Wood Partners Expands Workforce, Seniors and Student Housing Development Efforts
- Aug 27, 2010
Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Charlotte, N.C.–Multifamily developer Wood Partners L.L.C. has decided that the time is right to expand its Specialty Housing Group in a fairly big way, by adding new representatives in each of its five regions nationwide. The group oversees the development, finance and construction of workforce, age-restricted and student housing projects.
“Even in a recessionary environment, we’re seeing a lot of demand for affordable and workforce housing in major cities across the country,” Bernard Felder, leader of the SHG unit and a director with the company in its Charlotte, NC office, tells MHN. “Many otherwise ‘market-rate’ communities have rents concessions to the degree that the housing is affordable to moderate-income households, but these same communities will burn off those concessions and raise rents when markets rebound. Hence, the problem of affordability remains.”
Wood operates 14 offices across the country. These offices are divided into five regions–Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, Central and West–all of which will have a dedicated SHG representative for its projects.
The new representatives for the SHG unit will work with local leaders on affordable housing in each community. According to the company, placing designated representatives in each region allows for closer relationships with regional partners as the Wood takes on more projects in the specialty segment of the market.
Driven largely by tax credits, tax exempt bonds, and other government programs, the SHG unit will cover a range of projects, from low to moderate income housing, as well as purpose-built housing for seniors and students. More than half of Wood’s completed specialty projects have been in the affordable and workforce housing segments, with the balance in the age-restricted and student markets.
“Specialty housing has always been a core part of our development platform,” says Felder. “We are often asked, ‘Why are you in this business?’ Our response is, ‘Why not?’ All housing is ‘market,’ in our opinion. There just exist various segments in the market. There’s really no limit on the size or number of such projects that we will consider, and now we’re in a better position to do this on a national level with localized expertise.”
By next summer, Wood plans to have completed Alta at Indian Woods Apartments in Stoughton, Mass., of which a quarter of the 154 units will be affordable for low- and moderate-income renters. In Baltimore, the company is building Alta Regency Crest, a 150-unit age-restricted complex. Most recently, Wood completed its North 38 Apartments, which caters to James Madison University students in Harrisonburg, Va. In 4Q10, it expects to close a deal for the 120-unit Steele Creek Senior Apartments in Charlotte, NC.