December 2019

  • Dec

Multifamily Developers, Investors Reveal Favorite Southeast Markets

December 20, 2019

By  via REBusiness Online | December 18, 2019

Click here to view the original article.

ATLANTA — Multifamily developers and investors keep an ever-watchful eye on job and population growth in their target markets. In the Southeast, where several metros are seeing gains in those demand generators, which markets stand out?

That was a central question posed during the regional panel discussions at France Media’s 10th annual InterFace Multifamily Southeast conference. The event took place Tuesday, Dec. 3 at The Whitley in Atlanta’s Buckhead district. The event drew 384 attendees in the multifamily real estate sector.

The short list for the various speakers’ favorite markets include the usual suspects, namely Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Charlotte and Raleigh. These markets all have a recent track record of strong employment growth, which is traditionally a reliable indicator of multifamily demand. Norm Radow, CEO of Atlanta-based The RADCO Cos., warned though that not all jobs are created equally, which has long-term implications for the new apartment communities coming on line.

“The majority of the people hired are on the low end of the wage scale and the few making a lot of money are tipping the average up,” said Radow during the conference’s Atlanta Market Update panel. “The workers are there to rent them, but we’re building a product the majority can’t afford to rent.”

Despite that headwind, the panelists concurred that Atlanta’s apartment market still has a long runway for growth. Jason Nettles, managing director of investment sales at NorthMarq, described how Atlanta’s apartment market is almost a victim of its own success as the value-add sector’s cap rates are now lower than newer urban infill product as investors see the city’s value-add product type as low-risk.

“We had a value-add, infill asset in Atlanta that had a blank slate, as in none of the units were renovated. The cap rate got down to 4 percent, and core and core-plus deals are trading closer to 4.5 percent,” said Nettles. “Outside of Austin, which we’re hearing is in the 3 percent cap rate range, Atlanta is the most aggressively priced non-gateway market in the country.”

Radow said that Atlanta’s cap rate inversion is causing his firm to zig where others are zagging. The RADCO Cos. is a long-time value-add investor in Atlanta’s suburban markets, but its most recent acquisition is 464 Bishop, a new apartment community in Atlanta’s West Midtown neighborhood near Atlantic Station.

“We bought that well below replacement costs. It was a distressed lease-up where the merchant builder wanted to get to the next project,” said Radow. “We haven’t done that kind of deal in the cycle, but we’ll be doing more of it as capital is not as aggressive there but is chasing our existing portfolio.”

In Orlando, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports has been the nation’s fasting growing job market for the past four years, multifamily players are looking closely at the types of jobs created.

“I’m bullish on Orlando and the infrastructure spending and STEM jobs, but what I don’t like is its exposure to the hospitality sector,” said Craig Marbach, managing director of Venterra Realty, a multifamily developer, owner and manager that has nearly $2.2 billion in assets under management.

During the Central and Northern Florida Market Update panel, Marbach and moderator Luke Wickham of CBRE discussed the importance of job diversity for multifamily real estate. They concur that Tampa is likely the most diverse economy in Florida but that Orlando’s numbers are too big to ignore.

“Orlando led the state in job creation year-over-year with 52,000 jobs, and 40 percent of new employment in Orlando during the last 12 months was professional business and financial services, with an average salary of almost $60,000 a year,” said Wickham, senior vice president of CBRE. “Bringing companies into the market like EY, EA Sports and FedEx, Orlando has done a nice job of diversifying its economy away from tourism, though it’s always going to play a major role in the market. The Mouse is pretty powerful.”

In Orlando’s Lake Nona master-planned community, which has become a destination for tech and healthcare jobs, a joint venture between Linkvest Capital and Futura is underway on Futura at Nona Cove, a 260-unit apartment community. On the investment side, multifamily giant Cortland recently purchased Haven at Reunion, a new community in Kissimmee now dubbed Cortland Reunion, for $71 million, or $210,000 per unit.

Carolinas is a two-market race
During the Carolinas Market Update panel, all but one speaker said that their focus in 2020 will be on projects in the Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham markets. Katie Bloom, who works for the acquisition and development divisions at Goldman Sachs, said her firm’s biggest acquisition and sale in 2019 were both in these North Carolina metros.

“Our biggest acquisition this year was Novel Stonewall Station in Charlotte, which we purchased from Crescent Communities for $171 million,” said Bloom, managing director of Goldman Sachs. “Our largest multifamily sale was The Aster in Cary that Woodfield Development built.”

When pinned down on choosing just one Carolinas market as having the best growth prospects, moderator Andrea Howard of JLL said she’d pick Charlotte.

“I love all my children, but I’d have to go with Charlotte,” joked Howard, senior vice president of multifamily capital markets and investment sales at JLL.

