IPO for Connecticut Ave. building called off

It was supposed to be a first of its kind, an  initial public offering for a single building.

But it didn’t pan out.

Etre Financial LLC, based in New York, had been attempting to create a way to give investors the chance to buy shares in specific buildings via the Nasdaq. Its test case was 1201 Connecticut Avenue, known as the Longfellow Building.

Etre inked a contract to purchase the building and hoped to launch an IPO this week, but the offering never took place and as of Friday, the contract to acquire the building has expired.

1201 Connecticut Avenue, located a few blocks south of Dupont Circle. (Courtesy SEC filing)
1201 Connecticut Avenue, located a few blocks south of Dupont Circle. (Courtesy SEC filing)

Paul Frischer, president and chief executive of Etre, said that because the idea was so new to investors, management didn’t have sufficient time to answer all of the questions raised about the idea in the time allotted by Securities and Exchange Commission rules.

“We just ran out of time,” Frischer said . “The truth is that everyone thinks it’s a cool idea. And we just didn’t have enough time in five days to talk about it.”

He said he still believes in the business model and that Etre will choose another building to acquire and bring to market. Now that more people understand the company’s idea and business model, he thinks it will be easier the second time around. 

“Anytime you do something for the first time it takes a lot of people to learn about it,” he said.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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It was supposed to be a first of its kind, an  initial public offering for a single building.

But it didn’t pan out.

Etre Financial LLC, based in New York, had been attempting to create a way to give investors the chance to buy shares in specific buildings via the Nasdaq. Its test case was 1201 Connecticut Avenue, known as the Longfellow Building.

Etre inked a contract to purchase the building and hoped to launch an IPO this week, but the offering never took place and as of Friday, the contract to acquire the building has expired.

1201 Connecticut Avenue, located a few blocks south of Dupont Circle. (Courtesy SEC filing)
1201 Connecticut Avenue, located a few blocks south of Dupont Circle. (Courtesy SEC filing)

Paul Frischer, president and chief executive of Etre, said that because the idea was so new to investors, management didn’t have sufficient time to answer all of the questions raised about the idea in the time allotted by Securities and Exchange Commission rules.

“We just ran out of time,” Frischer said . “The truth is that everyone thinks it’s a cool idea. And we just didn’t have enough time in five days to talk about it.”

He said he still believes in the business model and that Etre will choose another building to acquire and bring to market. Now that more people understand the company’s idea and business model, he thinks it will be easier the second time around. 

“Anytime you do something for the first time it takes a lot of people to learn about it,” he said.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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Jonathan O'Connell | May 14