Harbor Group Expands Apartment Management Portfolio

Harbor Group Management Co. has taken over the property management business of Great Atlantic Management. Great Atlantic's portfolio of 21 properties includes 3,880 apartment units and about 116,000 square feet of commercial space in Virginia.

Norfolk, Va.—Harbor Group Management Co., the property management company of Harbor Group International (“HGI”), has taken over the property management business of Great Atlantic Management. Great Atlantic’s portfolio of 21 properties includes 3,880 apartment units and about 116,000 square feet of commercial space in Hampton Roads, Williamsburg and Richmond, Va.

Earlier this year, HGI acquired 2,508 apartment units from affiliates of Great Atlantic for $165.9 million. In the latest transaction, HGI is assuming the property management rights for the balance of the properties currently being managed by Great Atlantic, but isn’t acquiring any real estate. HGI and Great Atlantic plan to transition the management of the properties by the end of September.

According to Robert S. Friedman, president of Harbor Group Management Co., it’s a good time to grow the company’s management business, but not necessarily an easy one. “Companies that seriously desire to improve net operating income in today’s marketplace, and more importantly, return on investment, must be willing to assume certain carefully calculated risks and lead rather than follow,” he tells MHN.

“Whether it relates to reducing/eliminating concessions in a market where that has been the norm for years, passing through costs that competitors are absorbing, or reinvesting in your existing assets at a time when others have frozen all capital spending, unconventional thinking allows us to stay ahead of the curve,” Friedman continues. “To be effective in the current economic and operating environment, we strive be nimble.”

With a significant infrastructure already in place for managing the properties, the Great Atlantic portfolio is a good opportunity for the company, Friedman notes. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., Harbor Group Management Co., currently manages more than 11 million square feet of commercial space and about 25,000 apartment units in various parts of the country.