Strategic Investments Total $60M; Accelerate Growth of Firm’s Core Markets in Central Pennsylvania and New Jersey
The recent acquisition of four apartment communities in Central Pennsylvania and a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Ewing, N.J. expands High Real Estate Group's position as Lancaster County's leading owner-operator of apartments and select service hotels. The family-owned developer/operator concluded two separate transactions totalling $60 million in July 2017.
“These value-added acquisitions are consistent with our long term strategic plan to grow the multi-family and hotel portfolios in our core markets" said Mark Fitzgerald, President and Chief Operating Officer of High Real Estate Group.
“We’re investing in these businesses for the long run,” said Fitzgerald. “Our multi-family team is focused on expanding our offering of quality housing options for the residents of Lancaster County, while the hotel group is looking to bring our guests top-level satisfaction through our award-winning hospitality teams.”
Apartment Purchase: 412 Units in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties
Lancaster County is a core target market for High, according to Brad Mowbray, Senior Vice President and Managing Director - Residential Division for High Associates Ltd. which operates High’s apartments. “Our roots grow deep here. As we increase our investment in multi-family, we see opportunities to support a growing demand for quality workforce housing and are committed to providing outstanding service to our residents in addition to our well-maintained apartments and grounds,” said Mowbray.
High consistently maintains occupancy in their residential portfolio of 95 percent, and outperforms the market in tenant retention and apartment rating scores. High’s properties are frequently recognized with industry awards from the Pennsylvania Apartment Association, among others.
This acquisition makes High Lancaster’s largest apartment owner-operators, with more than 1,400 units in Lancaster County and nearly 2,900 overall. The four communities included in the purchase are:
•Greenview Terrace, 112 units, 500 Alden Drive, Lancaster, Pa.
•Barrcrest Manor, 85 units, 1705 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, Pa.
•Village Green, 128 units, 701 East Willow Street, Elizabethtown, Pa.
•Lebanon Court, 87 units, 1102 Jackson Boulevard, Lebanon, Pa.
High purchased the properties from Philadelphia-based fund manager Equus Capital Partners, Ltd.
Prior to the acquisition, High’s apartment portfolio comprised Greenfield Estates, Bentley Ridge, and Greenland Village apartment communities in Lancaster, Pa.; Orchard Ridge in Pottstown, Pa.; York Ridge in Charlotte, N.C.; and Plantation Oaks in Charleston, S.C. In addition, High is constructing two new luxury apartment properties in Lancaster, the 82-unit Reserve at Greenfield and a 258-unit community at The Crossings at Conestoga Creek, both due to open in 2018.
Hotel Purchase: Courtyard by Marriott-Ewing, N.J.
Located near Princeton, N.J. at 360 Scotch Road, this 130-room select-service hotel is within two miles of the 135-suite SpringHill Suites by Marriott-Ewing, which High has owned and operated for eight years.
“This acquisition was a great opportunity to execute our growth strategy,” said Russ Urban, president of High Real Estate Group affiliate High Hotels Ltd. “We now have two Marriott brands in this important and growing market to meet the diversity of customer demands.”
Courtyard is Marriott’s power brand for business travelers, while SpringHill Suites also aligns well with expectations of leisure travelers, Urban explained.
High is widely acknowledged as a leader and award-winning operator of limited/select service hotels. In 2016 Marriott recognized High’s Towneplace Suites-Harrisburg West, Pa. with its Platinum Circle Award, the brand’s highest honor. The SpringHill Suites-Ewing and Courtyard by Marriott-Lancaster also received Marriott Silver Circle Awards.
Following an extensive training program to instill High’s positive customer-experience culture with their new co-workers, and investment in a property improvement plan to bring the hotel up to current brand standards, High will host a customer appreciation event to expose their corporate clients in their new combined Courtyard and SpringHill offering in Ewing.
High purchased the Courtyard from a large multi-national opportunity fund. Currently more than 1,145 Marriott Courtyard hotels are in operation worldwide.