JLL makes $47M bet on Atlanta apartment market

Experts say cap rates and job growth make Atlanta an attractive investment

The Reserve at Johns Creek
The Reserve at Johns Creek

Even with an uncertain commercial real estate market nationwide, investors still seem to have a strong appetite for rental properties.

JLL Income Property Trust reportedly just closed on its $47 million purchase of an apartment complex in the suburbs of Atlanta, bringing the value of the real estate investment trust’s rental portfolio up to almost $650 million.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal was for The Reserve, an apartment community with 210 units in Johns Creek, one of the city’s more affluent suburbs.
JLL’s purchase price broke down to $223,809 per unit. The seller was not disclosed, nor was any financing.

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The Journal reported that JLL is focusing on properties in markets with good school districts and a high barrier to entry. Atlanta in particular was an attractive choice to the company because of its rate of job growth, which has progressed faster than the national average.

Another big selling point: affordability. Brad Watkins, managing director of Commercial Finance Group at State Bank & Trust, told the Journal that Atlanta’s 6.5 percent capitalization rate make it a more attractive investment than the 5.5 percent rate a company might find in New York.

“The fundamental economics of Atlanta are very healthy compared to some other parts of the country,” Watkins told the publication. [Wall Street Journal]Sean Stewart-Muniz