501 Estates in Durham, North Carolina, offers apartments, townhomes, and cottages on a 33-acre site.
Courtesy Jefferson Apartment Group 501 Estates in Durham, North Carolina, offers apartments, townhomes, and cottages on a 33-acre site.

Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), with partner STARS REI, continues to build its presence in North Carolina. While its first new multifamily community in the state, J Optimist Park, is under construction in Charlotte, it also has acquired a 360-unit community, 501 Estates, near downtown Durham.

”JAG sees the Triangle and Charlotte as two metropolitan statistical areas poised for continued population and employment growth,” said CEO Jim Butz. “We officially opened our Charlotte regional office in 2022 with plans to expand the team in 2024. Our goal moving forward is to build or buy in the best locations in each metro area set to see substantial job growth—and to grow our presence in the Carolinas.”

501 Estates, which also marks STARS’ first investment in the region, was purchased from Spyglass Capital for $70 million.

Butz called 501 Estates “the full package.” Built in 2001 on 33 acres, it offers a park-like setting with a mix of 270 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments across eight garden-style buildings; 49 townhomes; and 41 cottages. Units range between 828 and 1,568 square feet.

Over 60% of the units have been fully renovated with plank flooring, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and double vanities. According to JAG, it will continue the renovation program, with all units to be fully upgraded by 2025.

Amenities had also been updated, including substantial clubhouse upgrades; a new 3,000-square-foot freestanding fitness center; a refinished resort-style pool; a new covered pavilion with an outdoor kitchen and a fireplace lounge; a new pet spa; and a second dog park with agility equipment.

The community also is in a prime location, central to Duke University and the University of North Carolina. The area has a strong employment base, including the universities, hospitals, and a growing number of tech and life science companies.

“The Raleigh-Durham metro is a leading area for employment growth on the East Coast, which is driving increased demand for housing,” said Butz. “501 Estates is a strong opportunity to capitalize on the conversion of a core-plus community to Class A in a trending market. And we’re pleased to be furthering our partnership with STARS REI on this acquisition.”

STARS associate Felipe Lattapiat added that his firm has been monitoring the Raleigh-Durham market for the past several years. “We have strong belief in the region’s fundamentals and its long-term performance, and this acquisition aligns with the demographics we favor within the Triangle. We’re looking forward to continuing to expand our footprint in the area.”