREIT's definition of FFO, such as the change to expense as incurred rather than capitalize and depreciate acquisition fees and expenses incurred for business combinations, have prompted an increase in cash-settled expenses, specifically acquisition fees and expenses, as items that are expensed under GAAP across all industries. These changes had a particularly significant impact on publicly registered, non-listed REITs, which typically have a significant amount of acquisition activity in the early part of their existence, particularly during the period when they are raising capital through ongoing initial public offerings.

 

Because of these factors, the Investment Program Association (the "IPA"), an industry trade group, published a standardized measure of performance known as modified funds from operations ("MFFO"), which the IPA has recommended as a supplemental measure for publicly registered, non-listed REITs. MFFO is designed to be reflective of the ongoing operating performance of publicly registered, non-listed REITs by adjusting for those costs that are more reflective of acquisitions and investment activity, along with other items the IPA believes are not indicative of the ongoing operating performance of a publicly registered, non-listed REIT, such as straight-lining of rents as required by GAAP. We believe it is appropriate to use MFFO as a supplemental measure of operating performance because we believe that both before and after we have deployed all of our offering proceeds and are no longer incurring a significant amount of acquisition fees or other related costs, it reflects the impact on our operations from trends in occupancy rates, rental rates, operating costs, general and administrative expenses, and interest costs, which may not be immediately apparent from net income. MFFO is not equivalent to our net income or loss as determined under GAAP.

 

We define MFFO, a non-GAAP measure, consistent with the IPA's Guideline 2010-01, Supplemental Performance Measure for Publicly Registered, Non-Listed REITs: Modified Funds from Operations (the "Practice Guideline") issued by the IPA in November 2010. The Practice Guideline defines MFFO as FFO further adjusted for acquisition and transaction-related fees and expenses and other items. In calculating MFFO, we follow the Practice Guideline and exclude acquisition and transaction-related fees and expenses (which includes costs incurred in connection with strategic alternatives), amounts relating to deferred rent receivables and amortization of market lease and other intangibles, net (which are adjusted in order to reflect such payments from a GAAP accrual basis to a cash basis of disclosing the rent and lease payments), accretion of discounts and amortization of premiums on debt investments and borrowings, mark-to-market adjustments included in net income (including gains or losses incurred on assets held for sale), gains or losses included in net income from the extinguishment or sale of debt, hedges, foreign exchange, derivatives or securities holdings where trading of such holdings is not a fundamental attribute of the business plan, unrealized gains or losses resulting from consolidation from, or deconsolidation to, equity accounting, and after adjustments for consolidated and unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures, with such adjustments calculated to reflect MFFO on the same basis.

 

We believe that, because MFFO excludes costs that we consider more reflective of acquisition activities and other non-operating items, MFFO can provide, on a going-forward basis, an indication of the sustainability (that is, the capacity to continue to be maintained) of our operating performance after the period in which we are acquiring properties and once our portfolio is stabilized. We also believe that MFFO is a recognized measure of sustainable operating performance by the non-listed REIT industry and allows for an evaluation of our performance against other publicly registered, non-listed REITs.

 

Not all REITs, including publicly registered, non-listed REITs, calculate FFO and MFFO the same way. Accordingly, comparisons with other REITs, including publicly registered, non-listed REITs, may not be meaningful. Furthermore, FFO and MFFO are not indicative of cash flow available to fund cash needs and should not be considered as an alternative to net income (loss) or income (loss) from continuing operations as determined under GAAP as an indication of our performance, as an alternative to cash flows from operations as an indication of our liquidity, or indicative of funds available to fund our cash needs including our ability to make distributions to our stockholders. FFO and MFFO should be reviewed in conjunction with other GAAP measurements as an indication of our performance. FFO and MFFO should not be construed to be more relevant or accurate than the current GAAP methodology in calculating net income or in its applicability in evaluating our operating performance. The methods utilized to evaluate the performance of a publicly registered, non-listed REIT under GAAP should be construed as more relevant measures of operational performance and considered more prominently than the non-GAAP measures, FFO and MFFO, and the adjustments to GAAP in calculating FFO and MFFO.

