Songy Highroads (SHR), an Atlanta-based commercial real estate investment and development firm, continues its multifamily expansion in the Sun Belt with its acquisition of Biscayne Apartments. The 370-unit, 26-acre property is located in College Park, Ga, two miles from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and minutes from downtown Atlanta, with direct access to Interstate 285 and Interstate 85.
“Biscayne fits firmly within our strategic profile in that it is a well-located asset within a growth submarket in need of significant capital improvements,” said Foster Durkee, SHR’s senior vice president and director of acquisitions. “We will look to add immediate value through a targeted renovation program to enhance unit interiors, and we have a detailed plan to improve the common area and amenity offerings to boost the overall renter experience for the residents.”
Biscayne Apartments is located at 5401 Old National Highway. The 1970’s-built asset features multiple spacious townhome floorplans and offers studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.
For property management, SHR will hire Cushman & Wakefield, a company that manages more than 15,000 units in the Atlanta area. SHR will also implement a multimillion-dollar renovation program to dramatically improve the asset’s curb-appeal and unit interiors in line with the market-leading comparable properties within College Park.
“Investing in workforce housing in the Atlanta area is a strategic priority for Songy Highroads,” said Durkee. “We think there is an attractive opportunity to acquire older assets—1960s through 1980s vintage—in need of fresh capital improvements at a discount to replacement cost, where we can leverage our significant construction and development experience to add immediate value.”
Bolstered by the airport, its robust infrastructure and its 60,000 employees, College Park and the “aerotropolis” submarket comprise one of the fastest growing submarkets in Atlanta, with population and job growth accelerating at a rapid pace, attracting new industrial and logistics developments totaling millions of square feet, and a growing film industry.
Atlanta’s airport and proximity to the Port of Savannah has helped the region’s industrial market become one of the hottest in the country. The industrial and logistics sector continued its growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of new developments increased. In addition, a record number of million-square-foot lease transactions were signed in the past year, creating thousands of new jobs.
The principals of SHR have been active mixed-use developers of hotel and office properties throughout the Southeast for more than 30 years. Looking beyond 2021, their strategy for multifamily platform expansion features a dual-pronged approach: targeting workforce housing at a discount to replacement cost, and building ground-up multifamily developments in core locations in the Atlanta market.
Atlanta’s economic growth is poised for a rapid recovery coming out of the effects of the pandemic. The market has exhibited strong labor and population growth fundamentals, which are two key drivers for multifamily investments, particularly over the past five years. Post-COVID-19 tailwinds could increase the city’s economic growth, as evidenced by recent announcements by Microsoft, Google, and others for significant expansions there.
“We believe we are still in the early innings of Atlanta’s growth story,” said Durkee. “It has long been the home of the world’s busiest airport and many corporate headquarters, but in the past few years, Atlanta has exhibited dynamic cross-section labor growth which is translating to such a wide variety of companies and businesses relocating to and expanding throughout the greater region. Atlanta’s diverse workforce is driven by a high concentration of college-educated workers, a stout industrial, manufacturing, and logistics sector, and a deep talent pool bolstered by high quality universities. Coming out of the other side of the pandemic, we have seen it become one of the nation’s top technology hubs, and we believe the population and job growth in the city are poised to accelerate even further.”