Insight Adds to Multifamily Portfolio with Silver Spring Purchase

Insight Property Group has purchased the U.S. Postal Service’s former Silver Spring Post Office site in Silver Spring, Md. The developer plans to start construction of the proposed 310-unit project in the fourth quarter of 2012.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Writer

McLean, Va.—Insight Property Group, along with partner Nova-Habitat, Inc., has purchased the U.S. Postal Service’s former Silver Spring Post Office site at 8616 Second Ave., Silver Spring, Md.

The McLean, Va.-based apartment developer plans to start construction of the proposed 310-unit, $75,000,000 Class-A apartment project in the fourth quarter of 2012. Bethesda-based Eagle Bank provided financing.

“Our basic business plan is to acquire and develop multifamily mix-use assets in strong employment trans-corridors in the D.C.-metro area and Silver Spring is one of them,” Insight principal Michael Blum tells MHN. “It’s one of the few true authentic urban experiences around outside of the D.C. core, and in the last 10 years has become a destination for employers, nightlife, clubs, restaurants [and] shops and offers a hub of activity.”

The purchase marks Insight’s eighth acquisition in the past two years, and along with two pending purchases, the company is now responsible for 1,129 new apartments in various stages of construction or development and 537 existing apartments.

The Silver Spring property sits only two blocks from the Silver Spring Metro Station and represents the fourth Metro-oriented apartment development site purchased by Insight, and the second in the last three months.

“It’s extremely easy to get to other employment centers in this market, including downtown D.C.,” Blum says. “It’s a gateway location with great access and visibility. To one side there’s a wonderful lower density residential context; to the other side you have the urban fabric of a bustling downtown and you are in walking distance to all the urban amenities. It gives you the best of both worlds.”

Additionally, since the proposed residence will be two blocks from the Silver Spring CBD, Blum says that traffic out of the central corridor for the residents will be much easier.

“For the residents that live here, it will be very easy to get out of the beltway towards Bethesda,” he says. “It’s actually a ton easier than if you lived three to four blocks away in the middle of downtown, where traffic is much worse.”

Back in November, Insight acquired a large property in the emerging H Street NE corridor of Washington, D.C. Blum reveals that Insight will announce its ninth purchase of a corresponding high-profile site on H Street soon.

Insight broke ground on its Grayson Flats apartment project near Arlington’s Courthouse Metro last fall and is on track to finish in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company also owns a site at Arlington’s Rosslyn Metro, which is still in planning and is in development on a property near an existing metro station in Fairfax County.

“The market is not producing new middle income apartments in the D.C. area, and there is strong demand from middle income renters who need apartments,” says Insight principal Richard Hausleri in a press release.

Blum adds that the company is in active pursuit of additional acquisitions.
“We have bought eight assets in two years, four of which are in development, and we plan to buy existing properties to plan and develop soon,” he says. “It’s an exciting time for us.”

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