Dunleer Diversifies With Lending, Solar

Dunleer sold three properties, including the Pepper Tree Ranch in East Hollywood, for $12 million in 2020.

Published By: Los Angeles Business Journal

Beverly Hills-based Dunleer is looking to grow into other verticals.

The company, founded by BJ Turner in 2014, predominantly owns multifamily and industrial assets.

“Through Covid we’ve had to, like a lot of companies, look for other opportunities and ways to pivot to enhance the platform,” Turner said.


Eviction moratoriums, he said, made it difficult to collect the same amount of rent Dunleer used to bring in.


Rather than sit back and wait for the market to improve, Turner decided to look at ways to expand the company.


The first approach is through lending. Dunleer is offering loans to other developers and investment platforms that are structured as either bridge loans or ownership stakes in the property. Most are traditional bridge loans, often with a quick turnaround for terms of two to 10 months.

Turner said the loans are for “developers and investment managers who are perhaps closing on a deal and are short a few million dollars.”


The loans will be from $500,000 to $5 million.


Dunleer is also looking to break into solar energy.


“Solar is a little bit tangential to real estate,” the company said.


The company has partnered with El Segundo-based Santa Bella Investments on a platform to purchase rooftop solar panels on homes throughout the state and lease them back to the homeowner.


The company has done this on more than 200 homes. Homeowners get some immediate cash through the arrangement, while Dunleer receives reliable monthly income from the panels.


Turner added that solar energy provides some great tax benefits.


“It’s a big win for people investing in the renewable energy space,” he said.


Turner also said the company is getting involved in solar power with residential units only as “our relationships were with residential suppliers” and not commercial ones.


“When you look at the residential side, there’s in some way less risk. You have a homeowner in that home who needs the electrical day in and day out. There’s consistency and reliability,” he said.


Still, he added, the company would be interested in working with commercial properties on solar opportunities in the future.


Dunleer has also partnered with San Diego-headquartered DAS Alliance Group to expand in Southern states like South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.


“We don’t necessarily have a footprint over there but are able to lend some of our multifamily expertise and assistance,” Turner said.He added that DAS has a larger footprint in the South, as well as local expertise and partners.


“It takes people on the ground and local knowledge,” Turner said.


The partnership helps Dunleer diversify where it owns assets, according to Turner.


For the rest of the year, Turner said Dunleer would roll out a solar fund vehicle, look to continue to expand its apartment portfolio, grow outside of Southern California for multifamily units and increase its industrial portfolio in Southern California.


“We continue to be very bullish on industrial and are happy to continue to buy more assets in Southern California that are industrial,” Turner said.