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Brazil’s Biggest Homebuilder Is Expanding Quickly In U.S. Multifamily

The biggest homebuilder in Brazil has entered the U.S. multifamily market and is expanding quickly through a South Florida developer and landlord.

Miami-based AHS Residential controls and operates 11 communities and over 2,500 apartment units in Florida. In South Florida specifically, AHS Residential has five new apartment communities totaling over 1,200 units slated for delivery over the next 12 months in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties. Other projects are planned in Georgia and Texas.

AHS Residential's Tributary Atlanta Apartments

AHS Residential President and CEO Ernesto Lopes told Bisnow that he established the company in the U.S. in 2012 along with Rubens Menin, the founder of MRV & Co., the largest homebuilder in Brazil. In 2019, the overwhelming demand for reasonably priced apartments in U.S. metro areas led to MRV making a significant investment in AHS Residential and becoming its major shareholder.

"MRV’s cash injection enabled AHS Residential to scale up rapidly to go from building 1,000 units per year to 5,000 per year by 2025," Lopes said via email.

With a focus in the Sun Belt, AHS aims to build working-class housing at attainable price points. AHS Residential can build a project in eight to 12 months — half the traditional time — with modular construction, Lopes said.

"The technology has been around for a while but MRV has refined and perfected its process, which AHS Residential adapted here in the U.S.," Lopes said. "It’s a ‘pour in place’ concrete mold system that allows us to build quickly without compromising on safety and quality. Because we are a vertically integrated company, we build only for ourselves. We have an exceptional in-house team of architects and BIM experts, project managers and construction crew, procurement officers, etc."

In May, AHS Residential broke ground on a 433-unit gated apartment community called AHS Tributary in the Atlanta suburb of Douglasville. This fall, it will break ground on a 336-unit apartment community in Dallas-Fort Worth. The company expects to have at least three new developments underway in both markets by the end of 2022.

Lopes said AHS Residential has over 250 employees and will more than likely triple that number in the next two years as it expands.