• 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 www.starwoodnav.reit.


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 starwoodcapital.com.


Media Contacts:

Tom Johnson/Dan Scorpio

Abernathy MacGregor

(212) 371-5999

tbj@abmac.com / dps@abmac.com

SOURCE Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, Inc.

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  • Jul

Lowe’s to bring 1,600 high paying jobs, new high-tech center to Charlotte

July 1, 2019

 – Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday that Mooresville-based home improvement company Lowe’s will locate a major new technology center in Charlotte, creating more than 1,600 jobs.

“Lowe’s is expanding in a way that will take technology to new heights and this company knows its home state can provide the highly trained workforce it needs,” Gov. Cooper said in a written statement, released on Thursday.

lowes tech center_tower
The company announced in December 2018 it would add up to 2,000 technology associates to transform the company’s technology. Most of the new positions will be based at the new center in Charlotte, while others will join at existing Lowe’s locations where it has a strong technology team presence, including its Mooresville headquarters.

In conjunction with selecting North Carolina, Lowe’s intention is to locate its new global technology center in Charlotte’s South End. Set to open in late 2021, a 357,000-square-foot facility will be located in a new 23-story tower, branded with Lowe’s, in the bustling neighborhood immediately south of uptown Charlotte.

The developer, a joint venture between Childress Klein and RAM Realty Advisors, plans to break ground on the building, called Design Center Tower, in August 2019.

Today, Lowe’s employs nearly 11,000 associates in the Charlotte area and more than 28,000 associates across North Carolina.

In addition to its $153 million capital investment in the project, Lowe’s will add a variety of technology positions, including software and infrastructure engineers, data scientists, analysts, architects, User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) professionals, and technologists with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning engineering experience.

Lowe’s expects to fill the first 400 positions in the next year and plans to begin hiring for these positions immediately. Candidates can visit jobs.lowes.com/technology to learn about available positions and apply online.

While salaries will vary by role, the average wage for the new positions will be more than $117,000.

  • Jun

Ram Realty Buys Raleigh Shopping Center

June 27, 2019

Investor Acquires Retail Center Near New Wegman’s Location

(Raleigh, NC – June 27, 2019) – Ram Realty, an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail and multifamily properties in the Southeast, acquired four retail buildings from Davidson & Jones Construction Company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Florida-based real estate firm has acquired a lifestyle center on Wake Forest Road near the first Wegmans Food Markets store planning to open in North Carolina. Photo: CoStar

Florida-based real estate firm has acquired a lifestyle center on Wake Forest Road near the first Wegmans Food Markets store planning to open in North Carolina. Photo: CoStar

The center is located near the first Wegmans Food Markets store to open in North Carolina. The supermarket is located in the Midtown East shopping center under construction just inside the Beltline.

The lifestyle retail center, located at 2904 Wake Forest Rd ., sold for $14,000,500, or about $212.09 per square foot. Two of the four buildings were built in 1996, one in 1997 and one in 2003, totaling 66,011 square feet, according to CoStar information.

A team of HFF brokers marketed the retail center on behalf of the seller.

  • Feb

Construction Begins on Hawk, Unmatched Exclusive Residences Coming to South End

February 26, 2019

Hawk Building Rendering

(Charlotte, NC – February 27, 2019) – Ram Realty Advisors is pleased to announce the ground breaking of Hawk, a highly anticipated 13-story high-rise building with 71 multifamily units atop 6,200 square feet of retail. Hawk is located at the corner of Hawkins and Doggett Streets in Charlotte’s historic South End. Slated for occupancy in summer of 2020, Hawk boasts the highest-quality finishes available in rental residences. With only six apartments per floor in a building unlike anything Charlotte has seen, each residence feels more like a custom single-family home than an apartment.

“Ram’s vision is to bring a level of living to the epicenter of South End that doesn’t currently exist,” says Ram Realty Advisor’s Director of Development, Rachel Russell Krenz. “Hawk is a carefully planned community for distinguished residents who live private, aspiring lifestyles.”

Hawk’s residents will enjoy the social heartbeat of Charlotte while residing in opulent surroundings that feature sophisticated finishes and spectacular views of the Uptown skyline. Hawk’s lobby décor includes marble floors, brass mailboxes, designer lighting, walls clad in indigo silk, walnut wood veneer, honed black slate, and original art. The residences bring the most sought-after living experience in exquisite studios-, two- and three-bedroom layouts.

Each residence is hand crafted with a solid wood entry door opening to an all-embracing living space with wideplank flooring reminiscent of European oak and expansive warehouse-style windows that almost touch the tallest ceilings in the market. Kitchens include French-door refrigerators, gas ranges, custom walnut cabinetry, brass and black hardware, quartz countertops, and a large-format tile backsplash inspired by honed Calcutta marble. Detailed bathrooms will showcase glassed shower rooms with freestanding soaking tubs, separate toilet rooms, and rectified porcelain tile floors. Residents can also expect custom-designed wardrobes, private laundry rooms, and generously sized wood-ceiling balconies with ceiling fans.