 

Neither the SEC, NAREIT, the IPA nor any other regulatory body or industry trade group has passed judgment on the acceptability of the adjustments that we use to calculate FFO or MFFO. In the future, NAREIT, the IPA or another industry trade group may publish updates to the White Paper or the Practice Guidelines or the SEC or another regulatory body could standardize the allowable adjustments across the publicly registered, non-listed REIT industry, and we would have to adjust our calculation and characterization of FFO or MFFO accordingly.

 

The below table illustrates the items deducted from or added to net income in the calculation of FFO and MFFO. Items are presented net of non-controlling interest portions where applicable.

 

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   For the Years Ended 
   December 31, 2016   December 31, 2015   December 31, 2014 
Net income  $6,242   $5,457   $4,540 
FFO adjustments:               
Depreciation and amortization of real estate assets   10,496    8,867    3,446 
Adjustments to equity in earnings from unconsolidated entities, net unconsolidated entities, net   579    637    620 
Bargain purchase gain   -    -    (2,790)
FFO   17,317    14,961    5,816 
MFFO adjustments:               
                
Other adjustments:               
Acquisition and other transaction related costs expensed(1)   10    490    1,769 
Adjustments to equity in earnings from unconsolidated entities, net unconsolidated entities, net   (8)   (10)   65 
Amortization of above or below market leases and liabilities(2)   -    -    - 
Mark-to-market adjustments(3)   (38)   (58)   - 
Non-recurring (loss)/gain from extinguishment/sale of debt, derivatives or securities holdings(4)   161    (229)   (112)
                
MFFO   17,442    15,154    7,538 
Straight-line rent(5)   -    -    - 
MFFO - IPA recommended format(6)  $17,442   $15,154   $7,538 
                
Net income  $6,242   $5,457   $4,540 
Less: income attributable to noncontrolling interests   (297)   (144)   (68)
Net income applicable to company's common shares  $5,945   $5,313   $4,472 
Net income per common share, basic and diluted  $0.32   $0.29   $0.35 
                
FFO  $17,317   $14,961   $5,816 
Less: FFO attributable to noncontrolling interests   (591)   (414)   (205)
FFO attributable to company's common shares  $16,726   $14,547   $5,611 
FFO per common share, basic and diluted  $0.90   $0.78   $0.45 
                
MFFO - IPA recommended format  $17,442   $15,154   $7,538 
Less: MFFO attributable to noncontrolling interests   (591)   (429)   (209)
MFFO attributable to company's common shares  $16,851   $14,725   $7,329 
                
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding, basic and diluted   18,496    18,629    12,608 

 

(1)The purchase of properties, and the corresponding expenses associated with that process, is a key operational feature of our business plan to generate operational income and cash flows in order to make distributions to investors. In evaluating investments in real estate, management differentiates the costs to acquire the investment from the operations derived from the investment. Such information would be comparable only for non-listed REITs that have completed their acquisition activity and have other similar operating characteristics. By excluding expensed acquisition costs, management believes MFFO provides useful supplemental information that is comparable for each type of real estate investment and is consistent with management’s analysis of the investing and operating performance of our properties. Acquisition fees and expenses include payments to our advisor or third parties. Acquisition fees and expenses under GAAP are considered operating expenses and as expenses included in the determination of net income and income from continuing operations, both of which are performance measures under GAAP. Such fees and expenses are paid in cash, and therefore such funds will not be available to distribute to investors. Such fees and expenses negatively impact our operating performance during the period in which properties are being acquired. Therefore, MFFO may not be an accurate indicator of our operating performance, especially during periods in which properties are being acquired. All paid and accrued acquisition fees and expenses will have negative effects on returns to investors, the potential for future distributions, and cash flows generated by us, unless earnings from operations or net sales proceeds from the disposition of properties are generated to cover the purchase price of the property, these fees and expenses and other costs related to the property. Acquisition fees and expenses will not be paid or reimbursed, as applicable, to our advisor even if there are no further proceeds from the sale of shares in our Follow On Offering, and therefore such fees and expenses would need to be paid from either additional debt, operational earnings or cash flows, net proceeds from the sale of properties or from ancillary cash flows.