Thanks in part to the Lynx Blue Line connection to Uptown Charlotte, the South End area has become a center for job growth with recent announcements including new offices for Lowe’s Home Improvement and LendingTree, among others. Uptown Charlotte is also spreading its wings with new offices in the works for firms like Duke Energy, F.N.B. Corp., Deloitte, Honeywell, Ally Financial and Truist Financial Corp., the recently merged company between SunTrust Bank and BB&T Bank that chose Charlotte as its new headquarters.

Raleigh and Durham are seeing a similar concentration of office and mixed-use development in their downtown districts. Employers, investors and developers are looking to capitalize on the brain trust of talent graduating from nearby Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

And these markets are attracting major investors. For instance, Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, a non-traded REIT managed by Starwood Capital Group, recently purchased The Exchange on Erwin in Durham near Duke University for $111 million. The multifamily component of the mixed-use project was delivered in 2018 and features 265 units that were 99 percent occupied at the time of sale.

Although the Carolinas panelists were most bullish on North Carolina’s top two markets, Justin Weintraub of Daniel Corp. said not to count out Greenville, South Carolina.

“Each quarter Greenville is becoming more and more institutional,” said Weintraub, executive vice president of Daniel Corp. “Year-over-year through the third quarter, Greenville had 22,000 jobs created, and Charleston was half of that. Greenville somehow misses folks’ radars.”

Daniel Corp. is currently underway on Camperdown, a redevelopment of the former Greenville News campus that will transform downtown Greenville’s apartment market. The $200 million project will include an AC Marriott hotel and a 170,000-square-foot office building, as well as a 10-story apartment tower that Weintraub said will command record rental rates for Greenville.

“We knew Camperdown was going to be challenging from the outset,” said Weintraub. “Our cost basis has never been achieved from an exit sales standpoint in Greenville, and our projected rents have never been achieved. Our company has a history of stretching the limits. There’s no merchant strategy on this one, but who knows what the market will dictate.”

Howard said that the “core four” Carolinas markets — Charlotte, Raleigh, Greenville and Charleston — all provide strong rent growth projections in 2020 and 2021.

“There was a point at this time last year when a lot of the third-party models were moderating rent growth down from the 1 to 1.5 percent range, but that’s all gone and erased,” said Howard. “I’m looking at 2.9 percent to 3.5 percent-plus rent growth in those four markets.”

Looking to the stars
Outside of the traditional and emerging Southeastern markets that investors and developers are bullish on, Florida’s Space Coast was said to be an attractive region for multifamily prospects. The aerospace industry is taking off in Brevard County on the east coast of Florida with firms like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin investing heavily in the market with space and sub-orbital launches.

SpaceX has requested to launch as many as 40,000 Starlink satellites in the coming years and is also building out its rocket program in the Space Coast. Blue Origin is building a 90-acre expansion of its existing $200 million rocket facility, and the company is reportedly investing more than $1 billion to work on an infrastructure dubbed “the road to space” that could facilitate millions of people to work, travel and potentially live in space.

The aerospace defense industry is also a prominent employment engine in the Space Coast with established firms like Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman and the merger between Harris Corp. and L3 Technologies.

The Brevard County cities of Melbourne, Titusville and Palm Bay are seeing new employees come in from all over the world to work in the space and aerospace industries, and Venterra’s Marbach said they’ll need a place to live.

“Highly educated individuals from India, California and all over the world are coming in, and they’re not looking for single-family homes,” said Marbach. “With tech you can do it most anywhere — Atlanta, Austin, Seattle — but with space launch, there are very few places you can be located. There’s less multifamily product per capita in the Space Coast, and we’ve been trying to capitalize on that.”

MultiVerse Global LLC, in partnership with Integra Land Co. and JMG Realty, is building 600 apartment units within Space Coast Town Centre in West Melbourne. Zimmerman Development is also building The Highline, an eight-story, 171-unit community in downtown Melbourne.

  • Dec

Former Kmart site could be home to apartments instead of a new Walmart

December 20, 2019

By  via South Florida Sun Sentinal | December 19, 2019

Click here to view the original article.

Oakland Park Rendering

A planned Walmart never happened, but Oakland Park could be getting a new apartment building. This is an artist rendering of a proposed project in its place – a 297-unit luxury rental apartment project in three 5-story buildings and one 3-story building, which has been proposed to Oakland Park City Hall. (RAM Realty / Courtesy)

A planned Walmart never happened, but Oakland Park could be getting a new apartment building.

A 297-unit luxury rental apartment project calls for three buildings that rise five stories and one building that rises three stories. The plan has been proposed to Oakland Park City Hall.

The land at 12.5-acre site at 670 E. Oakland Park Blvd. was once a Kmart, which closed in 2014. Walmart acquired the property in 2012 for $11 million. After years of delays, Walmart finally got the green light to open in Oakland Park in late 2016 as a Walmart Supercenter.