Hawk Kitchen Rendering        Hawk Bathroom Rendering
“It’s been an honor to work on this unique project that utilizes an innovative precast concrete construction and as high a level of interior finishes as we have seen in the Carolinas,” says Senior Principal of Cline Design Associates Orlando Pizarro.

Ram maximized the value of the tight 0.36-acre site by increasing the density through height, designing a pedestrian bridge to the adjacent parking deck, and utilizing precast concrete for the structure. This innovative approach to development parallels the innovation of South End’s Design District. Ram is no stranger to the neighborhood, with over a decade of investing in the strategic development of South End. Ram’s North Carolina regional office is located in the Design Center of the Carolinas, directly adjacent to Hawk. Other Ram projects in South End include Hub South End- a mixed-use project that includes 265 apartments and over 22,000 square feet of new commercial retail, office and co-working space; and Three30Five- a multifamily community with 164 apartments and a 60,000 square feet to be built commercial component.

Residents will enjoy the bustling South End neighborhood filled with restaurants, shops, breweries, art, and entertainment. Hawk is less than one mile to Uptown and blocks from major employers like Dimensional Fund Advisors and Allstate Insurance. The premium location is furthered with the Lynx Light Rail East-West Station and rail trail one block away and a 15-minute drive to Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Ram’s attention to placemaking will complement the vibrant, growing neighborhood and offer a unique living option.

“Ram’s investment in South End continues to add to the neighborhood, and this project will provide a new kind of residential option right in the heart of a retail-rich and walkable area,” said Megan Liddle Gude, Director of Historic South End for Charlotte Center City Partners. “The density, design, walkability and mix of uses that shine in this project fulfill many of the goals set out in our community’s South End Vision Plan.”

The Hawk team includes general contractor Concorde Construction; architect/interior designer Cline Design Associates; civil engineer Bohler Engineering; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineer Jordan & Skala Engineering; structural engineer MMSA, Inc.; precast concrete manufacturer Metromont Corporation; and lender Synovus Bank d/b/a Florida Community Bank.

Ram Realty Advisors acquires and develops retail, multifamily, and mixed-use properties in select high-growth markets throughout the Southeast. The investments are capitalized by Ram-sponsored discretionary private equity funds and institutional co-investment vehicles. Since 1996, Ram has deployed in excess of $2.8 billion of capital. The Company’s assets are primarily operated by its management affiliate — 5/ten Management. Ram and its predecessor entities were founded in 1978. The Company is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, and Nashville. To learn more, visit ramrealestate.com



Kelly Owens
Alchemy Communications Group
office: 561.935.9953 x. 101
mobile: 561.222.4958

Jessica Sutherland
5/ten Management Ι Director of Marketing
office: 704-237-3367

  • Jan

Ram Realty Advisors Closes on University Place with Big Revitalization Plans

January 31, 2019


(Chapel Hill, NC – January 25, 2019) – Ram Realty Advisors is already at work on its transformative plans for Chapel Hill’s University Place, and both current tenants and area residents express renewed hope for one of the Triangle’s oldest shopping centers.

The 40-acre property, purchased from Madison Marquette, has seen some positive developments in the last few years, with anchors Silverspot Cinema and gourmet grocer Southern Season joined by Harris Teeter grocery store, Stoney River Steakhouse & Grill, and Bartaco. Ram’s plans likely include multi-phase efforts to modernize the property.

“Our goal is to create a walkable town center, so our initial focus will be upgrading the existing buildings to fill in some of the gaps by converting interior mall space to outward-facing shops,” said Ram Realty Advisor’s Ashley Saulpaugh, Director of Investments. “That will include renovating the exteriors and enhancing the outdoors with new landscaping, seating, and public art.”

“There’s a whole host of uses we’re considering,” said Ram Realty Advisors’ CEO, Casey Cummings. “We want to bring balance and vibrancy to University Place. We will build buildings in the parking lots, although how and where they connect to the existing space is still in the planning and design phases. We’re also considering completely new uses of the property, including office, lodging, and residential.”

bartaco exterior

University Place is Ram’s third investment in the immediate area of Chapel Hill within the past three years. In 2016, Ram acquired nearby Elliott Square Shopping Center, a 70,000 SF retail center anchored by O2 Fitness. Ram also acquired the former Days Inn on Fordham Boulevard in 2017 and is currently under construction on a 272-unit midrise apartment community. Previously, Ram developed the mixed-use 140 West project on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.

South Florida-headquartered Ram has a long history in The Triangle, with plans to continue its commitment to the area.


Founded in 1978, Ram Realty Advisors is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire and develop retail, multifamily, and mixed-use properties in select high-growth markets in the Southeast. The company capitalizes investments with Ram-sponsored discretionary private equity funds, and periodically institutional joint ventures. Since 1996, the company has deployed in excess of $2.5 billion of capital. Ram Realty Advisors operates and manages its own assets through an affiliated company, 5/ten Management. Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Durham, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee.



Kelly Owens
Alchemy Communications Group
office: 561.935.9953 x. 101
mobile: 561.222.4958