 

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(2)Under GAAP, certain intangibles are accounted for at cost and reviewed at least annually for impairment, and certain intangibles are assumed to diminish predictably in value over time and amortized, similar to depreciation and amortization of other real estate related assets that are excluded from FFO. However, because real estate values and market lease rates historically rise or fall with market conditions, management believes that by excluding charges relating to amortization of these intangibles, MFFO provides useful supplemental information on the performance of the real estate.
(3)Management believes that adjusting for mark-to-market adjustments is appropriate because they are items that may not be reflective of ongoing operations and reflect unrealized impacts on value based only on then current market conditions, although they may be based upon current operational issues related to an individual property or industry or general market conditions. Mark-to-market adjustments are made for items such as ineffective derivative instruments, certain marketable securities and any other items that GAAP requires we make a mark-to-market adjustment for. The need to reflect mark-to-market adjustments is a continuous process and is analyzed on a quarterly and/or annual basis in accordance with GAAP.
(4)Management believes that adjusting for gains or losses related to extinguishment/sale of debt, derivatives or securities holdings is appropriate because they are items that may not be reflective of ongoing operations. By excluding these items, management believes that MFFO provides supplemental information related to sustainable operations that will be more comparable between other reporting periods.
(5)Under GAAP, rental receipts are allocated to periods using various methodologies. This may result in income recognition that is significantly different than underlying contract terms. By adjusting for these items (to reflect such payments from a GAAP accrual basis to a cash basis of disclosing the rent and lease payments), MFFO provides useful supplemental information on the realized economic impact of lease terms and debt investments, providing insight on the contractual cash flows of such lease terms and debt investments, and aligns results with management’s analysis of operating performance.

 

The table below presents our cumulative distributions declared and cumulative FFO:

 

   For the period April, 28, 2008 
   (date of inception) through 
   December 31, 2016 
     
FFO  $42,320 
Distributions  $45,194 

 

For the year ended December 31, 2016, we paid cash distributions of $13.0 million. FFO for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $16.7 million and cash flow from operations was $17.3 million. For the year ended December 31, 2015, we paid distributions of $12.1 million, including $10.4 million of distributions paid in cash and $1.7 million of distributions reinvested through our DRIP. FFO for the year ended December 31, 2015 was $14.5 million and cash flow from operations was $17.0 million. For the year ended December 31, 2014, we paid distributions of $6.3 million, including $3.1 million of distributions paid in cash and $3.2 million of distributions reinvested through our DRIP. FFO for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $5.6 million and cash flow from operations was $4.4 million.

 

On January 19, 2015, our Board of Directors suspended our DRIP effective April 15, 2015. For so long as the DRIP remains suspended, all future distributions will be in the form of cash.

 

New Accounting Pronouncements

 

See Note 2 to the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information of certain accounting standards that have been adopted during 2016 and certain accounting standards that we have not yet been required to implement and may be applicable to our future operations.

 

Subsequent Events

 

See the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information related to subsequent events during the period from January 1, 2017 through March [ ], 2017.

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK:

 

Market risk includes risks that arise from changes in interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, commodity prices, equity prices and other market changes that affect market sensitive instruments. The primary market risk to which we are currently and expect to continue to be exposed is interest rate risk.

 

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We are currently and expect to continue to be exposed to the effects of interest rate changes primarily as a result of borrowings used to maintain liquidity and fund the expansion and refinancing of our real estate investment portfolio and operations. Our interest rate risk management objectives have been and will continue to be to limit the impact of interest rate changes on our earnings, prepayment penalties and cash flows and to lower our overall borrowing costs while taking into account variable interest rate risk. To achieve our objectives, we may borrow at fixed rates or variable rates. We may also enter into derivative financial instruments such as interest rate swaps and caps in order to mitigate our interest rate risk on a related financial instrument. We will not enter into derivative or interest rate transactions for speculative purposes. As of December 31, 2016, we had one interest rate swap with an insignificant intrinsic value.

 

As of December 31, 2016, we held marketable equity securities with a fair value of $8.7 million, which are available for sale for general investment return purposes. We regularly review the market prices of our investments for impairment purposes. As of December 31, 2016, a hypothetical adverse 10.0% movement in market values would result in a hypothetical loss in fair value of approximately $0.9 million.

