Berkadia Secures Preferred Equity for Novu Project

The 308-unit garden-style apartment community is being constructed in Florida.

Berkadia recently arranged the sale of a 10,000-site manufactured housing portfolio. The properties included River’s Edge, a manufactured housing community owned by Havenpark Communities in Clinton Township, Mich. Image courtesy of Havenpark Communities

Novu Residential Group, a Birmingham, Ala.-based firm that sources, builds and manages residential communities in the Sun Belt, has secured $13.1 million of preferred equity backing a 308-unit multifamily development in Jacksonville, Fla.

The project’s groundbreaking was held in November. The property will be built on a 15.41-acre site at 1485 Fouraker Road, off Normandy Boulevard, just west of Interstate 295 and within a short distance of major employers, including Amazon, Boeing and Wayfair. Residents will also have quick access to I-10. The property will offer a short commute to downtown Jacksonville and area beaches. The apartment complex will have eight garden-style buildings and offer resort-style amenities, including outdoor living and recreation areas. The community will be within walking distance of Publix- and Winn-Dixie-anchored shopping centers.

Berkadia obtained the preferred equity commitment from an experienced real estate investment firm that focuses on ground-up development. While the firm was not identified, Novu CEO Patrick Jackson, in a prepared statement, said the investor will be a long-term strategic partner for Novu.

Managing Directors Cody Kirkpatrick and Noam Franklin and Senior Managing Director Chinmay Bhatt of Berkadia JV Equity & Structured Capital sourced the preferred equity deal for Novu.

Preferred equity’s resurgence

Developers and owners have been increasingly seeking preferred equity as a financing source in the past year as they grapple with the scarcity of capital available for multifamily deals.

Berkadia’s Kirkpatrick, Franklin and Bhatt have arranged several such deals in recent months. In October, the team helped Wilkinson Corp. secure $13 million in institutional equity to acquire Legacy Park, a 250-unit multifamily property in Brownsburg, Ind. Berkadia Senior Managing Director Richard Levine also secured a nearly $30 million loan provided by Freddie Mac for Wilkinson as part of the financing package.

Last spring, the team secured $24 million in preferred equity for Bela Flor Communities to recapitalize Bella Victoria, a 236-unit luxury multifamily asset in Mesa, Ariz.

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