Just months after picking up a newer property nearby, a Florida-based firm has added to its Richmond-area holdings with its purchase of a 6-year-old apartment complex in northeastern Chesterfield.
American Landmark Apartments bought Element at Stonebridge, a 400-unit apartment complex in the redeveloped Cloverleaf Mall site, in a $96 million loan assumption deal that closed Aug. 16.
Drew White and Carter Wood with Berkadia confirmed the deal and represented the seller, Boyd Homes. Online property records Friday did not reflect the transaction, which comes out to $240,000 per door.
The county assessed the 12-acre property at $96.1 million.
Boyd President David Rudiger said the Virginia Beach-based company wasn’t looking to sell Element but decided to do so in light of market conditions and other area projects it has in the pipeline.
“The opportunity presented itself, and the market was really hot. We’re building another project about 2 miles down the road, and it gave us the opportunity to move essentially our entire staff intact from one project to the next, so it’s good timing,” Rudiger said, referring to Boyd’s Marcella at Gateway apartments that’s starting construction farther west along Midlothian Turnpike.
Of Element, Rudiger added, “We’ve been very happy with that property. We saw a great opportunity with working with the county on redeveloping that site. We thought it had fantastic potential, and that’s proven itself to be correct.”
Boyd built the apartments as part of the larger Stonebridge redevelopment of the former mall site. The $60 million Element project opened in 2016 as the first residential piece of the mixed-use development at Midlothian Turnpike and Chippenham Parkway.
Construction on the apartments got underway in late 2014, a year after Boyd bought the site at 301 Karl Linn Drive for $3.45 million. The apartments are grouped in three buildings with courtyards and feature eight different floor plans ranging in size from 560-square-foot studio apartments to 1,260-square-foot two-bedroom units.
White said the apartments were 95 percent occupied when the transaction closed, with average rents for new leases exceeding $1,350. White said rents increased about $50 on average over the course of the marketing period, which started when the property hit the market in April. The property was under contract by June, he said.
White said they received interest from across the country and described the interest level as high considering the price range. He said Berkadia has sold most of Boyd’s larger Class A multifamily properties over the past 20 years.
“We were very happy with the outcome in this turbulent, changing market,” White said.
In a release, American Landmark noted the property’s proximity to Boulders Lakeside, a newly built complex it purchased late last year from Richmond-based Dominion Realty Partners and Florida-based Amzak Capital Management. It paid $71.6 million for that property, which totals 248 units on 24 acres in the Boulders Office Park.
The two deals mark a return to the Richmond market for American Landmark, which previously co-owned Millspring Commons, a 159-unit complex in Henrico that it sold in 2017. American Landmark owns and operates 34,000 units in multifamily communities in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Arizona.
Boyd develops and manages multifamily and single-family communities in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. Rudiger said its success with Element prompted the company to develop a similar project beside its Virginia Beach headquarters.
With Element off its portfolio, Boyd is turning its focus toward Marcella at Gateway, a 245-unit complex in the Gateway Centre office park at Midlothian Turnpike and Powhite Parkway. Rudiger said site work is underway and the first building would be delivered in late 2023, with completion anticipated a year later.
Also in Chesterfield, the company recently finished its Towns at Swift Creek, a for-sale and for-rent townhome development at Route 288 and Genito Road, just south of Clover Hill High School. Rudiger said the rental units are almost fully leased, and he said another project in the county also is in the works.
While not the priciest deal this year, Element’s $96 million price tag is one of the bigger multifamily sales seen in metro Richmond this year.
Across the river, the 664-unit Acclaim at Carriage Hill sold in May for $138 million, while the 11 North at White Oak apartments, totaling 1,184 units, sold in February for a record-breaking $154 million.