A fledgling Northern Virginia-based real estate firm is testing the market in Scott’s Addition.
Ambience Management and Holdings, founded about six months ago in Herndon, Va., this month purchased the Baker Atrium Lofts from local developer Larry Cluff. Ambience paid $3.5 million for the 31-unit apartment building in a deal that closed Aug. 14.
The same amenities that might attract tenants netted the Baker Atrium a new landlord, said Ambience president Madhu Garlanka.
“This particular property we thought was a great investment because the rooms were very spacious compared to other properties in the area,” she said. “They have a lot of upgrades, [including] granite countertops, stainless steel appliances.”
The 40,000-square-foot Baker Atrium Lofts at 1714 Summit Ave. went on the market in April. It has been under contract since at least June. Redeveloped in 2007, the property was one of Richmond’s earliest historic tax credit conversion projects.
Wells Fargo financed the purchase, and Ambience has about $50,000 worth of exterior landscaping planned for the property.
Ambience has enlisted Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer to lease and manage the apartments. Chris Chadwick of Marcus & Millichap represented the seller in the transaction. Ken Traenkle of Washington-based Verity Commercial worked the deal for Ambience.
Garlanka and her husband operate IT consultancy Allwyn Corporation and power plant engineering firm Allwyn Infra, both of which share a Herndon office suite with Ambience. The newly founded Ambience, she said, will focus on multifamily and office real estate deals.
The Baker Atrium is the Ambience’s first acquisition in the Richmond area, but the firm is interested in adding more. The company is not in negotiations for any particular building, but Garlanka said it has a few on its short list.
“I think overall [Richmond] is seeing a lot of growth, and I think projections for the future are going to be positive,” Garlanka said.
A handful of other local apartment buildings have attracted suitors in recent months. The 37-unit Home Brewing Co. building on Clay St. is under contract, along with a 12-unit building at 710 Kinney St.
On the Southside, the Morningside Apartments are also under contract, and Thalhimer Realty Partners in July bought 168 units at the Deering Manor Apartments.
And a memo sent to residents in August announced that Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises has entered into a contract to sell its 700-unit River Lofts at Tobacco Row.