Grubb & Ellis to Add $182M in Properties to Apartment REIT
- Sep 07, 2010
Sept. 7, 2010
By Joshua Pringle, Associate Editor
Grubb & Ellis Apartment REIT Inc. has entered into definitive agreements to acquire nine multi-family properties from affiliates of MR Holdings, L.L.C. and substantially all the assets of Mission Residential Management, L.L.C., the property management business of Mission Residential. The acquisitions will total $182 million, subject to customary closing and filing conditions.
The multi-family properties include 2,676 apartment units located in North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. One of the nine properties is owned by a limited partnership for which an affiliate of MR Holdings serves as general partner. The other eight are owned by Delaware statutory trusts for which affiliates of MR Holdings serve as trustee. Acquisition of the properties totaled $176.9 million in cash, debt and limited partnership interests in Grubb & Ellis Apartment REIT’s operating partnership.
The REIT will acquire Mission Residential Management for $5.5 million in cash and liabilities. The business is the property manager of 41 multi-family communities, including the nine being purchased, comprising approximately 12,000 apartment units in Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Florida.
Grubb & Ellis chairman and CEO Stanley “Jay” Olander said the acquisition will be a tremendous step in the REIT’s growth, strengthening the company, increasing equity and adding value for stockholders. Olander added that the property management business will provide immediate fee income as well as self-management of the REIT’s portfolio.
The REIT also has its eye on six additional multi-family communities in North Carolina and Texas. Should all 15 proposed acquisitions go through, the Grubb & Ellis REIT portfolio will then total 29 multi-family properties totaling 7,933 apartment units valued at $661.4 million based on purchase price.
Paula Poskon, senior research analyst at Robert W. Baird, said that many people are expecting REIT rent-growth profiles to be superlative over the next several years. “I think that’s largely because the landlords are expected to enjoy increasing or improving pricing power … that doesn’t really exist in other sectors,” Poskon said. “We’ve heard from the apartment REITs broadly that the deal flow that they’re looking at is significantly improved over the last few months, and that should continue.”
Poskon attributed the fervor in the apartment sector to expectations of rent growth and gradual job recovery—which will be “driving household formation at a time that we have record-low new supply delivering to the market”—over the next several years. She added that “sellers no longer believe that there’s a stigma to putting something on the market, because a year ago if you put something on the market investors assumed that you had to sell it because you needed cash, that you were under some sort of duress. That’s no longer the case.”