 

The following table shows our estimated principal maturities during the next five years and thereafter as of December 31, 2016:

 

   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   Thereafter   Total 
                             
Principal maturities  $7,152   $120,755    $   $-   $-   $-   $127,907 

 

As of December 31, 2016, approximately $73.6 million, or 58%, of our debt, is a variable rate instrument (not subject to an interest rate cap or swap) and our interest expense associated with this instrument is, therefore, subject to changes in market interest rates. A 1% adverse movement (increase in Libor or Prime rate) would increase annual interest expense by approximately $0.7 million

 

The carrying amounts of cash and cash equivalents, restricted escrows and deposits, prepaid expenses and other assets, accounts payable and other accrued expenses, margin loan, due to sponsor, and distributions payable approximated their fair values as of December 31, 2016 because of the short maturity of these instruments. The estimated fair value of our mortgages payable is as follows:

 

   As of December 31, 2016   As of December 31, 2015 
   Carrying Amount  

Estimated Fair

Value

   Carrying Amount  

Estimated Fair

Value

 
Mortgages payable  $127,907   $128,135   $129,824   $130,255 

 

The fair value of our mortgages payable was determined by discounting the future contractual interest and principal payments by market interest rates.

 

In addition to changes in interest rates, the value of our real estate will be subject to fluctuations based on changes in the real estate capital markets, market rental rates for office space, local, regional and national economic conditions and changes in the creditworthiness of tenants which may affect our ability to obtain or refinance debt in the future. As of December 31, 2016, we had no off-balance sheet arrangements.

 

We cannot predict the effect of adverse changes in interest rates on our debt and, therefore, our exposure to market risk, nor can we provide any assurance that long-term debt will be available at advantageous pricing. Consequently, future results may differ materially from the estimated adverse changes discussed above.

 

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ITEM 8.  FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust II, Inc. and Subsidiaries

(a Maryland corporation)

 

Index

 

  Page
   
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm 72
   
Financial Statements:  
   
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 73
   
Consolidated Statements of Operations for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 74
   
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 75
   
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders' Equity for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 76
   
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 77
   
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements 78
   
Schedule III—Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation as of December 31, 2016 102

 

Schedules not filed:

 

All schedules other than the one listed in the Index have been omitted as the required information is inapplicable or the information is presented in the consolidated financial statements or related notes.

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

The Board of Directors and Stockholders of

Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust II, Inc.

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust II, Inc. and Subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2016. In connection with our audits of the consolidated financial statements we have also audited financial statement schedule “Schedule III – Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation” as of December 31, 2016. The financial statements and financial statement schedule are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements and financial statement schedule based on our audits.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. Our audits included consideration of internal control over financial reporting as a basis for designing audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust II, Inc. and Subsidiaries as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and the consolidated results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2016, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also, in our opinion, the related financial statement schedule, when considered in relation to the basic financial statements taken as a whole, presents fairly, in all material respects, the information stated therein.

 

/s/ EisnerAmper LLP

 

Iselin, New Jersey

March 20, 2017

 

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LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)

 

   December 31, 2016   December 31, 2015 
         
Assets          
Investment property:          
Land and improvements  $44,137   $43,907 
Building and improvements   174,234    170,136 
Furniture and fixtures   38,827    36,036 
Construction in progress   675    3,567 
Gross investment property   257,873    253,646 
Less accumulated depreciation   (25,430)   (14,959)
Net investment property   232,443    238,687 
           
Investment in unconsolidated affiliated entity   5,836    6,021 
Cash and cash equivalents   43,179    37,381 
Marketable securities, available for sale   8,738    15,464 
Restricted escrows and deposits   3,488    7,243 
Notes receivable from related party   -    2,055 
Accounts receivable and other assets   4,189    4,173 
Total Assets  $297,873   $311,024 
           
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity          
Accounts payable and other accrued expenses  $6,581   $7,218 
Margin loan   3,854    7,577 
Mortgages payable, net   127,140    128,392 
Due to related party   418    403 
Distributions payable   3,248    3,279 
Total liabilities   141,241    146,869 
           
Commitments and contingencies (Note 12)          
           
