Real estate investor beefs up portfolio with $3M deal

One of the homes at 2002 Third Ave., after being flipped. (Cava Capital)

A local real estate investment firm closed its largest transaction to date with the addition of a nearly 30-home portfolio.

Cava Capital, led by principal Frank Cava, purchased 29 rental houses in Richmond and Henrico County in a portfolio sale for just under $3 million.

The transaction, which Cava said is his firm’s first portfolio deal, closed Feb. 22.

The seller was Kings Crest LLC, an entity owned by developer and businessman David Dagenhart Jr., who’s been lightening his real estate portfolio of late. In December, his 23-unit Glenwood Hill Townhomes in Church Hill was sold to a local investor group for $1.3 million.

Cava described the purchase as a different approach for his firm, which he said primarily has focused on individual property sales since starting in Charlottesville 10 years ago. It moved to Richmond in 2014.

“We saw it as a dual-play position,” Cava said. “Some of them we’re going to immediately put back on the market through fix and flip, and then some of them we’re going to hold as long-term rentals.”

Cava described the purchase as significant for his firm, equating in value to about 10 percent of the 213 transactions it closed last year. He said it brought in just over $18 million in revenue from purchases and sales in 2017.

Frank Cava

Frank Cava

“We’re now pretty well-balanced,” he said. “We have a portfolio of rentals that’s north of 200 units, we do fix and flips, and we buy parcels.”

The purchase brings the firm’s property count to 160, Cava said. Recent purchases have included the former Good Shepherd Baptist Church building at 1200 N. 28th St. in Church Hill. The building is planned to become a multifamily property.

Cava said the company also purchased nearly a dozen properties on the 1500 block of 35th Street in December.

“We kind of do scattershot, but at the same time we’re very focused on neighborhoods and areas that we think there’s a need for the housing we provide,” he said.

Cava said the firm’s portfolio includes an income-based rental program, with almost 90 percent of its rental units eligible for Section 8 housing vouchers. He said the firm also targets flip houses for first-time and move-up homebuyers that can be listed from $250,000 to $450,000.

“We own a portfolio of rentals that we think is something that the city of Richmond really needs,” he said. “I come from two parents who were very blue-collar, so I like providing blue-collar types of housing. Ultimately that’s what brought us to Richmond, and that’s what’s been able to allow us to fortify ourselves in this market.”

Cava leads a staff of a dozen full-time employees. The company operates out of an office at 5310 Markel Road near Willow Lawn.

The 29 properties in the portfolio include:

3313, 3318 and 3323 Second Ave.
2002, 2408, 2509, 2517 and 2609 Third Ave.
3100 and 3107 Fourth Ave.
1314 and 1418 Vinton St.
3423 and 3509 Delaware Ave.
2005 Williamsburg Road
704 E. Gladstone Ave.
111 Yancey St.
3410 E. Clay St.
3026 Lamb Ave.
3511 Whitlock Ave.
19 S. Fern Ave.
922 Faye St.
3301 P St.
2315 T St.
2724 Bainbridge St.
3525 Maryland Ave.
5210 Parker St.
2408 Barton Ave.
1908 Byron St.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
2 years ago

Matt Hamilton and I were treated to a presentation by Frank Cava last week. He has a very aggressive but highly structured business plan in place. I can’t see him failing.

Chris Terrell
Chris Terrell
2 years ago

My grandparents lived in Highland Park for over 50 years and witnessed its decline throughout the second half of the 20th century. I briefly delivered mail in Highland Park in 1994 and saw the good and bad firsthand. If ever there was a neighborhood ripe for gentrification and redevelopment, it is this one. My grandparents could be downtown in five minutes from here and never touch the highway. Many of these old homes have excellent bones and nice yards like the one pictured above, two blocks from my grandparents old house.

Joey Perry
Joey Perry
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Terrell

Same with my grandparents they lived there for a super long time till they died in the mid 90’s. But I remember seeing how bad highland park got and parts of it still are but your right if any neighborhood is ripe for redevelopment it definitely is this one. My grandparents lived over off of Meadowbridge road. By the time they had past away I could tell it was getting really bad in highland park.