The grand opening of Crescent Bayshore was bittersweet for Brian Natwick on Wednesday.

He drove away from the event with a sense of pride for the bringing the beautiful community to completion, but waved goodbye to it as the company announced its sale.

Crescent Dilworth, located in Charlotte, is expected to open in mid-2015. It was sold as part of a nine-property portfolio.
Crescent Dilworth, located in Charlotte, is expected to open in mid-2015. It was sold as part of a nine-property portfolio.

Natwick and his team at Crescent Communities spent years planning and developing the Tampa apartment community, which was sold for about $111.5 million recently, along with eight other properties, in a deal with a price-tag around $700 million, the company announced Wednesday.

Charlotte-based Crescent sold the communities as a portfolio of 2,667 units to an undisclosed private investor and UBS Global Asset Management. Both buyers will be using different property management solutions on a case by case basis. In addition to the Tampa property, the portfolio is composed of one property in Raleigh, two in Charlotte, two in Atlanta, one in Orlando and two in Durham, N.C.

Natwick, president of multifamily at Crescent Communities, says several developments began catching the attention of investors as the company revved up its pipeline after the Great Recession.

“We get contacted by blue chip institutional investors pretty frequently,” Natwick says. 

The company didn’t begin developing the communities with the intention to sell them, Natwick says. Each of the properties had been carefully vetted by location and were planned out to be legacy assets. But the continued persistence of investors led the company to reconsider and evaluate what to do with the portfolio, eventually settling on selling it.

The money from the sale will be recapitalized into other projects in the company's pipeline. Currently, the multifamily division of Crescent has a footprint in 10 states and 13 markets. The recapitalization will allow the development team to expand the footprint.

“During our next round of business, we’ll continue to build communities in this same footprint—Florida, Georgia and North Carolina,” he says. “But in addition to that we’ll also be in [Tennessee], Texas, Colorado and Arizona.”

Each transaction in the deal will close as the properties come to a construction completion with Crescent, Natwick says.

“Both investors have expressed a desire for the Crescent name to remain on these investments,” he says. “As these communities live on, into the future, the Crescent name will survive. We will be working alongside UBS and this other currently unnamed investor to continue to shepherd that brand into the future.”