JV Begins Work on Savannah Apartment Development

A partnership between Cortland Partners and Batson-Cook Development Co., both based in Atlanta, has broken ground on Two Addison Place in Pooler, Ga., northwest of Savannah near I-95.

Pooler, Ga.—A partnership between Cortland Partners and Batson-Cook Development Co., both based in Atlanta, has broken ground on Two Addison Place in Pooler, Ga., northwest of Savannah near I-95. The 325-unit apartment complex is slated for initial occupancy in early 2013.

The project represents an opportunity in a submarket with very high demand, notes Cortland Cortland Partners CEO Steven DeFrancis, but which is difficult to enter due to exacting local zoning and environmental rules. Plans for Two Addison Place call for a number of elevator buildings with various floor plans, and amenities such as nine‐foot ceilings, granite counter tops and wood flooring. The site plan is supposed to evoke historic Savannah, with some of the units featuring a view of the forested wetlands that surround the site that cannot be developed.

The recovering economy and demand for apartments justifies new development, according to the DeFrancis, which nevertheless requires a multi-layered financing structure. The $35 million Two Addison Place will be financed with capital provided by Community and Southern Bank, NXT Capital, and Kaufman Realty Group along with Cortland Partners and Batson-Cook Development Co.

During recent years, the Savannah MSA has well outstripped the national average for population growth. The area’s population grew from 293,000 to an estimated 355,500 between 2000 and 2011, notes the U.S. Census Bureau. The growth rate for the Savannah MSA over the years between 2000 and 2010 was a compounded 1.7 percent, the same as for the state of Georgia as a whole (the U.S. rate was 0.9 percent).

The shocks of the recession caused greater Savannah’s apartment vacancy rates to spike to about 12 percent by mid-2010, according to apartment market research firm Real Data, while development essentially ground to a halt. By the end of 2011, however, the local vacancy rate was down to 5.9 percent.