The Bainbridge Cos., which builds, develops, and manages luxury apartments in the eastern U.S., went from not making the NMHC's Builder list last year to jumping up to No. 14 on the latest list. The Wellington, Fla.–based firm reported 1,816 units started in 2017, compared with 2,941 in 2018. The company’s current development pipeline includes communities in Orlando, Gainesville, and Jacksonville in Florida; Washington D.C.; Baltimore; Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.; and Atlanta. The company’s overall development pipeline includes mid-rise urban communities and traditional garden-style suburban properties.

MFE spoke with Kevin Keane, executive vice president of The Bainbridge Cos., about the company’s success and challenges faced last year and what he foresees for the rest of 2019.

MFE: To what do you attribute your rising in the ranks of the NMHC list?

Keane: Bainbridge has been aggressively pursuing development sites within our regions due to the dynamics of job growth, household formation, and expanding infrastructure throughout the East Coast markets.

MFE: What were two or three successes you had last year?

Keane: During 2018, Bainbridge delivered new projects in growth areas of central and west Florida and North Carolina that have proved to be extremely successful. We have enjoyed great lease up success, early stabilization, and enhanced value over our initial underwriting. We attribute this to our marketing and lease up strategies incorporated by our lease-up teams and oversight by our new development and property management staffs.

MFE: What are your challenges this year?

Keane: Construction material and labor charges, entitlement challenges, and utility and infrastructure delivery to expanding developing micro-locations.

MFE: How do you plan to address them?

Keane: Additional cost indexing and pre-development scheduling for project buyout and entitlements.