Cortland Buys 2nd Virginia Luxury Tower

This purchase comes just a few months after the firm bought another building in the same development.

Evo. Image courtesy of Cortland

Cortland, a multifamily real estate investment, development and management company, has acquired the 29-story, 455-unit Evo in The Highlands development along the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor in Rosslyn, Va., from Penzance. The price was not disclosed.

The property was developed in partnership with The Baupost Group, an investment manager, and was the second Penzance-owned tower in The Highlands to be purchased by Cortland in recent months. Cortland acquired Aubrey, a 23-story, 331-unit luxury apartment tower in The Highlands development, from Penzance in May and rebranded it Cortland Rosslyn. Penzance had completed development of three towers at The Highlands in 2021. The third—Pierce—is a 24-story condominium building with 104 residences.

When Cortland made the first purchase, the firm noted it would be one of four acquisitions it planned in the Arlington, Va., market that would total more than 1,500 units and cost more than $1 billion. In a separate transaction in May, Cortland also acquired Aura Pentagon City, a 534-unit apartment community it renamed Cortland Pentagon City, from Polinger Co.

Mike Altman, chief investment officer at Cortland, said in a prepared statement the acquisition of Evo is the culmination of an investment round the company began in May with the purchase of Cortland Rosslyn. He said Cortland is creating a seamless, resident-centric and hospitality-driven experience with the combination of the two trophy towers. Altman said the purchases of the two towers at The Highlands, a 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use development, is just the beginning of Cortland’s investment in the region. In addition to the three luxury residential towers, The Highlands includes a new fire station, a 24,000-square-foot park and 40,000 square feet of retail.

Evo Details

Located at 1771 N. Pierce St., Evo and The Highlands development had been in the planning stages for 11 years. The developer had received a $290 million construction loan held by JPMorgan Chase and originated by Mack Real Estate Group in August 2018 as part of a portfolio transaction, according to Yardi Matrix data. Evo received an estimated allocation of $167 million, based on average value per unit across the entire portfolio. The property is subject to an unsubordinated net ground lease held by Arlington County, Yardi Matrix reported.

Evo has apartments with floorplans ranging from studios to one-, two- and three-bedroom units and several penthouses with three bedrooms. The residences range from 526 square feet to 1,387 for most three-bedroom units and up to 2,485 square feet for the largest penthouse, according to Yardi Matrix data. The units include high-end appliances, floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of the Washington, D.C., skyline, Arlington and the Potomac River. There are digital locks in all units as well as washers and dryers. Many of the apartments have private patios or balconies. The building has more than 30,000 square feet of amenity space including a rock climbing wall, multi-sport simulator, dart alley, rooftop pool, outdoor grilling stations, several lush garden terraces with lounge seating and a fitness center with aqua spa. There is a clubhouse, business center, coworking space and private conference rooms.

More Cortland Growth

Cortland has also been expanding its multifamily presence in other markets around the United States. In June, the firm acquired a 202-unit community in Scottsdale, Ariz., for nearly $74.8 million from a partnership between Edgehill and The Tanbic Co. Cortland rebranded the garden-style community, previously known as Centerra, as Cortland Scottsdale Mountain. The company had acquired two similar communities totaling 668 units in the Phoenix metro in October 2020.

In December, Cortland bought the 379-unit Falcon Square at Independence in Winter Garden, Fla., for $116.8 million from Venterra Realty, according to Orange County records. The property is near Freeway 429, offering easy access to downtown Orlando. Universal Orlando and Disney World theme parks are located within 15 miles of the community. Also in 2021, a Cortland joint venture broke ground on the 355-unit Cortland ChampionsGate in Orlando’s ChampionsGate neighborhood.

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