P.B. Bell, a leader in multi-family housing development and management, is marking the one-year anniversary of its biggest acquisition by celebrating improved occupancies stemming from the completion of major renovations within the seven-property portfolio. The acquisition, which closed in July of 2014, included nearly 2,800 apartment units in complexes throughout metropolitan Phoenix. The transaction represented the largest in company history and one of the largest sales in the Phoenix multi-family housing market since the economic downturn reset the real estate industry in 2008.
Since taking ownership of the seven properties in Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix and Glendale, occupancy rates have increased by up to 8 percent and have reached an overall average of 97 percent leased. To date, P.B. Bell has renovated about 300 apartment units and invested nearly $9 million into community improvement projects, such as new paint and landscaping, remodeled clubhouses and fitness centers, and updated pool areas.
“This acquisition in particular, the improvements that have followed and the ones that are still planned, illustrates our desire to pinpoint targets that allow us as a company to deploy our management and construction expertise in a way that elevates the profile of a community,” Phil Lake, P.B. Bell’s director of acquisitions, said. “We have the ability to recognize the strengths of a certain asset and capitalize on them, while at the same time finding ways to introduce new design elements to older communities.”
Clubhouses and leasing offices have been remodeled and updated with lounges and entertainment areas, pool areas have been repaired and updated with modern furnishings and buildings have seen extensive paint, roofing repairs and maintenance. In addition, a number of outdoor sport-court areas have been transformed into lush common areas equipped with barbecues, dog parks and shade structures. Hundreds of apartments have also been updated to include new flooring, plumbing fixtures, appliances, sinks, countertops and light fixtures.
In the coming years, P.B. Bell plans to extend similar interior renovations to about 900 additional apartment units within the portfolio.
“We have received positive feedback from the residents living in these communities, which pleases us from a customer service standpoint, as well as from a leasing perspective,” Lake said. “While these improvements will attract new residents, improved amenities also help us add value to the area and retain current residents.”