Upstate Apartment Market Remains Active

Furman University purchases Vinings at Duncan Chapel

By: Richard Breen – GSA Business

The multi-family sector remains a highly active part of the Upstate real estate market as California investors continue dealing, developers continue building and a local college prepares for the future.

“Greenville is remarkably stable,” says Russ Davis, the developer of McBee Station in downtown Greenville.

That stability has been a magnet for institutional investors. California-based Grubb & Ellis Realty Advisors has acquired its third Upstate apartment complex since 2006.

“I’ve got a couple (of investors) that I’m talking with right now about a property,” says Bill Crawford of Crawford Associates Inc., a Greenville-based real estate consulting firm.

Local entities are investing as well, but in a different way. Furman University recently purchased The Vinings at Duncan Chapel for $16 million as a hedge against dormitory room space that will be lost during an upcoming renovation project.

“Furman currently has fewer beds on campus than it needs to house its students,” says Mary Lou Merkt, the school’s vice president for business affairs.

Local apartment occupancy rates have hovered in the low-mid 90 percent range throughout the year, peaking at 94.4 percent in August, according to Crawford.

“We’ve still got people moving into the market,” he says. “We’ve still got jobs happening. We’ve still got room for new product.”

Crawford estimates there are 5,263 units worth of new apartments in various stages of planning and construction. He says he just hopes the Upstate doesn’t get overbuilt.


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