Background

While visiting our Fort Myers portfolio, we discovered a property on a beautiful 50-acre site that did not appear in market studies, was perceived to be subsidized housing and was running at 80% occupancy in a 96% occupancy market.  We unearthed that the owner was an absentee subsidized housing developer who had syndicated the equity and had no economic incentive to maximize cash flow.  Nor did the sponsor have the resources to repair damage from a tropical storm several years prior.  Northland had to “look through” the in-place investment optics and envision a value-add rehab for the property.

Opportunity

Negotiating directly with the owner, Northland was able to acquire Iona Lakes for significantly less than true current value, looking through the in place “performance” and leveraging our market-leading footprint to underwrite the cost of the rehab and the post rehab rental structure.

Execution

Iona Lakes’ value-add was diverse and comprehensive, including new interior units, exterior paint, curbing, parking lots, a perimeter wall, access gates, full-site landscaping, exterior lighting, irrigation, fountain and lake improvements, and new amenities including an outdoor kitchen and mini golf.

Results

By the end of the first year of ownership, revenue had increased and vacancy had fallen from 21% to 6%.  This trend of outperformance continued.  In the three years since acquisition, Iona Lakes revenue has increased and NOI has nearly doubled.