CGI+ Real Estate Strategies has seen potential in the Southeast for a long time.
A decade ago, as money was still moving to the larger coastal cities following The Global Financial Crisis, CGI+ (then known as Cohen & Associates) made two opportunistic Southeastern deals in late 2011.
In November, it purchased the Tierra Vista Apartment Homes, a 152-unit multi-family community in Kissimmee, Fla. for $7.7 million. A month later, it bought out of receivership a mixed-used development comprising 140 condominium units and 30,500 square feet of retail space in downtown Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue Historic District. The project, like many others of that era, was a victim of the financial crisis. The original developer had sold 21 condos and converted the remaining 140 apartments into rentals before the lender foreclosed on the property in 2009.
CGI+ rebranded the property and stabilized it by leveraging its proximity to Georgia State University and numerous restaurants, retail and entertainment options. In 2017, it sold the multi-family component of City Walk to San Francisco-based FPA Multifamily and the retail component to a joint venture of Franklin Road Amoco, Inc. and Southern Gas Partners, LLC in separate transactions that generated attractive returns for our investors
After the City Walk sale, CGI+ remained an active buyer in the Southeast. It purchased Cane Island, a 166-unit luxury apartment community in Kissimmee, FL from D.R. Horton in an off-market transaction valued at $25.75 million in January 2017.
In 2019, it acquired the vacant Astoria at Celebration community for $43 million. The property, developed in 2015, was found to suffer from construction defects in 2016 and was vacated by order of the Osceola Building Department. After curing the defects, CGI+ leased up the 306-unit luxury multi-family community in March 2020 and three months later, sold the asset for $74.5 million far exceeding the business plan in less than two years.
But CGI+ didn’t stop after those successes. It just announced the purchase of the 712-unit Brookhaven apartment portfolio in Atlanta—its largest purchase in the region to date. If the past is a prelude to the future, expect the project to beat expectations. CGI+ has met or exceeded its business plans at Astoria, Renaissance Walk, Cane Island and Tierra Vista.