Post Continues $360M Disposition Plan with Atlanta M-F Sale

In its third quarter earnings report issued last month, Post Properties Inc. noted that it would sell six assets with the hope of pocketing approximately $360 million, and with today’s news of the disposition of Post Lenox Park in Atlanta, the company has one down, five more to go.

Atlanta-based Post Properties sold the 206-unit apartment community to an entity formed by Greensboro, N.C.-headquartered Steven D. Bell & Co. for $22.7 million. Developed in 1995, Post Lenox Park is a Class A, garden-style multi-family property located at 100 Lenox Park Circle in Atlanta’s tony Buckhead submarket.

“Our acquisition strategy was to acquire a high quality, exceptionally located asset in a market with strong long-term fundamentals,” Nickolay Bochilo, vice president with Bell, told CPN. “We like the property’s close proximity to large employers as well as public transportation, MARTA.”

A bevy of other hopeful investors took a shine to Post Lenox Park, too. “There was a lot of competition for the asset,” Bochilo noted. “Post Properties picked us because of execution and our ability to lineup debt. The recent challenges in capital markets have had a positive impact on our ability to attractively structure the transaction from the debt and equity standpoint. We bring to the table certainty of closing.”

The sale of Post Lenox Park marks Post Properties’ third disposition of an Atlanta asset within the last four months. In October, the company walked away with $52.8 million for the 494-unit Post Woods in the city’s Cumberland//Vinings submarket. And in August, Post Properties wrapped up the sale of the 250-unit Post Oglethorpe in the Brookhaven area for $38.5 million. Both transactions dovetail with the company’s asset sales program, which calls for a decrease of its apartment portfolio’s concentration in Atlanta, as well as in Dallas, and an overall creation of critical mass in a smaller number of markets.

The five properties still on tap to be sold include two more assets in Atlanta, one c ommunity just outside of Washington, D.C., in Northern Virginia, and the company’s only two multifamily properties in New York City. Proceeds from the disposition program will be used to pay down debt, finance investment commitments, and pay potential special dividends.

For its part, the new owner of Post Lenox Park has also been active in Atlanta in the last several months. A Bell-sponsored investment group announced in June that it had joined forces with Jacoby Development Inc., the D.H. Griffin Cos. and a Ted Turner-family entity on a plan to redevelop a 130-acre former Ford Motor Co. site into a mixed-use aviation-themed destination at a cost of $100 million. And in April, Bell closed on the purchase of Bennington Towers, a 236-unit high-rise apartment tower in Buckhead valued at $35.6 million.

“Generally, we like Atlanta because of its diversified economy,” Bochilo said. “We’re five- to seven-year hold investors and despite Atlanta’s more recent employment challenges, we are still optimistic that the long-term Atlanta market will perform well relative to other major cities in the Southeast.”

Established in 1972, Post Properties is a REIT that develops and operates upscale multifamily properties across the U.S. The company presently owns 21,190 apartment units, and is in the process of developing 506 for-sale condominium residences.  Formed in 1976, Bell is a private real estate investment and management concern that focuses on the acquisition, financing, management and disposition of high quality apartment properties, senior housing properties and commercial assets. Bell’s current management portfolio encompasses over 57,400 apartment unites, 26 senior housing communities and 5.6 millions square feet of commercial space.