Stockholders' Equity:          
Company's stockholders' equity:          
Preferred shares, $0.01 par value, 10,000 shares authorized,  none issued and outstanding   -    - 
Common stock, $0.01 par value; 100,000 shares authorized, 18,411 and 18,586 shares issued and outstanding in 2016 and 2015, respectively   184    186 
Additional paid-in-capital   157,259    158,966 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (1,456)   (2,464)
Accumulated deficit   (19,552)   (12,529)
Total Company stockholders' equity   136,435    144,159 
Noncontrolling interests   20,197    19,996 
Total Stockholders' Equity   156,632    164,155 
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity  $297,873   $311,024 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

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LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)

 

   For the Years Ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
             
Revenues  $83,421   $71,368   $23,566 
                
Expenses:               
Property operating expenses   52,625    46,052    14,692 
Real estate taxes   3,043    2,667    857 
General and administrative costs   4,667    4,878    2,903 
Depreciation and amortization   10,496    8,867    3,446 
Total operating expenses   70,831    62,464    21,898 
Operating income   12,590    8,904    1,668 
Interest and dividend income   1,324    2,082    1,443 
Bargain purchase gain   -    -    2,790 
Interest expense   (7,887)   (5,664)   (1,325)
Other income, net   108    271    75 
Income/(loss) from investments in unconsolidated affiliated entities   107    (136)   (111)
Net income   6,242    5,457    4,540 
                
Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests   (297)   (144)   (68)
                
Net income applicable to Company's common shares  $5,945   $5,313   $4,472 
                
Net income per Company's common share, basic and diluted  $0.32   $0.29   $0.35 
                
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding, basic and diluted   18,496    18,629    12,608 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

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LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

(Amounts in thousands)

 

   For the Years Ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
             
Net income  $6,242   $5,457   $4,540 
                
Other comprehensive income/(loss):               
                
Holding gain/(loss) on available for sale securities   1,071    (2,716)   (147)
                
Reclassification adjustment for gains included in net income   (63)   -    - 
                
Other comprehensive income/(loss)   1,008    (2,716)   (147)
                
Comprehensive income   7,250    2,741    4,393 
                
Less: Comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interests   (297)   (144)   (68)
                
Comprehensive income attributable to the Company's common shares  $6,953   $2,597   $4,325 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

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LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

(Amounts in thousands)

 

           Additional       Accumulated Other       Total   Total 
   Common Stock   Paid-In   Subscription   Comprehensive       Noncontrolling   Stockholders' 
   Shares   Amount   Capital   Receivable   Income/(Loss)   Accumulated Deficit   Interests   Equity 
                                 
BALANCE, December 31, 2013   7,643   $76   $60,755   $(25)  $399   $(1,781)  $7,601   $67,025 
                                         
Net income   -    -    -    -    -    4,472    68    4,540 
Other comprehensive loss   -    -    -    -    (147)   -    -    (147)
Distributions declared   -    -    -    -    -    (8,194)   -    (8,194)
Distributions paid to noncontrolling interests   -    -    -    -    -    -    (131)   (131)
Contributions from noncontrolling interests   -    -    -    -    -    -    11,300    11,300 
Proceeds from offering   10,579    107    104,540    (55)   -    -    -    104,592 
Selling commissions and dealer manager fees   -    -    (8,934)   -    -    -    -    (8,934)
Other offering costs   -    -    (611)   -    -    -    -    (611)
Redemption and cancellation of shares   (72)   (1)   (675)   -    -    -    -    (676)
Shares issued from distribution reinvestment program   343    3    3,255    -    -    -    -    3,258 
Notes receivable issued to noncontrolling interests   -    -    -    -    -    -         - 
                                         
BALANCE, December 31, 2014   18,493   $185   $158,330   $(80)  $252   $(5,503)  $18,838   $172,022 
                                         
Net income   -    -    -    -    -    5,313    144    5,457 
Other comprehensive loss   -    -    -    -    (2,716)   -    -    (2,716)
Distributions declared   -    -    -    -    -    (12,339)   -    (12,339)
Distributions paid to noncontrolling interests   -    -    -    -    -    -    (641)   (641)
Contributions from noncontrolling interests   -    -    -    -    -    -    2,284    2,284 
Proceeds from offering   -    -    -    80    -    -    -    80 
Other offering costs   -    -    10    -    -    -    -    10 
Redemption and cancellation of shares   (89)   (1)   (857)   -    -    -    -    (858)
Shares issued from distribution reinvestment program   182    2    1,721    -    -    -    -    1,723 
Acquisition of noncontrolling interest in a subsidiary   -    -    (238)   -    -    -    (629)   (867)
                                         