But earlier this year the company reversed course, saying “Oakland Park is a very different place today than it was in 2012.”

The Arkansas company listed it for sale in March. A selling price was not included in the listing. A spokeswoman for RAM Realty, which is in charge of the project, said the sale will be finalized after the final city approvals, which are expected in late 2020.

Construction is expected to take two years.

The apartments will have an average size of 900 square feet. Building amenities will include a pool, outdoor kitchen and fire pit, a dog park, a bocce court and community herb garden.

Rents have not yet been announced.

The plans are expected to be discussed at a development Review Committee city meeting in January.

No Walmarts or Walmart neighborhood markets are located within Oakland Park.

  • Dec

Starwood Real Estate Income Trust Acquires Mixed Use Property in Durham, NC

December 18, 2019

By PR Newswire

MIAMIDec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (“SREIT”), a non-traded REIT managed by Starwood Capital Group, announced today the acquisition of Exchange on Erwin, a Class A, high-quality mixed use property totaling 265 multifamily units and 96,949 RSF of commercial space in Durham, NC. The property was acquired through an off-market transaction for approximately $111 million, excluding closing costs, from an affiliate of Ram Realty Advisors (“Ram”). The multifamily property was recently completed in 2018 and the commercial property, consisting primarily of medical office space, was completed in 2007.

The property benefits from its prime location directly across the street from Duke University, which is the largest employer in the Raleigh-Durham market, with nearly 40,000 employees. This provides its tenants with exceptional access to the University Health System buildings, including its world-renowned hospital. A substantial portion of the multifamily units are leased to Duke University graduate students and the medical office space is 100% leased to various Duke University medical tenants. The Exchange on Erwin multifamily units were 99% occupied and the commercial space was 95% leased as of the acquisition date, resulting in overall occupancy of 98%.

In addition to its location directly adjacent to Duke University, Exchange on Erwin is near world-class medical facilities, within a strong biotech and innovation hub, and just 15 minutes from Research Triangle Park, which has 22.5 million sq ft. of office space and is home to 55,000 employees.

“We like Exchange on Erwin because is it uniquely positioned to benefit from a significant demand driver in Duke University that has been in-place for more than 125 years and continues to expand and strengthen,” said Mark Keatley, Managing Director of Acquisitions, Starwood Capital Group. “We believe this asset will allow SREIT to achieve strong, risk-adjusted cash yields from reliable and sustainable tenancy tied to the educational institution and healthcare industries.”

“Exchange on Erwin is another example of SREIT acquiring high-quality real estate in its targeted high-growth markets, which are benefitting from strong population and job growth,” said John McCarthy, CEO and President of SREIT. “SREIT focuses on markets with strong growth dynamics because they drive occupancies, rents, and values upward.”

Exchange on Erwin was originally acquired by Ram in November 2015 on behalf of Ram Realty Partners III LP. Immediately following the acquisition, Ram designed, permitted and developed the 265 multifamily units as part of its strategy to create a vibrant mixed-use project. “We acquired Exchange on Erwin largely as a result of our conviction about the quality of the location and the opportunity to improve the asset,” said Casey Cummings, CEO of Ram. “We are pleased that an institution like Starwood Capital Group believes as strongly in the property as we did when we launched our value-add strategy.”

“The sale of a high-quality property is always bittersweet but we are confident that SREIT will continue to be a good steward of the asset.”

Ram has been active in the Raleigh-DurhamChapel Hill market since 1999 and has several active projects in development and renovation throughout the region.

CBRE | Raleigh’s Howard Jenkins and Ben Kilgore as well as CBRE’s Kevin Kempf and Mike Burkard represented Ram in the transaction.

As of November 30, 2019, the SREIT portfolio has an estimated total asset value of $1.98 billion across 70 properties.


About Starwood Real Estate Income Trust

Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. is a perpetual-life, monthly NAV REIT that directly invests in high quality, stabilized, income-producing real estate across the United States and Europe. SREIT is managed by Starwood REIT Advisors L.L.C., a subsidiary of Starwood Capital Group.

For more information, please visit our website at


About Starwood Capital Group

Starwood Capital Group is a private investment firm with a core focus on global real estate, energy infrastructure and oil & gas. The Firm and its affiliates maintain 15 offices in six countries around the world, and currently have approximately 4,000 employees. Since its inception in 1991, Starwood Capital Group has raised over $45 billion of equity capital, and currently has in excess of $60 billion of assets under management. The Firm has invested in virtually every category of real estate on a global basis, opportunistically shifting asset classes, geographies and positions in the capital stack as it perceives risk/reward dynamics to be evolving. Over the past 28 years, Starwood Capital Group and its affiliates have successfully executed an investment strategy that involves building enterprises in both the private and public markets. Additional information can be found at


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SOURCE Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, Inc.

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