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New owners of Adair Oaks Apartments try to calm fears of longtime residents

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New owners of Adair Oaks Apartments try to calm fears of longtime residents

Adair Oaks in the Lenox Place neighborhood was recently sold and residents have been concerned about the future of the property. Image obtained via Google Street View.
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The new owners of three older apartment complexes in Decatur say they want to maintain and improve the buildings, but residents say they’re concerned they will be displaced from their homes.

At the beginning of the summer, the owner of Adair Oaks — an apartment community on Adair Street in the Lenox Place Neighborhood — quietly sold the property, along with Oakview Gardens on Oakview Road and Oakhurst Place on East Lake Drive.

The new owners, Tenth Street Ventures and Braden Fellman Group, bought the complexes from Vision Properties in May for $16 million, acquiring more than 100 units.

But from the moment they learned about the sale, residents were concerned: about rent increases and about being forced to move. Would the building be torn down and redeveloped into more expensive housing? Would they have to find a new home?

For Decatur, rent at the Vision-owned properties had been manageable. Vision advertised rents as low as $750 and up to $900.

By contrast, a one bedroom at the new Arlo apartment complex in Decatur is advertised at $1,620 a month.

In a press release, the new owners said rent at Adair Oaks will increase to pay for improvements, but said residents at Adair Oaks will be offered spaces at the other properties if they can no longer afford the rent at Adair Oaks.

“This community was built in 1969 and with deferred maintenance and other issues, we need to make improvements to the property, which will make the property more livable and comfortable for residents,” Andrew Braden with Braden Fellman and Brian McCarthy with Tenth Street Ventures said in an email. “While we wish that all current residents could remain, we also need to help pay for improvement costs which will increase rents, so we’re offering a no application-fee, no deposit move to one of our other properties, many of which are in Decatur at similar rents to current rents at Adair Oaks.”

Since the new owners have taken over, residents at Adair Oaks have reported problems with garbage pickup, pests, water service and maintenance requests.

Deanna Smith, an Adair Oaks resident, said the lack of information about the sale, mixed with rumors and speculation, created a stressful situation for renters.

“It’s a place with not a lot of turnover and it’s a lot of families who are here because they want their families in city of Decatur schools and they can’t afford to buy a condo or buy a house,” Smith said.

The new owners said the plan is to renovate the apartments, not tear them down.

Andrew Braden, with Braden Fellman Group, said he understands the concerns of residents and the new owners have apologized for problems that have come up during the transition period.

“A lot of them have been there for years and years and it’s always uncomfortable when someone comes in and start changing things,” he said. “We do our absolute best to make sure we’re doing right by people and not making change that’s going to affect them in a negative way, but change always makes people uncomfortable. We wanted to freshen the place up. We’re never going to make everyone happy. We’re trying to create something on Decatur.”

Braden Fellman owns and manages other properties in Decatur, notably Ice House Lofts. Tenth Street Ventures is behind Studio9Forty in Midtown and Portico in Buckhead.

Not long after taking over the property, the new owners ran afoul of Decatur’s tree ordinance.

“They started removing a tree without a permit. I issued a stop work order and they have applied for a permit to remove three trees and to do some minor landscaping,” city arborist Kay Evanovich said. “They are also pruning some trees which is allowed to continue as that does not require a permit.”

Braden said the company is working with the city to resolve the issue.

Fellman an McCarthy acknowledged that the transition hasn’t gone as smoothly as they would like.

“Adair Oaks is a special community and we’re thrilled to be the next owners,” they said in an emailed statement. “We’ve had some growing pains as we put our management team into place. We apologize to the residents for the inconveniences and disruptions they’ve faced. That wasn’t our intention and we appreciate everyone’s patience. We now have a seasoned property manager at Adair Oaks who has made communicating with the community a top priority. All key contracts with service providers have been renewed, i.e. for trash pickup and pest control, so residents shouldn’t have any issues going forward.”

Here is the full press release from Braden Fellman and Tenth Street Ventures announcing the purchase of the properties:

Tenth Street Ventures & Braden Fellman Group buy Decatur apartment portfolio

ATLANTA (Aug. 5, 2019) – Tenth Street Ventures and Braden Fellman Group

purchased the Vision Property portfolio of over 100 apartment homes, which includes Adair Oaks located at 212 & 222 Adair Street in Decatur, for $16 million.

“Adair Oaks is a special community and we’re thrilled to be the next owners,” said Brian McCarthy, a TSV principal. “The community was built in 1969 and with deferred maintenance and other issues, we plan to make improvements to the property that will make the property more livable and comfortable for current and future residents.”

TSV is a dynamic collaborative of developers, designers and builders who are bringing more affordable market rate housing to intown Atlanta. BFG, founded in 1981, owns and manages more than 1,700 apartment units and 55,000 square feet of commercial space in metro Atlanta and has been investing in Decatur since 1987. Both groups buy and hold properties and renovate existing buildings. BFG and TSV are working in a joint venture to manage these properties and build a strong platform as both companies expand. The Decatur portfolio, along with other recent purchases locally and nationally, brings TSV’s assets under management to more than $100 million and 500+ apartment units.

“Our team’s business model is to buy and improve older buildings,” said Andrew Braden with Braden Fellman. “We find properties that could use a little love and then make decisions on what’s best for renters without overspending. Adair Oaks will be no different. Our philosophy is to improve upon – not tear down – these charming buildings. Our team brings fresh ideas to them and we’re proud of our track record of keeping these types of apartments in Atlanta’s housing stock for the long-term.”

The broker representing the partnership in the deal was Gary Algers of Campbell Capital Group LLC.

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About Tenth St. Ventures

Tenth Street Ventures (TSV) is a full-service real estate group specializing in acquiring and enhancing intown real estate assets in highly desirable locations. Each investment is tailored to capture the unique energy of the surrounding neighborhood. TSV employs a two-pronged approach: First, to capitalize on up-and-coming submarkets in the path of development, and second, to breathe new life into established neighborhoods with imaginative, ahead-of-the-curve projects. The TSV team is a curated partnership of professionals, spanning a variety of industries, who share a common vision. The team’s background includes accounting, financial structuring, asset and property management, acquisitions and dispositions, deal structuring, development planning, construction management, brokerage, investor relations, architecture, design and marketing. The combined expertise and the team’s past success is the foundation on which future, successful ventures are built. For more information, visit https://tenthsv.com/

About Braden Fellman Group

Braden Fellman Group is focused on providing unique and original spaces in intown locations. BFG currently owns and manages more than 1,700 apartment units and 55,000 square feet of commercial space. BFG provides total real estate, management, and construction services for clients primarily in the Atlanta market. Since 1981, BFG has built, bought, sold and renovated thousands of apartment units throughout the Southeast. BFG has development expertise in adaptive reuse projects, lofts conversions, ground up/midrise apartment construction, residential construction, condo conversions and other commercial properties. For more information, visit bradenfellman.com

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