Multifamily Monday: Gaia Buys Nine
Talk about a show of faith--Gaia Real Estate just purchased nine Houston multifamily properties totaling 2,594 units and also moved the HQ of Gaia Property Management here. (Now all that's left for them to prove their love is to free the sword from the stone.)
Gaia managing partner Danny Fishman tells us he loves the portfolio because of its location (Med Center, Northwest, and North Houston), vintage (all built between '98 and '06), and demographics. And although the properties are Class-A, there's a solid value-add opportunity to renovate the units. (They can become Class-A-plus or maybe they'll offer AP credit for college.) Danny says the properties have been well-managed, and the common amenities are great, but the units themselves will be getting upgraded kitchens and bathrooms. (Work will start on that early next year.)
The properties (including Club at Copperleaf, pictured) were purchased off-market and bring Gaia's Houston portfolio to 15 properties totaling 4,591 units. It partnered with Menora Mivtachim Insurance and Grand China Fund for this latest deal. Grand China Fund general manager David Long says Chinese investors particularly love Houston because of our high-yield investment opportunities. (Yao Ming was more important to the Houston economy than previously thought.) And we can look for more of that investment soon—"as the Chinese government deregulates the currency exchange, the outbound investment is getting more popular."
Here's part of the acquisition: Ranch at City Park, above, is a 270-unit Med Center community. Gaia has been busy in Houston in the last two years, and Danny tells us it has more deals coming (especially in the value-add space). In fact, he says in the next few years, Houston will be as important to Gaia as NYC, where it's HQ'd. That's why Gaia Property Management just moved its HQ here and brought CEO Quintina Willis on board a few weeks ago. Danny says multifamily opportunities are killer here, and Houston's workforce is much better than NYC's. (Of course, we don't like to brag.)