LOS ANGELES, CA - Universe Holdings, a privately held multifamily investment firm, along with joint venture partner Hanover Financial, LLC and with preferred equity from Essex Property Trust have acquired a 400-unit, institutional quality apartment community in Ventura, CA for $100 million.
The acquisition of Capes at Ventura represents one of the largest transactions for Universe in the last several years and signals the firm’s renewed appetite for larger and more complex transactions, according to company Chairman and CEO Henry Manoucheri.
“Our institutional capital partners and sophisticated high-net-worth investors are keenly aware of our ability to seek out acquisitions that meet their financial pro forma,” Manoucheri said. “Forging strong relationships with this quality of institutional partners is a key element in our ongoing strategy of identifying and acquiring large-scale, value-add projects throughout the Western United States.”
“We recognized the significant barriers to entry in Ventura as well as the population growth, which solidified our decision to partner with Universe Holdings,” said Michael Lowinger, Managing Director of Hanover. This is Hanover’s second investment with Universe in Southern California. Hanover is led by Michael Lowinger, Mark Macedo and Ash Baraghoush.
Sited just five minutes from the Pacific Ocean, Capes at Ventura combines a geographically desirable coastal location with easy access from Highway 101 and 126. With Ventura consistently ranking nationally in the top 10 of the safest and most livable cities in the country, the price of single-family homes has continued to appreciate, currently averaging above $600,000, and contributing to a shortage of affordable multifamily options in the area.
“This surge has priced many potential home buyers out of the market creating high demand for quality rental housing in Ventura, which is known for its excellent climate, schools, and proximity to many fine beaches,” said Samuel Landman, who led the acquisition team for Universe Holdings. “By adding substantial value through the renovation of the asset and repositioning of the property, we believe we can create significant risk-adjusted returns for our investors.”
Landman added this was a well-executed off-market process to acquire the property. “We had the knowhow and quality of operation needed to make this happen,” Landman said. “It was a complex deal with a difficult loan assumption process and many obstacles to overcome. The combination of our experience, along with the strong financial strength of our CEO and institutional partners allowed us to successfully complete the acquisition.”
Built in 1984, Capes at Ventura features a mix of one- and two-bedroom floor plans. Amenities include two resort-style swimming pools, two spas, a barbecue and picnic area, a fitness center, and clubhouse. Additional storage units located on the property provide residents with a supplementary storage option.
Universe Holdings has budgeted $6.5M to update unit interiors and refresh the property’s exterior. Interior improvements include upgraded kitchen cabinets and installation of Caesarstone counter tops, a stainless steel appliance package, new plank flooring, two-tone paint, and upgrades to bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Exterior improvements will include a renovated fitness center, enhancements to the courtyard and landscaping, and the addition of a pool cabana.
Adrienne Barr and Shane Shafer of Berkadia represented the seller, Colony Northstar.