Morgan Properties Acquires Mark Center Portfolio in West End

Company closes largest Virginia transaction this year

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Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia
(Courtesy photo)

Morgan Properties, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing real estate investment and management companies, announced this week it has acquired the Mark Center portfolio in Alexandria, Virginia for $509 million, making it the biggest transaction in the state for 2017. As a best-in-breed class B multifamily owner/operator, Morgan Properties owns and manages over 40,000 apartment units in ten states throughout the country. Over the last five years, Morgan Properties has expanded its portfolio holdings in the Maryland-DC Corridor by growing from 4,300 units to 21,500.

Established in 1985 by Mitchell Morgan, Morgan Properties is a national real estate investment and management company headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Morgan Properties and its affiliate, Morgan Properties JV, own and manage a multifamily portfolio comprised of 146 apartment communities and over 40,000 units located in ten states, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Region.

The Mark Center, which is considered one of the largest institutionally-maintained contiguous portfolios in the country, consists of 2,664 apartment units and a 63,320-square-foot retail center situated on over 150 acres inside the Beltway. The Mark Center portfolio is located in the highly desirable Seminary Road submarket, with convenient access to Interstates 295, 395, and 495 and is within minutes of downtown Washington, DC. The properties are ideally positioned in the I-395 Corridor, which greatly benefits from the large concentration of defense contractors and federal government agencies, in close proximity to Fort Belvoir, The Pentagon, US Patent and Trademark Office, the Department of Defense’s Mark Center campus and the Inova Alexandria Hospital. CBRE represented the seller on this disposition.

“The Mark Center acquisition is a major milestone for Morgan Properties, as it marks our second largest transaction in the company’s history and solidifies our position as one of the largest multifamily owners in the Greater Washington DC Metro area,” said Jonathan Morgan, President of Morgan Properties JV Management. “We felt this deal was a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity to acquire significant size and scale to generate operational efficiencies and enhance the value of the assets. We are on track to acquire over $1 billion of real estate in 2017 and look forward to continuing to grow our portfolio.”

The Apartments at Mark Center consist of six adjacent garden-style apartment communities: Hillwood, Stroneridge, Meadow Creek, Lynbrook, Brookdale, and Willow Run. Morgan Properties’ strategy for the residential portfolio is to consolidate the six assets into four large apartment communities to maximize operational efficiencies and execute a $35 million value-add repositioning plan to enhance the value of each property. The Apartments at Mark Center is extremely well positioned for interior unit renovations, given that 97.4% of the units remain un-renovated. The company plans to install over 2,200 washers and dryers and upgrade kitchens, curb appeal, and exterior enhancements at each of the properties. Morgan Properties intends to renovate the Pavilion clubhouse with the following amenities for the residents: a state-of-the-art fitness center, business center, movie theatre, club room, putting green, and dog park.

The Shops at Mark Center, an institutionally maintained grocery- and pharmacy-anchored neighborhood shopping center, features national retailers including CVS, Global Foods, Starbucks, and SunTrust Bank.

The seller purchased the Mark Center portfolio from the Mark Winkler Company in 2006 and subsequently received approval from the City of Alexandria in 2012 to redevelop the existing apartment communities and retail center into a true “live, work, play” mixed-use Town Center. The redevelopment plan would maximize the allowable density from 2.5 MSF to 6.4 MSF. Morgan Properties has obtained that right through acquisition, giving it tremendous optionality over the long-term to nearly triple the density.