Crown Bay Group sells two-property portfolio in metro Atlanta.
ATLANTA — Crown Bay Group, LLC (Crown Bay), an Atlanta-based multifamily real estate investment firm, announces the sale of a portfolio of two multifamily apartment communities — Southlake Cove in Jonesboro, Ga. and Vineyard Pointe in Riverdale, Ga. — to R. James Properties, Inc. for a combined total of $35.86 million. The sale closed on March 9 and is the latest of several transactions for the investment firm, underscoring the continued viability of the workforce housing product in today’s commercial real estate market.
“When we purchased these properties in 2019, we were able to see the upside and potential value-add within these communities,” explains Steve Firestone, founder and principal, Crown Bay Group. “Over the past two-plus years, we were strategic in the improvements made, both from a cosmetic and management standpoint. The fact that we were able to sell them for significant profit that well-exceeds our proforma in less than three years, demonstrates the value of forced appreciation, not to mention the historical stability of this asset.”
Crown Bay sold Southlake Cove, located at 7509 Jonesboro Rd. in Jonesboro, for $27.3 million. The firm acquired the property in February 2019 for $18.3 million. Built in 1987, the 34.5-acre complex includes 45 buildings with 346 primarily one-bedroom units. Community amenities include a fitness center, pool, playground and onsite laundry facilities. The property is located minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with accessibility to Interstates 75 and 675.
Following over $3 million in capital improvements made by the previous owners, Crown Bay continued making enhancements to the property upgrading units with resurfaced countertops, brushed nickel fixtures and hardware, new flooring and appliances and modern lighting. In addition to physical improvements, the firm’s in-house property management team deployed its programmatic management strategy to stabilize occupancy and increase rental rates to better align with the existing market. The property sold 100 percent occupied, up from 91 percent when purchased by Crown Bay.
Crown Bay also acquired Vineyard Pointe in the same February 2019 transaction for $5.7 million. This property, located at 8213 GA-85 in Riverdale, recently traded hands for $8.5 million. Built in 1989 on nearly 11 acres, the complex includes 18 buildings housing 108 one- and two-bedroom units. The property benefits from exceptional visibility from Georgia Highway 85 and accessibility to employers such as Majestic Airport Center and Morrow Industrial Park. Crown Bay invested additional capital to make similar cosmetic upgrades to the units and deployed its management standards to improve the overall standard of living and bring rents to market rates.
“Properties such as Southlake Cove and Vineyard Pointe are popular among the workforce employee base – and now investors too,” adds Firestone. “Minimal tenant turnover and delinquency typically make for a stable, steady cashflow. For this reason, this historically stable, recession-proof product will continue to be an attractive avenue for investors to diversify their portfolios, particularly during uncertain economic times.
“It’s really about increasing net operating income and the resulting forced appreciation that makes for a significant return on investment,” continues Firestone. Deploying tactics such as rent rate increases and washer and drying rental programs, Crown Bay significantly increased the net operating income of the two-property portfolio.
This two-property disposition is the latest in a slew of transactions finalized by Crown Bay in recent months. Since June 2021, the company has transacted nearly $115 million in Atlanta. Other recent sales include Pines of Southlake for $10.5 million and Cascade Oaks for $12.4 million. The company continues to acquire workforce housing properties with potential upside including Netherley Park for $31.6 million and the combined portfolio of Bullock Habersham Apartments and Dodson Courtyard Apartments for $20.45 million.
About Crown Bay Group, LLC
Founded in 2013, Crown Bay Group is a privately-held real estate investment and asset management firm based in Atlanta. The firm specializes in the acquisition, operation, management and disposition of multifamily properties throughout the Southeast. Since its inception, Crown Bay has owned and operated a multifamily portfolio of 3,665 units valued at more than $270 million.