Massive apartment transaction goes down in Atlanta

The RADCO Companies acquired a 982-unit apartment complex in Atlanta.

One of the nation's premier real estate turnaround firms is set to make a splash in Atlanta.

The RADCO Companies, which specializes in acquiring and turning around distressed properties, purchased The Park at Briarcliff, a 982-unit apartment community covering 74 acres of land, for nearly $40 million.

The changes don't end there. The Park will now be named Ashford Druid Hills in a rebranding effort by RADCO.

"The story behind this property is entirely unique," said Norman Radow, CEO of the purchasing company. "DeKalb County had originally issued development bonds that were credit enhanced by Fannie Mae. In 2007, the property was foreclosed on by DeKalb County after the borrower defaulted on the bonds, which led Fannie Mae to subsequently foreclose on DeKalb County in May of 2010. The government actually foreclosed on the government. That's why The Park at Briarcliff is the quintessential distressed property. That coupled with its A-plus location, makes this acquisition a huge opportunity for us."

The nearly 1,000 units acquired in this deal pushed RADCO's multifamily portfolio to over 5,500 units. RADCO has raised $80 million of private equity to stock its portfolio.

The 982-unit apartment complex is made up of 48 buildings built from brick. One-, two- and three-bedroom units can be attained, along with townhome residences.

The apartment community includes a fitness center, two tennis courts, a jogging trail and two swimming pools. For families with pets, the community also has a children's playground and dog park.

Radow said the purchase of Briarcliff was a no-brainer, especially with his companies current plans in the Atlanta market.

"We are intimately familiar with the Atlanta marketplace and have invested a significant amount of capital into the community," Radow said. "In fact, this marks our 17th deal in the Atlanta metropolitan area, our sixth deal in the I-85 Corridor and our third transaction in Dekalb County, which is enjoying an improving job market and has seen rental rates soar 8.6 percent for apartments like those of Ashford Druid Hills."

A strong spot
Nearly 29,000 new jobs were created in the Atlanta metro market in April and June of this year.

Radow said he considers the community a prime spot because of its proximity to Emory University, Egleston Children's Hospital and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which is headquartered in Atlanta.

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