CFLane Announces Strategic Expansion for 2014

Apartment manager CFLane has plans to continue its rapid expansion throughout 2014. The firm will grow its 40,000-unit portfolio by targeting Class B and C assets in the Mid-Atlantic.

Brett Finkelstein, CEO of CFLane

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Atlanta—Officials of the CFLane apartment management firm have plans to launch a strategic expansion in 2014, building on the company’s aggressive growth over the past year.  CFLane was launched early in 2013 when Cocke Finkelstein Inc. (CFI), an Atlanta-based full-service multifamily investment firm, acquired Lane Company and created a management and services subsidiary.

In the last three months of 2013, CFLane took over management of 50 properties, and ended the year as the manager of 40,000 apartment units in 18 states from Maryland to Nevada.  The company manages all kinds of apartment communities, form Class-A communities to student housing properties, and in 2013 became one of the nation’s 50 largest apartment managers.

CFLane is bullish on certain types of markets.  “Our investment strategy is based on what we perceive as upside in certain markets,” CEO Brett Finkelstein tells MHN.  “That is strong population growth, and strong employment and salary growth, which translates into renters being able to pay higher rents. In addition, we need some kind of supply constraint.  So we’re looking for areas where there is supply constraint and improving economics.”

All classes of apartment communities are represented in CFLane’s portfolio.  The portfolio includes communities owned by both CFI and third parties.

“With the establishment of our firm and the brisk pace of expansion, 2013 was obviously a very exciting year for CFLane,” says company president and COO Dan Haefner.  “And we’re just getting started.  As the apartment sector continues to thrive, we expect 2014 to be another year of aggressive but carefully planned growth.”

Company officials report that CFLane expects to add additional units in the Mid-Atlantic markets of North Carolina and Virginia.  It will also target other states that offer an assortment of large metro areas, positive demographics, solid operating fundamentals and barriers to entry.

“We are extremely optimistic about the future health of the apartment sector,” Haefner adds. “The size of the 20-to-34-year-old age bracket, a key component of the renter population, is projected to grow by more than four million over the next decade, while the rates of home ownership are anticipated to remain lower than historical norms.”

For his part, Finkelstein predicts an exceptionally robust 2014.

“We’re very positive,” he reports.  “We have 40,000 units under management, AA down to C Class.  The top-end product tends to experience the first tightening and rent growth, and it cascades down to the Bs and Cs. We think 2014 will be a very strong rent growth year across the board, with more growth in the B and C.  But when we start seeing new product being delivered in Class A in 2015 and 2016, we’ll see some plateauing of rents in the higher-end product.”