McLean, Va.-based Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG) is making moves to reclaim some of the physical and strategic territory that its predecessor, JPI East, used to occupy.
In an exclusive interview, JAG CEO Jim Butz told Multifamily Executive that the company is planning to open offices in Florida and Boston in the next few months. In addition to its home office, JAG has offices in Philadelphia, and also serves New Jersey. The company did $270 million in new development last year and wants to hit $420 million this year.
“In the Mid-Atlantic, acquisitions heated up over the past 12 months and not as much distressed property came to the market as everyone thought,” Butz says. “We were able to acquire or control land opportunities that turned into development quickly.”
Butz sees similar opportunities helping to expand JAG up and down the Eastern seaboard. “It looks like the same dynamic is going to occur in markets like New England and Florida,” he says. “People are buying anything that is opportunistic, yet there is no supply. The people who control the better sites will benefit from a rebound similar rebound to what we saw in the Mid-Atlantic because of the lack of supply.”
JAG wants to open Florida offices in Orlando and Boca Raton and serve New York from its new Boston office. Butz says the company could eventually open an office in New York, where JPI East used to operate. In addition, the company has no plans to go back into another JPI East location—Atlanta. “For today, we feel like we can handle Atlanta out of other offices,” he says. “It’s more of an acquisition market.”
Simultaneously with the expansion plans, JAG announced it is moving back into property management, restarting an engine that stopped when JPI East sold its management group to Charleston-based Greystar in 2008. The company brought in JPI alums Patty Holt (from Greystar) and James Duncan (from JPI) to run the Mid-Atlantic property management and asset management groups. It plans to manage units for both its own account and its investors, according to Butz.