USAA-JLB JV Breaks Ground on Atlanta Apartments

Atlanta--A joint venture between USAA Real Estate Co. and JLB Partners L.P. has broken ground on Buckhead Village, a multifamily property in Atlanta. When complete, the property will feature 373 units in four- and five-story buildings totaling about 345,200 square feet, along with 583 parking spaces.

Atlanta—A joint venture between USAA Real Estate Co. and JLB Partners L.P. has broken ground on Buckhead Village, a multifamily property in Atlanta. When complete in 2012, the property will feature 373 units in four- and five-story buildings totaling about 345,200 square feet, along with 583 parking spaces, in the Buckhead neighborhood of the city.

The Buckhead Village buildings will be both LEED and Energy Star certified, with unit amenities such as hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Three Zen gardens, a library and roof-top fitness center are among the common-area amenities.

Rental property development has dropped recently in Atlanta, as it has in most places, due to the disruption in financing options between 2007 and 2009. According to Marcus & Millichap, about 4,600 residential rental units were delivered in metro Atlanta in 2010, but only 1,800 will be this year, one of the lowest totals on record. Yet demand for apartments is high and expected to increase as about 30,000 jobs will be added to the metro area in 2011, the first local employment increase since 2007.

Investor interest in Atlanta multifamily properties is also high. A recent report by Fannie Mae noted that investors paid about $978 million for apartment properties in metro Atlanta during the first half of 2011 alone, making it the fourth-busiest multifamily investment market in the country for that period.

The partners declined to specify the financial structure of the project, which represents the first deal between the two companies. But there may be more. “We will be examining other opportunities going forward,” a spokeswoman for USAA Real Estate tells MHN. “We haven’t committed to more projects yet, but that option is open.”

Currently San Antonio-based USAA Real Estate has about $2 billion of assets under development. JLB Partners is a Irving, Tex.-based multifamily development specialist active in various parts of the country.