BALANCE, December 31, 2015   18,586   $186   $158,966   $-   $(2,464)  $(12,529)  $19,996   $164,155 
                                         
Net income   -    -    -    -    -    5,945    297    6,242 
Other comprehensive income   -    -    -    -    1,008    -    -    1,008 
Distributions declared   -    -    -    -    -    (12,968)   -    (12,968)
Distributions paid to noncontrolling interests   -    -    -    -    -    -    (106)   (106)
Contributions from noncontrolling interests   -    -    -    -    -    -    10    10 
Redemption and cancellation of shares   (175)   (2)   (1,707)   -    -    -    -    (1,709)
                                         
BALANCE, December 31, 2016   18,411   $184   $157,259   $-   $(1,456)  $(19,552)  $20,197   $156,632 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

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LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(Amounts in thousands)

 

   For the Years Ended December 31, 
   2016   2015   2014 
             
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:               
Net income  $6,242   $5,457   $4,540 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:               
Depreciation and amortization   10,496    8,867    3,446 
Amortization of deferred financing costs   665#   516    72 
Bargain purchase gain   -    -    (2,790)
(Income)/loss from investments in unconsolidated affiliated entities   (107)   136    111 
Other non-cash adjustments   252    72    (110)
Changes in assets and liabilities:               
Decrease/(increase) in accounts receivable and other assets   (169)   673    (1,912)
Decrease/(increase) in accounts payable and other accrued expenses   (80)   1,086    902 
Increase in due to related party   15    204    92 
Net cash provided by operating activities   17,314    17,011    4,351 
                
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:               
Purchase of investment property, net   (4,747)   (99,440)   (60,615)
Purchase of marketable securities, net of margin loan   -    -    (19,774)
Purchase of noncontrolling interest in a subsidiary   -    (867)   - 
Proceeds from sale of marketable securities   7,573    -    9,692 
Purchase of restricted escrow   -    (2,442)   - 
Issuance of notes receivable from related party   (24,200)   (20,200)   - 
Collections on note receivable from related party   26,255    18,145    - 
Release/(funding) of restricted escrows   3,755    (3,243)   1,306 
Contributions to unconsolidated affiliated entity   -    (2,653)   - 
Distributions from unconsolidated affiliated entities   291    -    219 
Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities   8,927    (110,700)   (69,172)
                
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:               
Proceeds from mortgage financings   -    74,230    - 
Payment on mortgages payable   (1,917)   (1,008)   (499)
Payment of loan fees and expenses   -    (1,691)   - 
(Payments)/proceeds on margin loan, net   (3,723)   1,762    3,909 
Proceeds from issuance of common stock   -    80    104,592 
Payment of commissions and offering costs   -    (116)   (9,612)
Redemption and cancellation of common shares   (1,709)   (858)   (676)
Contribution from noncontrolling interests   10    2,175    11,300 
Distributions to noncontrolling interests   (106)   (641)   (131)
Distributions to common stockholders   (12,998)   (10,365)   (3,080)
Net cash (used in)/provided by financing activities   (20,443)   63,568    105,803 
                
Net change in cash and cash equivalents   5,798    (30,121)   40,982 
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year   37,381    67,502    26,520 
Cash and cash equivalents, end of year  $43,179   $37,381   $67,502 

 

See Note 1 for supplemental cash flow information.

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.

 

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LIGHTSTONE VALUE PLUS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST II, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

For the Years Ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014

(Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share/unit data and where indicated in millions)

 

1. Organization

 

Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust II, Inc. (the “Lightstone REIT II”) is a Maryland corporation formed on April 28, 2008, which has qualified as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes since its taxable year ending December 31, 2009. The Lightstone REIT II was formed primarily for the purpose of engaging in the business of investing in and owning commercial, residential and hospitality properties, as well as other real estate-related investments, located principally in North America.

