Richmond’s economy is still picking up after employment growth took a dip during 2016 and then worked its way back since October of last year. The latest Yardi Matrix Richmond multifamily report indicates that rent growth had been below the national trend until December last year, when it grew 10 basis points above it, largely because of an elevated upscale demand.
Approximately 3,400 construction jobs were added in Richmond, partly due to tech companies’ increasing interest in the area and a growing pipeline of projects. Facebook and Vantage Data Centers will each invest about $1 billion in data center development, in Henrico and Loudoun counties. The Navy Federal Credit Union is expected to create approximately 1,400 jobs at its $100 million services and support facility in Frederick County, according to Virginia Business. Multifamily development is somewhat below the U.S. average, with about 3,800 units completed in 2017. As of January, approximately 4,800 units are in the pipeline.
10. Lawson Cos.
The Lawson Cos. has been active in the Richmond metro area since the early ’70s, as a developer and owner of multifamily projects. The company owns a total of 24 properties, with most of them situated in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk submarkets. Lawson’s total footprint consists of 3,869 units, all of them owner-managed. The largest property in Lawson Cos.’ portfolio is the 400-unit Harpers Square, at 1401 E. Intruder Circle in Virginia Beach, Va. Completed in 1974, the community comprises one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units, averaging 921 square feet and yielding an average monthly rent of $1,007.
9. Bonaventure Realty Group
Bonaventure Realty Group owns a total of 3,901 units in the metro, spread across 14 properties, including a 664-unit, age-restricted community at 7000 Coachman Lane in Richmond. Also owned and managed by Bonaventure are the 352-unit Brookfield at 1101 Craftsman Drive in Virginia Beach, and the 450-unit Amber in Chesapeake at 1150 Volvo Parkway. Completed during last September, the Pinnacle is a 296-unit community at 200 Freeman Drive in Hampton. It features common amenities such as a fitness center, business center, playground, clubhouse and swimming pool and is located minutes away from Coliseum Lake, Interstate 64 and the Peninsula Town Center shopping mall.
8. Seminole Trail Properties
Seminole Trail Properties has 15 properties in its entire multifamily portfolio and, apart from the NRHA, is the only entry on this list to only own assets in the Richmond metro. The company has a total inventory of 4,390 units. Seminole owns and manages the Communities at Southwood, a 1,286-unit property built in four phases between 1960 and 1981. The property consists of 109 buildings located at 4602 Southwood Parkway in Richmond and features a large playground, swimming pool, a soccer field, basketball court, tennis court and 127 laundry facilities. The one-, two- and three-bedroom units have an average size of 864 square feet.
7. Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority
The government agency currently owns and manages 4,855 units, 70 of which are currently under construction. An additional 331 units are planned for future development. All 17 properties are in Norfolk and are classified as either partially or fully affordable, with some of them also being age-restricted. Among these is Broad Creek Renaissance, a 350-unit community completed in 2005, situated at 1343 Ella Fitzgerald Drive. The property consists of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units, ranging from 748 to 1,491 square feet.
6. Drucker & Falk
Drucker & Falk maintains a portfolio of 23 properties in the Richmond metro area, totaling 4,900 units. Among the multifamily assets it owns and manages is the 220-unit Hanover Crossing, acquired in 2016 for $22.7 million. The community is located at 9258 Hanover Crossing Drive in Mechanicsville and includes two-bedroom units, at 892 and 983 square feet in size. The company also acquired Chesapeake Bay at the same time, a 300-unit community, for $24.7 million.
5. Thalhimer Realty Partners
The company owns 5,000 units across 28 properties. Of this total, 213 units are currently under construction at 505 Porter St. in Richmond, comprising a community named River’s Edge at Manchester. Thalhimer received a $30 million loan for the development, originated and held by Union Bank & Trust. The luxury community will be managed by Cushman & Wakefield and will feature rooftop amenities such as a heated pool, grill stations, sky lounge and a terrace. Developers recently topped off the 10-story building, which is expected to open this spring. The company also recently acquired a community in the Church Hill historic district, in Richmond, for $9.7 million.
4. S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co.
One of the oldest companies on this list, S.L. Nusbaum has been active in the Richmond area for more than a century. It owns a little more than 5,500 units, across a total of 20 communities in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. One of the properties, the 126-unit St. Paul’s in Norfolk, is currently under construction and slated for completion in December. Recently, S.L. Nusbaum and Atlantic Dominion entered a joint venture to build Mezzo Apartment Homes, a $35 million development in Virginia Beach. The planned 282-apartment community is not included in the company’s total footprint.
3. General Services Corp.
GSC has a national footprint of 17,888 units, the largest portfolio on the list. In Richmond, however, it owns 13 properties, totaling approximately 6,400 multifamily units. All assets are large communities, with more than 200 units each, situated in Richmond proper, with three exceptions—one in Midlothian and another two properties in Glen Allen. The largest is St. John’s Wood, a 777-unit community constructed in 1977 and situated at 901 St. John’s Wood Drive in Richmond. Floorplans range in size from 764 to 1,270 square feet and have one, two or three bedrooms.
2. Weinstein Properties
The locally owned and operated firm has developed thousands of single-family homes prior to taking its current name, in 1962. The family business currently owns 16 communities in the metro, across several submarkets. Weinstein Properties has a 6,866-unit footprint in Richmond, while nationally it comes second after GSC, with 16,814 units. Among the communities managed by the company is the 432-unit Addison at Swift Creek, acquired in 2001 for $33.3 million. It is located at 4100 Lonas Parkway in Midlothian, Va. Besides Richmond, Weinstein Properties also owns communities in Austin, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth and Raleigh-Durham.
1. The Breeden Co.
The largest multifamily owner in Richmond has a footprint of approximately 7,700 units across 33 properties. Breeden Co. received a $26.1 million HUD loan for the development of The Nest on 17, a 208-unit community at 800 Chickahominy Lane in Carrollton, Va. It was completed last year and comprises one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 928 to 1,323 square feet in size. Common amenities include a fitness center, business center, playground and swimming pool. The company is also developing a 450-unit apartment community in Fredericksburg, Va., for which Berkadia facilitated a $52 million HUD loan.
Images courtesy of Yardi Matrix
This list highlights the metro’s top 10 private, REIT and institutional investor apartment owners, based on unit counts, according to Yardi Matrix data. The total number includes units within projects that are completed and under construction.