Baton Rouge, La.—Atlanta-based Songy Highroads is getting in on the multifamily action with its acquisition of 136 rental units at Jefferson Place, a garden-style apartment and townhome community. The seller in the off-market transaction was a partnership between local developers John Fetzer and Hardy Swyers, and the acquisition marks Songy Highroads’s entry into the multifamily market.
Jefferson Place is located on 25 acres at 7975 N. Jefferson Place Circle, and includes 58 buildings with a total of 234 units. The community includes 98 privately owned condos, which were not included as part of the deal.
The sale price was undisclosed, but Fetzer and Swyers paid $26.5 million for the property in 2007, which was just an apartment complex at the time, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. They then converted the units into condominiums and renovated the complex, which was built in the mid-1980s.
The rental portion of the community has enjoyed high occupancy rates, which have averaged in the mid-’90s for the past three years. Unit amenities include screened porches, wood-burning fireplaces and vaulted ceilings, while building offerings include two swimming pools, a playground and a clubhouse with a fitness center.
“The Baton Rouge market has come a long way in the past few years, and its future looks bright,” said Todd Nocerini, COO of Songy Highroads. He added that Jefferson Place is in a market with “great fundamentals” and gives the company the opportunity to diversify its portfolio while strengthening its presence in the Louisiana market.
This transaction isn’t just a purchase for Songy Highroads. The company also plans to undertake capital improvements of the property, including new monument signage, enhanced landscaping and upgrades to the clubhouse and fitness center. In the long term, the company will continue to strategically renovate the apartments. Latter & Blum Property Management will provide property management services and manage the community’s two condominium associations.
While this marks Songy Highroad’s first multifamily purchase, the company is no stranger to the Louisiana market. The company owns a five-building office portfolio in the state totaling more than 360,000 square feet. Four of the buildings are located in Baton Rouge’s highly sought-after Acadian/College submarket, and the fifth building is located in Metairie, a high-performing New Orleans suburb.