President of The Firm Companies Adam Gilbert (front) Joel Handshuh (center left) and Joshua Gilbert (rear)
Coachella Valley/Inland Empire Broker and Investor Adam Gilbert Launches The Firm Capital Group’s Real Estate Fund
Adam Gilbert, President of The Firm Companies, is a third-generation Palm Springs, California resident and real estate entrepreneur. With a team of agents in Palm Springs and Palm Desert who advise in commercial real estate sales, leasing, government relations, land acquisition and development, The Firm achieved $100+ Million in sales volume throughout the Coachella Valley and Inland Empire in 2022, leading into the announcement of a new division in 2023. The Firm Capital Group’s real estate fund will realize Gilbert’s vision to create direct investment opportunities for profit-producing real estate assets. The group’s recent acquisition of two buildings totaling approximately 40,000 square feet was a catalyst for the formation of the fund and its first investment.
In 2021, The Firm made over $60M worth of sales throughout Southern California; that number doubled in 2022. Gilbert credits his team for staying abreast of market forecasts, staying prepared to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. “We pay attention to what’s happening in the news,” he says. “It’s doing that work and talking to the creatives, city officials and other people at the forefront of new growth areas. Our priority is to take what’s working in other markets and bring it to the desert.”
Gilbert was selected as one of Palm Springs Life Magazine’s “40 Under 40” lineup for 2022, and he’s earned numerous featured listings on realtor.com. Among his recent notable transactions is the $5.15M sale of Dive Hotel, which he calls “maybe the highest price per key for a boutique hotel in Palm Springs history at approximately $468k dollars per key.”
Past projects include the acquisition of The Syndicate on Highway 111; the property was acquired for $2.4M and sat mostly vacant with the only existing tenant in arrears of over $200,000. Understanding the replacement cost of the building exceeded $5M, The Firm Capital Group immediately began leasing the space. Within six months of acquisition, the building’s exterior was painted, a sign program was approved by the city, a world-class art mural was completed, and the property achieved 92% lease occupancy. Its property value increased in the same period by approximately $2M in addition to its newly steady stream of cash flow.
The company’s current projects are diverse and growing, including an entitled 2.53-acre parcel of industrial-zoned land, a zone change to low-density residential, and approval of an eight-home tract map, which received unanimous approval at Palm Springs Planning Commission and City Council meetings in 2022. On this project, The Firm Capital Group negotiated for a one-year escrow to close at a price of $875,000. Within that period, they worked on the zone change and completed CEQA with a post-entitlement land value of $2.5M and the potential for a joint venture with a builder or build-to-suit for an increased return of potential profits at $1M per lot for a total of $8M gross income.
“I’m a real estate broker first and foremost to fund investments,” Gilbert says. “Now, to do them at scale and speed, this is where the fund comes in… I know what owners are looking for to create win-win opportunities which results in creating immense value.”
The team’s achievements are also driven by their desire to nurture relationships and connect with Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley, Inland Empire and the surrounding communities.
“I was born and raised in Palm Springs,” Gilbert says. “It was the place to be in the ‘50s and ‘60s. It was popular for spring break in the ‘80s, and when I was growing up, it was pretty dead until the early 2000s. People rediscovered the mid-century modern architecture and there was a resurgence. I want more to do in Palm Springs as a younger person. I want to be a part of the revitalization and encourage art and the creatives, making it a year around destination for residents; not just for tourists.”
“I want to raise my family here,” he continues. “I want it to be a different experience for my son than I had and one way to do that is to be a part of developing that [the community].”