Equus Acquires Suburban St. Louis Community

An affiliate of Equus Capital Partners has acquired from Village Green a 251-unit apartment community called Village Park of Ballwin, located in Ballwin, Mo., a western suburb of St. Louis.

Ballwin, Mo.—An affiliate of Equus Capital Partners Ltd. has acquired from Village Green a 251-unit apartment community called Village Park of Ballwin, located in Ballwin, Mo., a western suburb of St. Louis. Village Park of Ballwin has been renamed Madison Rockwood, and will be managed by Madison Apartment Group LP, the multifamily operating arm of Equus. The community experienced an approximately 93 percent rate of occupancy at time of closing.

What was the catalyst for the purchase? “We were attracted to the strong location of Madison Rockwood,” Steve Pogarsky, vice president acquisitions at Madison Apartment Group, tells MHN. “In 2013, Ballwin was noted in a national survey by CNN Money as one of the top 100 places to live in the nation. With strong housing prices and median area incomes, combined with access to convenient retail and desirable schools, this location should remain attractive over the foreseeable future. In addition, we own and operate Madison Seven Trails within a mile of Madison Rockwood, providing us with unique insights into the location and submarket drivers.”

Madison Rockwood is a garden-style community that features a blend of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom townhomes.

Residents enjoy a number of amenities, among them a clubhouse, fitness center, pool and tennis and racquetball courts. Equus plans to invest more than $1.4 million over the next few months to bring about an array of community improvements. Among them will be significant enhancements and updates to the community amenities, as well as common-area hallway renovations, apartment interior upgrades, and a comprehensive rebranding program.

Situated 25 miles west of downtown St. Louis in the Manchester/West County submarket, Madison Rockwood is near major east-west commercial corridor Manchester Rd., which offers quick commutes to employment centers, shopping and entertainment venues.

The biggest roadblock faced by Madison Apartment Group in acquiring the property was addressing the increase in interest rates that took place around the time the company was going about securing permanent financing.

“We had to take a step back and explore various options,” Pogarsky says. “We ultimately settled on pursuing and securing seven-year, fixed-rate agency financing. This allowed us to minimize the impact of any future increases in interest rates that may occur over the next several years.”

Pogarsky says the most significant change to the community is the management team installed by Equus. “The new management team will bring a new level of enthusiasm and commitment to resident satisfaction,” Pogarsky says.

The acquisition of Madison Rockwood was made on behalf of BPG Investment Partnership IX, L.P. (Fund IX), a discretionary fund managed by Equus, which commenced making acquisitions in February 2012. It is the third multifamily community acquired on behalf of Fund IX.