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Steadfast Apartment REIT Acquires 696-Unit Portfolio

24 Oct 2014, 5:56 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Steadfast Apartment REIT has recently picked up 696 apartment homes in North Gwinnett, Georgia. The investment trust paid $98.5 million for the portfolio that is comprised of two adjacent communities originally constructed as stand-alone properties with 354, respectively 342 apartments.

Steadfast Apartment REIT is a Steadfast Companies investment trust based in Orange County, California. The group involves real estate investment and operating companies that acquire, develop and manage a diverse portfolio of well-positioned, institutional-quality apartment communities in targeted markets throughout the U.S. that have demonstrated high occupancy and income levels across market cycles. The REIT currently owns 1,743 units in four states.

The new owner intends to jointly operate the two properties as The Residences on McGinnis Ferry and make strategic, value-add interior improvements at both properties. The upgrades will include black appliances, 2” faux wood blinds, vinyl plank flooring, and upgraded countertops, cabinets, hardware and fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Located 30 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, the 40 garden-style residential buildings at the Residences on McGinnis Ferry are currently 97 percent occupied and have average in-place rents of $1,068, offering oversized one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans averaging 1,217 square feet.

The units include designer kitchens and baths, nine-foot ceilings, walk-in closets and double crown molding. Additional luxury finishes, including fireplaces, built-in wine racks, oversized garden tubs, guest powder rooms and computer rooms/offices are also available in some of the apartments. Two resort-style swimming pools and three lighted tennis courts are also included along with playgrounds, a kids’ activity room, resident activity center with gourmet kitchen, walking and bicycle trails and a dog park.

Photo credits: Steadfast Companies


Austin Creek Community near Southern Poly Sold, Converts to Student Housing

20 Oct 2014, 2:59 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

The community is directly adjacent to the SPSU campus

A newly formed joint venture has recently announced the acquisition of the 120-unit Austin Creek community at Southern Polytechnic State University’s campus. The partnership incorporates Chicago-based opportunistic, privately held real estate investment firm T2 Capital Management and Atlanta real estate service firm Campus Realty Advisors.

T2 provides capital structured as bridge loans, mezzanine loans, preferred equity, and joint venture equity, targeting mainly transitional and opportunistic middle-market commercial real estate assets. Campus Realty Advisors is a boutique investment and development company focused on creating value in off-campus student housing, identifying college markets and properties that offer significant profit potential for its investors and operating partners.

The investment group will to rebrand Austin Creek as Campus Edge and convert the property from conventional apartments to student housing. The partners also plan to invest significant capital into improvements to unit interiors as well as to amenities. Campus Realty will provide asset management services and oversee the major renovation of the property.

Located in Marietta, the property is immediately adjacent to the campus of Southern Polytechnic State University and the partnership marks out the redeveloped asset for students of SPSU and other local universities. Southern Poly will foreseeably merge with Kennesaw State University to act as its engineering and technology campus according to an announcement made earlier this year by the Georgia Board of Regents.

Houston-based Asset Campus Housing, an Asset Plus real estate management company was called upon to provide property management services for Campus Edge. Founded in 1986, Asset Campus is the largest privately owned, third party student housing property management firm in the U.S.

Image source: Google Maps

Georgia Tech to Renovate, Add to, Historic Residence Halls

13 Oct 2014, 3:13 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Architect’s rendering of the project

The historic Glenn and Towers Residence Halls at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta will soon undergo renovation with Stevens & Wilkinson in charge of the operation, in association with VMDO Architects.

Founded in 1919, Stevens & Wilkinson is a full-service architecture, engineering and interior design firm based in Atlanta and Columbia, S.C. Simultaneously with the Glenn & Towers Residence Halls project, the company has also undertaken the comprehensive redesign of Clemson University’s Core Campus Housing Precinct in Clemson, S.C.

