Ram and Lennar Joint Venture to Develop Luxury Apartments
- Oct 02, 2013
Charlotte, N.C.—Ram Realty Partners III (RRP III), an affiliate of south Florida-based Ram, has announced an equity investment in a joint venture to develop The Crest at Midtown, a new 261-unit luxury mid-rise apartment community on an infill site in the Midtown submarket of Charlotte, N.C.
Ram is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail and residential properties in the Southeast. It owns the Design Center of the Carolinas and is heavily investing in Charlotte, in both existing multifamily properties and development opportunities. The most notable such opportunity is the land acquired by Ram adjacent to the Design Center.
Participating in the joint venture along with RRP III is Lennar Apartment Communities, which will develop the project. This third investment fund from Ram is pursuing value-add retail and multifamily opportunities and participating in equity joint ventures with solid development partners of the caliber of Lennar.
“Both Ram and Lennar have been scouting for high-quality infill sites in Charlotte,” Ram CEO Casey Cummings tells MHN. “This site was identified by Lennar as one of the best sites in the market with close proximity to employment, shopping and dining.”
Adds John W. Gray, director for Lennar Apartment Communities, “Lennar Multifamily is focused on identifying and developing sites located in core employment corridors with close proximity—preferably walkability—to lifestyle retail. The Crest at Midtown is an ideal location.”
The development will offer residents the ability to access Charlotte’s successful B-Cycle Bike Sharing Program, and will also provide adjacent CATS bus access. The site is not located on Charlotte’s overwhelmingly successful light rail. However, the closest stop, at Epicentre, is less than one mile away, Gray says.
A terrific example of Charlotte’s investment in lifestyle infrastructure is the Sugar Creek Greenway, which runs very close to The Crest at Midtown.
“This is a huge draw, with activities like yoga class in Greenway Park every Thursday, and thousands of people running and biking the trail every year,” Gray says. “The Greenway is a great amenity for our future residents.”
This is the second recent transaction for Ram in the Charlotte market. A year prior to the announcement of the planned development of The Crest at Midtown, the 212-unit luxury apartment Piper Station in Ballantyne was acquired by an affiliate of RRP III. Earlier this year, an adjacent seven-acre parcel that will be the site of an additional 112 units was acquired by RRP III.
“We are aggressively expanding Ram’s presence and portfolio in the region, particularly with multifamily opportunities,” says Cummings. “The Crest at Midtown investment is compelling for two reasons. First, the location is unparalleled in Charlotte. Second, we have known the senior team at Lennar Apartment Communities for more than 15 years and are looking forward to working with them on this and other exciting opportunities in the market.”
Ram Realty Partners III LP is a fully integrated private equity real estate fund targeting distressed and value-add retail and multifamily properties in select high growth Southeast U.S. markets. The Crest at Midtown is the seventh investment made by RRP III, bringing the total asset value to approximately $200 million.
It will be located on South Kings Drive, across from the Metropolitan.
As the first for-rent product in the area around the Metropolitan, The Crest at Midtown will be a key development for infill Charlotte.
“In addition to being the first development in this unique submarket, it presents a great place to live at a solid relative value for our future residents,” Gray says. “We’re extremely excited to partner with Ram on this project, and believe it will be a resounding success in the Charlotte market.”