 

The Lightstone REIT II is structured as an umbrella partnership REIT, or UPREIT, and substantially all of its current and future business is and will be conducted through Lightstone Value Plus REIT II LP (the “Operating Partnership”), a Delaware limited partnership formed on April 30, 2008.

 

The Lightstone REIT II and the Operating Partnership and its subsidiaries are collectively referred to as the ‘‘Company’’ and the use of ‘‘we,’’ ‘‘our,’’ ‘‘us’’ or similar pronouns refers to the Lightstone REIT II, its Operating Partnership or the Company as required by the context in which such pronoun is used.

 

Offering and Structure

 

Our sponsor David Lichtenstein (“Lichtenstein”), who does business as the Lightstone Group (the “Sponsor”) and majority owns the limited liability company of that name with a diversified portfolio of over 120 properties containing approximately 10,000 multifamily units, approximately 250,000 square feet of office space, 1.5 million square feet of industrial space, 31 hotels and 4.6 million square feet of retail space. The residential, office, industrial, hotel and retail properties are located in 26 states.  Based in New York and supported by a regional office in New Jersey, our Sponsor employs approximately 397 staff and professionals.

 

Our advisor is Lightstone Value Plus REIT II LLC (the “Advisor”), which is wholly owned by our Sponsor. Our Advisor, together with our Board of Directors, is and will continue to be primarily responsible for making investment decisions and managing our day-to-day operations. Mr. Lichtenstein also acts as our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. As a result, he exerts influence over but does not control Lightstone REIT II or the Operating Partnership.

 

We do not have and will not have any employees that are not also employed by our Sponsor or its affiliates. We depend substantially on our Advisor, which generally has responsibility for our day-to-day operations. Under the terms of an advisory agreement, the Advisor also undertakes to use its commercially reasonable best efforts to present to us investment opportunities consistent with our investment policies and objectives as adopted by our Board of Directors.

 

Our Advisor has affiliated property managers (our “Property Managers”) that are related parties, which may manage certain of the properties we acquire. We also use other unaffiliated third-party property managers, principally for the management of our hospitality properties.

 

On April 24, 2009, we commenced an initial public offering (the “Offering”) to sell a maximum of 51.0 million shares of common stock at a price of $10.00 per share (the “Primary Offering”) and 6.5 million shares of common stock available pursuant to our distribution reinvestment program (the “DRIP”). We also had 75,000 shares reserved for issuance under our stock option plan and 255,000 shares reserved for issuance under our Employee and Director Incentive Restricted Share Plan. Our Registration Statement on Form S-11 (the “Registration Statement”) was declared effective under the Securities Act of 1933 on February 17, 2009, and on April 24, 2009, we began offering our shares of common stock for sale to the public.

 

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The Offering, which terminated on August 15, 2012, raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $49.8 million from the sale of approximately 5.0 million shares of common stock. After allowing for the payment of approximately $5.2 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $4.5 million in organization and other offering expenses, the Offering generated aggregate net proceeds of approximately $40.1 million. In addition, through August 15, 2012 (the termination date of the Offering), the Company had issued approximately 0.3 million shares of common stock under its DRIP, representing approximately $2.9 million of additional proceeds.

 

The Company’s registration statement on Form S-11 (the “Follow-On Offering”), pursuant to which it offered to sell up to 30.0 million shares of its common stock for $10.00 per share, subject to certain volume discounts (exclusive of 2,500,000 shares available pursuant to its DRIP at an initial purchase price of $9.50 per share and 255,000 shares reserved for issuance under its Employee and Director Incentive Restricted Share Plan) was declared effective by SEC under the Securities Act of 1933 on September 27, 2012. The Follow-On Offering, which terminated on September 27, 2014, raised aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $127.5 million from the sale of approximately 12.9 million shares of common stock. After allowing for the payment of approximately $11.0 million in selling commissions and dealer manager fees and $4.0 million in organization and other offering expenses, the Follow-On Offering generated aggregate net proceeds of approximately $112.5 million.

 

The Company’s DRIP Registration Statement on Form S-3D was filed and became effective under the Securities Act of 1933 on September 26, 2014. On January 19, 2015, the Board of Directors suspended the Company’s DRIP effective April 15, 2015. For so long as the DRIP remains suspended, all future distributions will be in the form of cash. As of December 31, 2016, 5.9 million shares remained available for issuance under the DRIP.

