A look back From Collins Group Alabama apartments

I was curious about what properties Collins group owned: WSJ article here on Foreclosure: (I can’t determine which ones GE has Foreclosed on). Here is some info from the Birmingham Business Journal, a quick Google search turned up the Collins group: their web site from happier times last entry in June ’07, from a blog maintained by their president:
From their web site:

May 29, 2007

A Look Back

As we approach the midpoint of the year, investors begin to reflect on what happened during “the first half” — where we stand, and where we’re going.

If I had to encapsulate what Collins’ 2007 has consisted of thus far, it would have to be “digesting”.

The Collins Group had an extremely active 2006: over $400 million in new assets including our $132-million deal which was one of the largest multifamily deals in Alabama (or at least one the largest Capmark’s Chad Hagwood said he had seen that year) and our year end $155-million buy which established us as one of Alabama’s largest landlords. Deals like these take time to digest and to absorb into a diverse portfolio.

In addition, some of our earlier deals are coming out of lockouts. Collins Group hopes to refinance as much as $500-million in floating rate debt in 2007 so we can poise ourselves for another round of aggressive expansion. We remain bullish on the Southeast, we still see the markets in the region as being solid long-term investment areas. Our relationships with our preferred lenders — industry leaders like GE Capital, Wachovia, Capmark Financial Group, among others — continue to strengthen and improve.

And if markets like Atlanta are expected to outpace the nation in population growth until 2020, we might not be going anywhere for a while.

May 28, 2007

The Collins Group on del.icio.us

I have begun to aggregate some of our press and news using the social bookmarking site, del.icio.us, in order to give our readers some of an idea as to what the press is saying about the Collins Group, and where we have been active in the recent past with regard to our acquisition and expansion activity.

July 28, 2006

Acquisition of Landmark Portfolio

In a partnership with New Jersey-based Lightstone Group, Collins purchased the portfolio from the Florida-based Landmark Properties Trust. The Birmingham office of CapMark Financial Group (formerly GMAC Commercial Mortgage) provided financing. Park Avenue Funding of New York City participated as an equity partner. Birmingham-area Hinton Properties and Engel Realty acted as brokers.

Collins’ Alabama portfolio currently stands at 5,000 units, with a gross value in excess of $300 million.

These are outstanding communities in the strongest markets in the area. Collins owns properties literally next door and across the street from these communities which have been shown themselves to be prime and pristine assets.

The portfolio marks Collins’ ninth Alabama acquisition. “The Birmingham market is seeing strong occupancies and, with a moratorium on new additions, this is only expected to remain the case,” remarked Finance and Acquisition VP Jay Herman.

We remain focused on Birmingham. Thirteen consecutive quarters of steady rent growth attest to this market’s viability.

Collins’ regional expansion plans are not expected to slow down. By the end of this year, Collins’ Alabama portfolio will total some 8,000 units with a gross value of over $500 million. Collins has several acquisitions pending for the third and fourth quarters of 2006. Collins has found numerous opportunities in Alabama in line with our philosophy of seeking assets with intrinsic value in its acquisitions.

The properties – Renaissance at Galleria, Park at Galleria, Place at Galleria, Overlook at Homewood, Magnolia Park at Homewood, and Wisteria Park – have benefited from significant improvements since upgrades began in 2002. Over $17 million has gone into improving the properties, with two properties – Overlook at Homewood and Magnolia Park – receiving full exterior and interior overhauls completed in winter 2006. The properties feature some of the most luxurious amenities in the Birmingham area.
Collins has partnered with The Lightstone Group in other ventures, including the 672-unit highrise Marbury Plaza in Washington, DC.

Lightstone sets the pace for aggressive growth while giving attention to the details of building value. Lightstone brings a lot of things to the table – their strong reputation in the marketplace, their extensive financial experience is a perfect synergy with Collins’ attention to detail on the management side.

“Collins is pleased with its new alliance with CapMark in its financial ventures. Collins is certain CapMark was the right choice,” added Herman.

Collins and CapMark are already working closely on pending acquisitions.

The Collins Group remains committed to its corporate philosophy: providing quality tenant services by upgrading assets and providing excellent and attentive management.

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