Donaldson Group, DRA Advisors Grab $15M MD Community

The joint venture plans to renovate the Brinkley Manor Apartments, including common and outside areas, as well as the individual units.

By Jeffrey Steele

brinkley manor apartmentsThe Donaldson Group of Rockville, Md., and its New York-based equity partner DRA Advisors LLC have acquired Brinkley Manor Apartments in Temple Hills, Md. The 126-unit garden-style apartment community was purchased for $15.1 million. The investors intend to inject additional capital into Brinkley Manor to renovate the property.

We [at] The Donaldson Group currently manage over 900 units in Temple Hills, Md., and the properties we manage here have all performed very well the past few years,” The Donaldson Group president Carlton Einsel told MHN. “We have also had great past success acquiring properties in this submarket and repositioning them for sale.

“We know the Temple Hills market very well, have had great past success repositioning properties in this submarket, the submarket has recently been a solid performer and we believe the fundamentals of this submarket will outperform other markets.”

In Brinkley Manor, The Donaldson Group saw a property that possessed tremendous upside, Einsel added. “In particular, Brinkley Manor has a very inefficient, old two-pipe central plant system,” he explained. “As a result, utility costs have been extremely high.

We plan to convert this inefficient, expensive central plant system to a brand new high efficiency, individually-controlled mechanical system. This new mechanical system will provide our residents with heating or cooling options at any time at their choosing, unlike with the current central system. In addition, we expect to see utility expense savings at the property well in excess of 60 percent. The Donaldson Group has executed numerous similar utility conversions over the past several years and we know exactly how to design, scope out and execute this complex utility work.”

Easy to DC

Although Brinkley Manor has been well-maintained, few capital improvements have been undertaken over the years. As a result, The Donaldson Group plans to make improvements to the buildings, common areas and grounds, as well as to select apartment interiors.

Built in 1972, Brinkley Manor features 21 apartment buildings featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes ranging from 813 to 1,448 square feet.

Each unit includes individual washers and dryers. The community offers easy access to downtown Washington D.C. via the Capital Beltway (I-495), one mile from the property.

In its wheelhouse

I don’t know how many bidders there were, but I do know the competition was tough,” Einsel said of the acquisition effort. “The Donaldson Group has a strong reputation for its knowledge, management prowess and ability to execute its business plan. This, I believe, allows brokers and sellers to be confident that when we make an offer on a deal we will execute it without needless delay or re-trades.”

The property has considerable upsides, and The Donaldson Group looks forward to creating value for both the residents and the partnership through its planed renovations, said the company’s senior vice president John Majeski. “This is the type of project that plays directly to The Donaldson Group’s strengths,” he noted.

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