AUSTIN, TX – Waterton, a national real estate investor and operator, announced it has acquired a three-property residential portfolio totaling 950 units in Austin, TX, home to a thriving tech corridor as well as world-renowned retail and entertainment districts. The acquisition marks a reentry into the Austin real estate market for Waterton, having sold its last local asset in March 2015.
Built in 1995, 1996 and 1997, respectively, the properties, formerly owned by Northland Investment Corporation, are located approximately 14 miles north of Austin’s Central Business District and include:
Madison at Stone Creek – 390 units across 19 three-story garden-style residential buildings, including a clubhouse/office, fitness center, sauna, dog park and two outdoor swimming pools.
Madison at Wells Branch – 300 units across 15 two- and three-story garden-style residential buildings, 40 garage buildings, clubhouse/office, a fitness center, dog park, sand volleyball court, tennis court, pool house and two outdoor swimming pools.
Madison at Scofield Farms – 260 units across 13 two- and three-story garden-style residential buildings, 29 garage buildings including a clubhouse/office, fitness center, dog park, tennis court, pool house and outdoor swimming pool.
“Austin is one of the country's fastest growing metros, with positive economic indicators and a rapidly growing presence of well-known technology companies,” said David Schwartz, chairman and co-founder of Waterton. “These are high-quality assets in prime locations, just north of the Domain and within North Austin's tech corridor. The three properties will undoubtedly be strong additions to our growing portfolio in Texas and nationwide.”
Austin has continued to show solid multifamily fundamentals, experiencing 3.6 percent year-over-year rent growth in 2018. Meanwhile, employment growth was above three percent throughout 2018 as the metro added 40,400 jobs, with trade, transportation and utilities leading the growth. The unemployment rate in Austin is three percent as of February 2019, supported by a consistent influx of businesses and people relocating to Austin—particularly from California—due to the area’s relatively affordable cost of living, deep talent pool, high quality of life and business-friendly environment.
North Austin is home to Austin’s tech corridor, which includes employers such as Apple, Dell, Google, Cisco, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Indeed and 3M. Apple’s upcoming $1 billion, 133-acre North Austin campus is anticipated to employ 10,000 people over the next five years, which will make the tech firm the largest private employer in the metro with more than 15,000 total jobs.
“We are excited to be reentering the Austin market with three well positioned assets. The properties benefit from the city's booming tech scene as well as diverse employment opportunities and cultural offerings in the North Austin/Domain submarket,” said Matt Masinter, senior vice president of acquisitions at Waterton. “As rent growth in the area continues to be strong, our expertise in value add improvements will create attractive housing for a broad resident base.”
Waterton's value add strategy will include updating the vintage details of the individual residential communities with modern finishes, including quartz countertops, tile backsplash, stainless steel appliances, updated cabinets, new hardware, faux-wood flooring, modern lighting and plumbing fixtures. Common area and exterior improvements include upgrades to community garages, clubhouses, leasing centers, pool areas, fitness centers and landscaping. The addition of package storage systems are also planned at both Madison at Scofield Farms and Madison at Wells Branch.
“We are pleased to transact with Waterton on these three outstanding assets, which Northland owned and operated for more than a decade,” said Matthew Gottesdiener, Chief Investment Officer of Northland Investment Corporation, which owns 15 multifamily properties in Texas’ capital. “Northland is highly committed to Austin, where we remain the second largest multifamily owner. The city is home to some of the most dynamic and fast-growing companies in the world, and we are excited to welcome a high-quality operator like Waterton back to Austin with this acquisition.”