StoneBridge Buys Raleigh Community

The Columns at Wakefield features 324 units and will undergo an extensive renovation by the new owner.
The Columns at Wakefield. Image courtesy of StoneBridge Investments

StoneBridge Investments has acquired Raleigh, N.C., apartment community The Columns at Wakefield, and plans an ambitious renovation program. The 18-year-old property at 14114 Chriswick House Lane offers 324 units in a mix of one- to three-bedroom floorplans. Howard Jenkins and Kevin Kempf of CBRE Southeast Multifamily represented the seller. In September, StoneBridge acquired a 264-unit property in Charlotte, N.C.

Apartments feature 9-foot-high ceilings, built-in computer desks, crown molding in living rooms, large walk-in closets and in-unit washers and dryers. A resident car wash with vacuum station heads the roster of the apartment community’s common-area amenities.

The renovation initiative will include common area and grounds modernization and unit interior upgrades. Clubhouse design and decor will be upgraded and a 24-hour touchless package locker system added. Enhancements will be incorporated in the pool and outdoor lounge areas. Once they receive upgrades, the apartments will include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, modern Shaker cabinet fronts, subway tile backsplashes and modern lighting, as well as new flooring and home tech such as smart thermostats.

Radius tightened

“Most of the challenges we faced during this acquisition derived from the pandemic,” Will Bateman, director of StoneBridge Investments, told Multi-Housing News. “Travel became difficult, so we decreased the radius of our target markets. Raleigh not only has great fundamentals, but it also happens to be an easy drive from D.C.

The pandemic also affected our due diligence process. Normally, we inspect 100 percent of the apartments in a community that we are acquiring, even though most are occupied. This time, we were only able to safely walk through a portion of the units.”    

The Columns is situated four minutes from U.S. 1 and Rt. 98, a convenient location that places residents within convenient commutes of well-diversified job hubs representing, among others, the medical, educational and technology sectors. They include North Hills, downtown Raleigh, Research Triangle Park and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Raleigh-Durham has been named by Moody’s among the top 10 U.S. cities best positioned to stage a post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery. Over the last decade, the city’s population has increased at 4.3 times the rate of the U.S. on average. Since 2013, the city’s Millennial population has grown at six times that of the national average.