CARROLL has made its first acquisitions since the pandemic began, purchasing three properties in the Atlanta area totaling nearly 1,600 units for approximately $220 million. All three assets were acquired through CARROLL’s latest institutional fund, Carroll Multifamily Venture VI L.P., and will be rebranded under the ARIUM brand.
The Cascade at Morgan Falls and the Fountains at Morgan Falls are adjacent, garden-style communities in Sandy Springs, Ga., with a total of 1,180 units. They will be combined under the new name, ARIUM Morgan Falls. The properties had the same ownership but CARROLL is not disclosing the name of the seller. David Gutting, vice chairman at Newmark and formerly with JLL as managing director, handled the Sandy Springs deals, according to CARROLL.
ARIUM at Morgan Falls is 1 mile west of GA-400, near I-285 and in close proximity to a MARTA station. The firm plans to invest more than $30 million in the properties to upgrade the interiors, exteriors and amenities to reposition them to the ARIUM brand.
The third property, The Columns at Bentley Manor, a 418-unit property in Marietta, Ga., will be rebranded as ARIUM on Bentley. CARROLL purchased the garden-style, gated community from ECI Group, which developed the property in 1985 and renovated it in 2008. It is near I-75 and I-285 and minutes from retail, sports and entertainment venues like Cobb Galleria and The Battery Atlanta, a $1.5 billion mixed-use development. The property is also in close proximity to the Cumberland and Galleria submarkets, which have more than 31 million square feet of office space, as well access to downtown Atlanta’s employment centers.
The firm is planning a $3.5 million extensive renovation and capital improvement plan at the property, including amenity renovations, deferred maintenance and interior unit upgrades. The 24-acre property has 37 buildings and amenities including a leasing office with business center and coffee lounge, two pools, modern clubhouse, fitness center, pet park, playground and ample parking.
Walker & Dunlop handled the sale of The Columns at Bentley Manor. The Investment Sales team was led by Managing Director Kyle Palmer. Palmer, based in Atlanta, facilitated the transaction and served as advisor to ECI Group. Walker & Dunlop’s Craig West arranged permanent financing through Freddie Mac’s floating rate program for the buyer.
Palmer said in prepared remarks the submarket has grown from a suburban office submarket into a vibrant, infill, live-work-play destination because of The Battery and SunTrust Park. He said the acquisition offers the new ownership the ability to improve future yields because of the significant rent spreads achieved by nearby, fully renovated communities.
Casey Barber, vice president of investments, said in a prepared statement the firm believes in the long-term demand for each of the locations because of their relative affordability, proximity to local highways and employment hubs, good schools and the fundamentals of Atlanta’s strong, diversified economy. He said the company invests in active, growing areas with good macroeconomic tailwinds. Both he and CARROLL CEO Patrick Carroll said rather than ride out the pandemic, the firm is moving ahead with acquisitions in new communities. A CARROLL spokesperson told Multi-Housing News one other deal is in the works that would likely close at the end of the year or by early January. He added the company is also planning several dispositions that will close by year’s end.
Carroll told MHN in September the firm has plans in 2021 to buy and sell 12 to 15 deals across the Sun Belt. Going forward, he said he expects suburbs to outperform and CARROLL to continue its focus on suburban markets.
In February of this year, CAROLL acquired a two-property portfolio in South Florida totaling 836 units. Since 2019, the investment firm has purchased 17 multifamily communities totaling more than $1 billion and is continuing to actively pursue opportunities in the Southeast, Southwest, Mountain West and other strategic target markets across the country. The firm’s portfolio now consists of more than 31,700 units.