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California-based real estate private equity investor Praxis Capital is eying Greater Orlando for its first multifamily asset in the state, but wants a local partner to help lead the way, president and CEO Brian Burke told GrowthSpotter.

"We've been studying Orlando and Florida, it's on our radar and I definitely want to get in," Burke said Wednesday. "The trouble is, wherever we do business we like to have someone on the ground. We have that in our other markets, but no one in Florida now."

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Burke said a potential partner for the company could be from Greater Orlando, or outside the market and willing to relocate here. He'd favor someone with executive-level experience in multifamily, be it with a large property management firm, or with experience on the property investment side.

Brian Burke, of Praxis Capital
Brian Burke, of Praxis Capital

"A partner doesn't have to know the market better than me," he said. "I want someone that's on the ground that can visit a property before acquisition, conduct on-site components of due diligence and then after acquisition oversee the property management.

"Someone on the ground would also ideally have an ownership interest," Burke continued. "It isn't a necessity, but those we've hired in (other cities) have invested some level of capital in the deals."

Formed in 2001, Praxis Capital currently owns roughly 1,000 multifamily units across five properties in California, Arizona and Texas. Burke has been investing in single- and multifamily real estate since 1989.

Praxis raises its equity via family offices, high net worth individuals and other private equity groups. The company aims to acquire three to four assets per year, putting it in a position to deploy $40 million to $60 million annually in investment, Burke said.

The company seeks underperforming Class B- and C-level multifamily assets with a value-add component, typically 100 to 300 units with a $10 million-to-$25 million acquisition price, Burke said.

"We've been known to stray outside that box because we're looking for good deals," he said. "Value-add can be a lot of different things, from really poorly managed with a desperate seller, or neglected physical state in need of (renovations)."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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