 

Effective September 27, 2012, Orchard Securities, LLC (“Orchard Securities”) became the Dealer Manager of the Company’s Follow-On Offering, which terminated on September 27, 2014.

 

As of December 31, 2016, the Advisor owned 20,000 shares of common stock which were issued on May 20, 2008 for $200, or $10.00 per share. In addition, as of September 30, 2009, the Company had reached the minimum offering under its Offering by receiving subscriptions of its common shares, representing gross offering proceeds of approximately $6.5 million, and effective October 1, 2009 investors were admitted as stockholders and the Operating Partnership commenced operations. Through the termination of the Follow-On Offering (September 27, 2014), cumulative gross offering proceeds of $177.3 million were released to the Company. The Company invested the proceeds received from the Offering, the Follow-On Offering and the Advisor in the Operating Partnership, and as a result, held a 99% general partnership interest as of December 31, 2016 in the Operating Partnership’s common units.

 

The Company’s shares of common stock are not currently listed on a national securities exchange. The Company may seek to list its shares of common stock for trading on a national securities exchange only if a majority of its independent directors believe listing would be in the best interest of its stockholders. The Company does not intend to list its shares at this time. The Company does not anticipate that there would be any market for its shares of common stock until they are listed for trading. In the event the Company does not obtain listing prior to the tenth anniversary of the completion or termination of its Offering, its charter requires that the Board of Directors must either (i) seek stockholder approval of an extension or amendment of this listing deadline; or (ii) seek stockholder approval to adopt a plan of liquidation of the corporation.

 

Noncontrolling Interest – Partners of Operating Partnership

 

The noncontrolling interests consist of (i) parties of the Company that hold units in the Operating Partnership and (ii) membership interests held by others in a joint venture (the “Joint Venture”) formed between the Company and Lightstone Value Plus Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. (“Lightstone I”), a related party REIT also sponsored by the Company’s Sponsor, (see Note 3) and (iii) the membership interests held by minority owners of certain of our hotels.

 

During 2015, the Company paid an aggregate of $0.9 million for the remaining membership interests held by minority owners of the Fairfield Inn– Jonesboro, the TownePlace Suites – Fayetteville, the TownePlace Suites – Little Rock and the TownePlace Suites – Metairie and as a result, now own 100.0% of these select service hotels.

 

On May 20, 2008, the Advisor contributed $2 to the Operating Partnership in exchange for 200 limited partner common units in the Operating Partnership. The limited partner has the right to convert Operating Partnership common units into cash or, at our option, an equal number of shares of our common stock, as allowed by the limited partnership agreement.

 

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Lightstone SLP II LLC, which is wholly owned by the Sponsor, committed to purchase subordinated profits interests in our Operating Partnership (“Subordinated Profits Interests”) at a cost of $100,000 per unit for each $1.0 million in subscriptions up to ten percent of the proceeds received from the sale of primary shares under the Offering and Follow-On Offering on a semi-annual basis beginning with the quarter ended June 30, 2010. Lightstone SLP II LLC also had the option to purchase the Subordinated Profits Interests with either cash or an interest in real property of equivalent value.

 

From the Company’s inception through the termination of the Follow-On Offering, our Sponsor contributed cash of approximately $12.9 million and elected to contribute equity interests totaling 48.6% in Brownmill, LLC (“Brownmill”), which were valued at $4.8 million, in exchange for 177.0 Subordinated Profits Interests with an aggregate value of $17.7 million. See Note 4 for additional information.

 

Operations - Operating Partnership Activity

 

The Operating Partnership commenced its operations on October 1, 2009. Since then we have acquired and/or intend to continue to acquire and operate commercial, residential and hospitality properties, and make real estate-related investments, principally in North America through its Operating Partnership. Our current holdings consist of retail (primarily multi-tenanted shopping centers) and lodging properties. All of our properties have been and will continue to be acquired and operated by us alone or jointly with others. In addition, we may invest up to 20% of our net assets in collateralized debt obligations, commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) and mortgage and mezzanine loans secured, directly or indirectly, by the same types of properties which we may acquire directly.