BALTIMORE: How to Set Yourself Apart In Crowded Multifamily
When you're playing in the hottest asset class, how do you distinguish yourself from your competitors? We spoke to three Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference panelists, including Bozzuto president Toby Bozzuto (above), about strategies they're employing to stay on top. When kale, SoulCycle, and Fitbit are three of 2014's biggest buzzwords, it's only natural that multifamily grabs on. Mid-Atlantic multifamily mainstay Bozzuto is building Baltimore apartments that focus on healthy living, says Toby. That means a gym, active outdoor spaces, restaurants that source food locally, an artisanal coffee shop, an air filtration system, and even lighting and shades that encourage relaxation. (Didn't that used to be called lights off?) All of it will sit on a brownfield site, which the developers are cleaning up.
Bozzuto, War Horse, and Solstice Partners start construction of the 292-unit property, near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, by year's end. It sits at 900 E Fort, the entrance to Locust Point, home to Under Armour (noteworthy, because War Horse founder Scott Plank partnered with his brother to create UA in the mid ‘90s). On its acre-sized rooftop, you'll find two courtyards, a glass-enclosed gym, and a yoga room. It'll join a public Sky Lounge where residents and non-residents can enjoy a glass of wine with Downtown Baltimore views. A ground-level restaurant (part of 20k SF of retail) will empty into the lobby to encourage socializing, another healthy habit, Toby says.
NYC: How Early Birds Closed
on $350M in Deals
Family investor and private fund manager Pantzer Properties will have a $350M-plus year, making six big buys in the crowded multifamily sector, co-president Jason Pantzer tells us. The company looks for urban properties in DC, Philadelphia, or NYC or suburban assets with good public transit, and visibility. That target profile matches lots of investors; Jason says his company often beats them out because it’s a quick closer and decision maker, often making on offer at first sight. (Great for real estate, bad for marriage proposals.)
The company looks for “broken processes” like bankruptcy or institutional and operating partners that are at odds. Most of the six 2014 acquisitions are bought from institutions, Jason tells us, including the most recent: March’s $101M buy of Virginia's 348-unit Bennington (above) from Bainbridge and Carlyle. Pantzer has rebranded the property, which also contains four retail spaces, as The Point at Pentagon City.
DC: The Secret to Successful Projects
in Overbuilt Markets
JBG has just stabilized Sky House, the first phase of a two-phase project developed in partnership with Urban Atlantic, in DC’s Southwest submarket. Firm principal Tiffany Butcher tells us the project is the adaptive-reuse renovation of a pair of office buildings on M Street between 3rd and 4th streets. The first building delivered in January and is 96% leased. That feat flies in the face of hefty chatter about DC’s multifamily overdevelopment.
Here’s the 530-unit project. Despite overbuilding concerns, Tiffany says demand for urban walkability in vibrant communities that have a deep retail base and access to public transportation will continue to fuel the need for such urban infill development.