A Canadian real estate investment firm is looking to invest up to $500 million acquiring multifamily assets in Florida over the next two years and has named Orlando as its number one target market.
Western Wealth Capital, based in North Vancouver, spent much of the last three years consolidating its position in Houston and Phoenix, but the new strategy has the firm looking to the Southeast.
“Florida is our priority going forward,” Executive VP Doug Mather told GrowthSpotter. “You have to understand the local market before you can invest. We’ve spent a lot of time in your market over the last two years.”
He said the company is looking to acquire 10 value-add properties over the next two years in Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville.
“If we’re going to enter a new market, we need to have some kind of scale,” Mather said. “We don’t want to go in in a small way. If we’re going to build up a team in that market, we want to make sure there’s sufficient work to make it viable.”
WWC is looking for B- and C-grade assets that are anywhere from 20 to 50 years old and priced in the $35-40 million range.
“We don’t go much smaller than 200 units,” Mather said. “We’re looking for something we can physically change to make the lives of the residents a little better. We’re known for adding amenities you would see in a brand new complex - lavish pools and nice clubhouses people would want to spend their time in."
After closing, WWC embarks on a 30-day turnaround for the common areas. For Florida properties, upgrading the pools will be a priority. “The pools are already there. We’ll bring in soft seating, cabanas with music and TV screens. We improve the aesthetics with palms and new lighting. We’ll make it closer to what someone would experience in an A building.”
WWC also transforms the interiors of the apartments following a strict protocol, starting with the addition of in-unit washers and dryers whenever possible. Mather said the company will renovate around 65 percent of the unit interiors in order to retain a significant number of units that at more affordable. A renovated unit translates to $100 more per month in rent.
“We product manage this down to the T,” Mather said. “All of our renovated units look very similar, and the reason for this is simple. Everyone has HGTV and knows the trends are. We have it down to the skew of the towel bar going into the bathroom.”
WWC joins the Blackstone Group, McKinley and TruAmerica in its search for value-add investments in the Orlando market. The area’s record-setting population and job growth, combined with low taxes and high projected rent growth, make it the one of the nation’s most attractive multifamily markets.