JACKSONVILLE, FL - PIA Residential of Miami and BH Equities of Des Moines, Iowa have acquired St. John’s Pointe Apartments, a 284-unit rental community in the city’s Orange Park submarket for $33.4 million from WRH Realty Services of Tampa.
The one and two-level garden style apartment complex is located at 114 Old Orange Park Road, 20 minutes from downtown Jacksonville. PIA Residential says it will invest more than $3 million in capital improvements to the units and community amenities.
“We’ve been looking at multifamily properties in Jacksonville for the last two years and are still continuing our search in well-established neighborhoods where there is not a lot of room for new construction that will prevent competition from coming in,” says Saul Levy, Managing Partner in charge of Acquisitions.
Built between 1968 and 1974, St. John’s Pointe represents a “tremendous value-add investment opportunity” within the Orange Park submarket of Jacksonville, he notes. With numerous community amenities and a multitude of well-designed floor plans, St. John’s Pointe is well positioned for interior renovations. The prior ownership has partially renovated 16% of the units with 84% of the units having mostly original interiors. There is an opportunity to bring all 284 units to a similar level that is comparable to the properties in the surrounding area.
According to Levy, the apartments have been “well maintained by the seller,” WRH Realty. Select units have stainless steel kitchen appliances, plank flooring, upgraded lighting fixtures and countertops, washer-dryer connections. Other units will be similarly upgraded. All apartments have deep walk-in closets.
Levy notes that the rental community is less than 10 minutes away from the Naval Air Station (NAS) which has 25,000 jobs, Orange Park Medical Center with 1,600 jobs and Orange Park Mall, home to over 120 shops including top-retailers like Belk, Dillard’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Old Navy.
This is the first time PIA and BH have joined forces in a deal. BH Management Services will provide property management services to the property. “We have enjoyed a productive relation with BH,” adds Levy. “BH brings years of experience and a top notch reputation to the partnership. We bring a seasoned team and deep relations with family offices which provided the capital. We are looking forward to building our relationship.”
Danny Kattan, Managing Partner in charge of Capital Markets explains, “our investor base was very excited to participate in this acquisition despite general concerns about the effects of COVID and the elections. Our track record of providing most of the return from cashflow and not necessarily from future appreciation has created a following of investors that is very comfortable with our conservative underwriting.”
As the political environment in various Latin American countries has deteriorated, Latin American investors are seeking real estate investments in the U.S. as a safe harbor for their money, adds Kattan. “Over the last 2 years the number of our Latin American investors has tripled, we are on course to acquire 1,000 units in 2021.”
Erik Bjornson, Senior Managing Director for the Jacksonville Beach office of Newmark, Knight Frank, the brokerage firm representing WRH Realty, says the “main appeals of the property are the value add upside, Orange Park’s fine school system in Clay County, and the large apartments. Plus, the design and layout of St. John’s has stood the test of time.”