What had the potential to be a shimmering, glistening lake and a main focal point of the community was filled with silt and surrounded by unsightly landscaping.
Two years and millions of dollars later, a dramatic renovation proved successful as the property is 100 percent leased. After its grand re-opening last summer, the community’s average rents rose from $675 to $1,030.
The 664-unit property was built in two phases, the first in 1989 and the second in 1996, and was in distress at the time of purchase, says Paul Wrights, executive vice president of investments at Atlanta-based Cortland.
“I think the level of interior renovations we did there is on par with new homes currently being built in that area,” he says. “I think we did a great job and those renovations will hold their value over the long term.”
Completely revamping the style of the interior design was a main focus for drawing-in renters who were looking for a luxury product at more affordable rent prices. The construction team added granite countertops and shiny, black General Electric appliances in the kitchens while bathroom areas were upgraded with brushed nickel finishes and upgraded lighting. Flooring was also replaced from older-style faux tile to a hardwood-style, vinyl-plank finish.
One of the most difficult tasks was to transform the lake from dismal to glittering. Creating green space on the waterfront with repaved walking trails and dredging the bottom of the lake improved the quality of the water and the community’s overall appeal.
In addition to creating a sparkling lakefront, the renovators also tackled common areas by transforming the pool area to look more modern and inviting. The leasing office and playgrounds were also upgraded while the clubhouse was changed from drab to fab with a new fitness center. Three dog parks were also integrated into the property’s space.
“It’s an irreplaceable piece of real estate in our minds,” says Wrights. “It has the feeling of being a private community, set back in the forest and that was what appealed to us.”
Lindsay Machak is an Associate Editor for Multifamily Executive. Connect with her on Twitter @LMachak.