by Stephen Ursery
Ashcroft Capital, a fully integrated multifamily investment firm, today announced its acquisition of The Apartments at Midtown 501, a 248-unit garden-style community in Chapel Hill, N.C. Birchstone Residential, Ashcroft Capital’s in-house property management company and construction affiliate, has assumed management of the community.
The transaction marks Ashcroft’s entry into the North Carolina market. The company also owns apartment communities throughout metro Atlanta, Texas and Florida, and is actively pursuing additional markets in the Sun Belt. In addition, The Apartments at Midtown 501 is the first property purchased through the Ashcroft Value Add Fund III, which is targeting multifamily assets in select markets throughout the Sun Belt.
“The current capital markets present challenges to our acquisition team. As such, we remain highly selective,” said Frank Roessler, founder and CEO of Ashcroft. “For this reason, we are focusing on excellent submarkets such as Chapel Hill, which is a high-growth market where we want to invest. We look forward to expanding our portfolio there. Over time, we plan to build a sizable footprint in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. And though we’re not in a rush, we saw Midtown 501 as too good of an opportunity to look away from.”
Located at 545 Ashley Court, The Apartments at Midtown 501 is near Highway 15-501 between Downtown Chapel Hill and I-40, which provides residents with easy access to some of the market’s top employment centers. Research Triangle Park, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC Medical Center, Duke University and Duke University Hospital are short commutes from the property. In addition, the surrounding school district is ranked No. 1 in North Carolina by Niche.com.
The previous owner of the community oversaw an extensive renovation of the amenities and apartment homes in 2015, which will allow Ashcroft and Birchstone to focus on making operational improvements and performing light upgrades to the property. Within the apartment homes, Ashcroft and Birchstone will install upgraded lighting and plumbing fixtures, tile backsplashes, tech packages and an overall modernization of the color scheme. Improvements to the community’s fitness center, clubhouse, pool, sports courts, curb appeal and landscaping are also planned.
“Given the current volatility in the capital markets, Ashcroft is currently focused on acquiring institutional-quality properties in extremely strong locations. That description fits Midtown 501 to a tee,” said Scott Lebenhart, chief investment officer for Ashcroft Capital. “We believe this approach will help to
mitigate risk while still having the potential to capitalize on multifamily’s strong fundamentals. In the case of Chapel Hill, this is a submarket with multiple demand drivers, which is something that we look for. Combine those drivers with the limited availability of single-family homes in the area, and we believe the table is set for Midtown 501 to perform very well.”
Midtown 501 offers spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom units with an average unit size of 1,106 square feet. The apartment homes currently feature granite countertops, island kitchens, stainless-steel appliances, washers and dryers, walk-in closets and balconies/patios. Common-area amenities include a resort-style pool, grilling areas, resident clubhouse, business center, fitness center, game room, volleyball court, dog park, children’s playground and tennis court.