The three-year, 125,000-sq.-ft. Atlanta project encompasses 63,259 square feet of floor space and four stories at Glenn Hall; 53,116 square feet and three stories at Towers Hall; and a new 8,400-square-foot addition that will connect the two residences, fulfilling the original 1940 master plan. It will update mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and HVAC systems, as well as provide design services for updated student areas including restrooms, lounges, kitchens and residential units. Plans also call for making the facilities accessible to the disabled and providing new student amenities including the addition of laundry, exercise, meeting, study and lobby spaces to the program space between the existing buildings. Elevators will also be added to both existing buildings to provide accessible vertical circulation.  New dormers have been proposed on the quad side of the building to add seven new student residence rooms in each building with the rest of the attic containing study spaces, community toilets and lounge space.

Scheduled for completion in 2015, the renovation is targeted for LEED Gold certification.

Photo credits: Stevens & Wilkinson


Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities Broke Ground on New Facility

6 Oct 2014, 5:44 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Rendering of the new Atlanta Ronald McDonald House

Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities started expanding in late October by breaking ground on a new facility and launching a public fundraising campaign for the construction of the Ronald McDonald House that replaces the current one on Peachtree Dunwoody Road near Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

ARMHC is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of children, by providing temporary housing and support services to families of ill and injured children being treated at local hospitals. The organization also supports local area high school seniors with college scholarships. They currently operate in two locations, the aforementioned Peachtree Dunwoody House and the LEED certified Gatewood House near Egleston Hospital. According to the organization, these two houses have provided home to more than 44,000 families since 1979.

Opened 20 years ago, the current 11-bedroom Peachtree Dunwoody House averages over 95 percent occupancy. Pressed for space, it has turned away over 650 families since 2011. Built to LEED standards with an energy-efficient, sustainable design, the new $18.5 million 52,636 square-foot facility will offer 31 guest rooms with private baths and full ADA accessibility including an elevator and roll-in showers. The house will also include an indoor treehouse to aid in healing through play.

The leadership began raising money for the expansion in late 2012 and 82% of the final sum has been reached. However, ARMHC must raise the balance by year-end to claim a $2.5 million challenge grant.

During the construction, families will be housed at the Gatewood Road facility and at nearby hotels. Opening is expected in 2016.

Image source: Business Wire


Joint Venture Develops New AC by Marriott Hotel near Phipps Plaza

26 Sep 2014, 8:28 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Phipps Plaza

Simon Property Group joined forces with Noble Investment Group to bring a new Marriott hotel to Phipps Plaza. The new facility will represent the hospitality giant’s AC Hotels by Marriott brand. The retail real estate leader and the private equity hospitality firm announced the AC by Marriott Buckhead project on Wednesday, 24 September.

Located at Georgia State Route 400 at the intersection of Peachtree and Lenox Roads in Atlanta’s Buckhead district, the Phipps Plaza is considered one of the top luxury shopping destinations of the Southeast. The hotel site is located at the corner of Peachtree Road with Wieuca Road, directly adjacent to Nordstrom at Phipps Plaza, with quick and convenient access to Midtown and Downtown Atlanta. The Buckead hotel will be the brand’s first location in the Big Peach.

Liam Brown, president of owner franchise relations for Marriott International, Inc. is optimistic about the prospects of the proposed facility.

“We are confident that this new lifestyle hotel will find great success in this exciting neighborhood,” he said in a recent statement for the press.

AC Hotels by Marriott is a lifestyle brand of the upper moderate line within Marriott International’s collection of 18 hospitality trademarks, one with a wide range of sophisticated travelers in mind. With 166 rooms and suites at their disposal, the AC by Marriott Buckhead will offer a variety of features including the AC Lounge, the AC Library, 2,500 square feet of flexible meeting space, health and fitness amenities with an indoor pool and complimentary wireless Internet throughout the hotel.

AC by Marriott Buckhead is scheduled to open in January 2016.

Image source: Simon Malls

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