August 1, 2019 — Passco Companies, a privately held California-based commercial real estate company that specializes in acquisition, development, and property and asset management throughout the U.S., has acquired Grand Oaks at Crane Creek, a 300-unit, fully stabilized Class A apartment community in Augusta, Georgia. Passco acquired the asset directly from the property’s developer, Southeastern Development Associates, for a total consideration of $58 million.
The property, which was completed in 2016, is distinctly Class A, including luxury amenities and finishes such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, faux wood flooring, and a contemporary resident amenity package.
“This is a proven asset that has demonstrated impressive pent-up demand for luxury housing in the Augusta market,” says Colin Gillis, Vice President of Acquisitions East at Passco Companies. “Driven by sound market fundamentals and an affluent resident base, the property is well-aligned with Passco’s continued investment strategy, through which we acquire strong-performing assets in secondary markets with robust in-place growth drivers.”
The Augusta market is uniquely positioned for continued growth, according to Gillis, who points to the relocation of the U.S. Army Cyber Command – the country’s headquarters for cyberspace operations, development, and training – from Alexandria, Virginia to Fort Gordon in Augusta as a driving force behind local economic expansion.
“Driven by a cyber boom and tremendous capital investment into this new military hub, this market is slated to add 7,000+ new military and civilian jobs, with an annual economic impact of $150+ million,” says Gillis, who also notes that Augusta is projected to be the #1 growth market in the state of Georgia in 2019.
Grand Oaks at Crane Creek also benefits from its exceptional location, according to Gillis. The property is walkable to a newly developed 50,000 square-foot Class A retail center anchored by high-end organic grocer, Sprouts. The asset is in close proximity to Interstates 20 and 520, and is a two-minute drive from the 750,000 square-foot Augusta Exchange shopping center – one of the largest retail centers in the region.
“By acquiring an asset in the center of this vibrant activity that is already equipped with modern amenities and a strong renter base, we are able to execute on proven strategies to deliver additional value to residents while improving efficiency and increasing NOI,” says Gillis.
Passco plans to implement a series of eco-friendly upgrades to the property, including new LED lighting, low-flow toilets and showerheads, and Nest thermostats. The company will also add washers and dryers to each unit.
Grand Oaks at Crane Creek already offers a host of competitive community amenities, including a pet wash station and dog park; a 24/7 fitness center with high-tech cardio stations, a spin room, and a yoga studio; a resort style saltwater pool with a sundeck and a pool pavilion with outdoor kitchen and grilling areas; controlled access gates; shuffleboard; a cybercafe and Wi-Fi enabled amenity areas; as well as several courtyards with fireplaces. Grand Oaks at Crane Creek is located at 680 Crane Creek Drive in Augusta, Georgia.
Mark Senn, President of Southeastern, the developer and seller of the luxury apartment community, explains: “We were not necessarily eager to sell this exceptional property. It took us several years to acquire the 35-acre, best-in-market development site, located within walking distance to several restaurants and retail with great interstate visibility.”
He also notes that of the approximately 1,000 units that Southeastern develops each year, this is the first in Augusta, where the firm is based.
John Lee, Jr., Senior Vice President of Southeastern adds: “We chose to sell this asset to Passco based on our long relationship with their team and their diligent and respectful pursuit to purchase this community. Our Vice President Chris Senn and Colin Gillis at Passco were instrumental in spearheading this transaction. It has been a very smooth and professional process.”
Coinciding with the acquisition of Grand Oaks, Passco has just sold The Glen at Alexander, a 216-unit multifamily community in Augusta that the firm acquired in 2012.
“During our seven-year hold period, the Passco team created tremendous value in this asset, making this a well-timed sale that will deliver strong disposition proceeds,” says Gillis. “We remain focused on our investments in this market, and look forward to achieving similar success with Grand Oaks.”