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CHPC Purchases First Conventional Property in North Carolina

Christiansburg, Virginia – The close of 2006 marked two important firsts in Community Housing Partners’ (CHPC) history: the purchase of its first conventional property, and its first property in North Carolina.

Completed on Dec. 15, the purchase of the Townhomes of Ashbrook allowed CHPC to acquire a 150-unit conventional multi-family property located in Charlotte, NC. Acquisition financing was provided by Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) of Winston-Salem, NC in the form of a 1st mortgage and by Neighborhood Capital Corporation (NCC) of Cleveland, OH in the form of a 2nd mortgage. NCC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NeighborWorks® America, of which CHPC is a member. CHPC greatly appreciates the efforts of John Ireland and Benjamin Greenburg representing the two lenders, and we greatly appreciate their efforts. The seller was represented by Great Atlantic Management of Virginia Beach, VA.

One of CHPC’s major objectives during 2006 was the acquisition of a conventional multifamily property. This objective had been elusive, however, due to the high asking prices by owners and the huge demand being created by purchasers of properties who would then convert them to condominiums.

“In all, we probably seriously looked at fifteen different conventional properties that were offered for sale in Virginia and North Carolina during 2006,” said Jim Pritchett, CHPC’s Vice President of Housing Development. “It took us a while to find one that offered the kind of opportunity we were seeking.”

After coming on the market in August 2006, the property was subjected to an extensive review by CHPC senior staff, including Pritchett, Vice President of Property Management Nona Hipp, Vice President of Construction Todd Peacock, and Colin Arnold, Director of the Community Design Center. Due diligence conducted included site visits by the above, Phase I Environmental, Appraisal, and unit-by-unit inspection of the property. Four months passed from the first site visit until the acquisition.

Located on Eastway Drive near downtown Charlotte, the property began life in 1968 as the Dutch Village and consists of 22 one-bedroom units, 106 two-bedroom units and 22 three-bedroom units spread between 22 buildings located on 11.5 acres. The units range in size from 846 square feet to 1,202 square feet. Unit amenities include electric ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers, garbage disposals and central vacuum systems. There is also a swimming pool, tennis courts, a laundry, and playground located on site.

The property location in Charlotte is significant, due to dramatic growth trend which is expected to continue. North Carolina has one of the fastest growing Hispanic/Latino populations in the country, and East Charlotte has become home for many Hispanic/Latino families, which includes many of the residents at the Townhomes of Ashbrook. With Charlotte’s growth, proximity to downtown Charlotte is becoming more and more desirable as traffic problems have increased. The property is within walking distance to several of Charlotte’s beautiful public parks and to the neighborhood surrounding Charlotte Country Club. The areas near the intersection of The Plaza and Eastway Drive have seen several new retail and housing developments. Within two miles of the property is the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood, which has recently undergone significant revitalization. Preserving housing that will be affordable now and in the future in this area is essential for Charlotte to experience balanced growth.

The property is not without its challenges, however. The existing mansard roofs are dated and are badly in need of replacement. The parking and driveway areas require re-paving, and several off-line units need extensive repairs to be made rent ready.

“The Townhomes of Ashbrook represent a perfect opportunity for the committed team of professionals at CHPC,” Pritchett said. “With an extensive background in the rehabilitation and preservation of older affordable multifamily assets, work is already under way to plan a renaissance at the Townhomes of Ashbrook.”