Out-of-town buyer picks up apartments in two eight-figure deals

Discovery West End, a collection of apartment and townhomes, recently sold to a business entity tied to real estate investment firm Angelo Gordon for about $81 million. (Photos by J. Elias O’Neal)

Correction: This story has been revised with corrected unit numbers and price-per-door figures for Discovery West End. The original version reported a lower unit number, which resulted in an incorrect price-per-door figure.

A New York-based real estate investment firm is taking a big bite out of western Henrico’s apartment market after picking up more than 800 units in two purchases totaling $143 million.

A business entity tied to Angelo Gordon purchased the Villages at West Laurel apartments – now named Discovery West End – at 5541 Olde West Court near Hermitage High School for nearly $81 million. It also bought The Trails at Short Pump apartments at 3900 Acadia Lane for about $63.2 million, according to separate deeds recorded last week with the county’s real estate assessment division.

The Trails at Short Pump apartments sold Angelo Gordon for about $63.2 million.

The acquisitions appear to be the firm’s first in metro Richmond.

Discovery West End most recently was assessed by the county for about $60 million, while The Trails at Short Pump was assessed at $44.2 million, according to property records.

Despite both ranking as Class B apartment communities, typically meaning they are at least 10 years old, the properties’ acquisitions rank as some of the county’s highest of the year, with Angelo Gordon shelling out roughly $161,000 a door for Discovery West End and about $180,000 a door for The Trails at Short Pump.

Both properties were formerly owned by DRA Advisors, a New York-based real estate investment and management firm, which no longer lists the apartment properties on its website. DRA could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Constructed in the late 1970s, Discovery West End, totaling 503 units, sits on 42 acres and is a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhomes. The Trails at Short Pump was constructed in the late 1980s on 32.2 acres and houses 352 mostly one- and two-bedroom units near Short Pump Town Center.

No plans for the apartment communities have been released, and it’s not clear whether management and leasing teams would change. Angelo Gordon wouldn’t comment about the acquisition Thursday afternoon.

The acquisitions add more fuel to the region’s apartment-buying frenzy of late.

Henrico-based The Wilton Cos. sold roughly half of its apartment portfolio in November to Richmond-based Landmark Property Services for $98.1 million. Atlanta-based Pollack Shores Real Estate Group purchased the 339-unit Flats at West Broad Village in February for nearly $76 million, or about $224,000 per unit.

In Goochland County, the 373-unit 2000 West Creek apartment community at 2000 Broad Branch Circle in the West Creek Business Park sold in late October to Henrico’s Capital Square 1031 for $103 million. It remains the largest apartment transaction ever in Goochland and the largest single apartment community acquisition year-to-date in metro Richmond, fetching about $277,000 a door.

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Charles Frankenhoff
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Charles Frankenhoff

that’s a surprisingly high price per door, does anyone have any insight?

David Humphrey
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David Humphrey

Definitely surprising in that they paid more for the one on Hungary Spring than the one next to Short Pump. Do the numbers need to be reversed? Perhaps there is a play to move it to age restricted.