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Morgan Properties acquires Mark Center portfolio in Alexandria for $509 million

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Morgan Properties announced Wednesday that it has acquired the Mark Center portfolio in Alexandria for $509 million. The transaction, which the company described as the largest in the state this year, includes 2,664 apartment units and a 63,320-square-foot retail center situated on more than 150 acres inside the Beltway.

The Pennsylvania-based real estate investment and management company has been expanding its portfolio in the greater Washington area.

“The Mark Center acquisition is a major milestone for Morgan Properties as it marks our second largest transaction in the company’s history and solidifies our position as one of the largest multifamily owners in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area,” Jonathan Morgan, president of Morgan Properties JV Management, said in a statement.  “We felt this deal was a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity to acquire significant size and scale to generate operational efficiencies and enhance the value of the assets.

Over the last five years, Morgan Properties – which owns and manages over 40,000 apartment units in ten states -- has expanded its holdings in the D. C. region by growing from 4,300 units to 21,500.

The Mark Center is located in the Seminary Road submarket, with access to Interstates 295, 395, and 495, and it is minutes away from downtown Washington. Positioned in the I-395 Corridor, the properties benefit from the large concentration of defense contractors and federal government agencies nearby including Fort Belvoir, the Pentagon, the Department of Defense’s Mark Center campus.

The apartments at Mark Center currently consist of six garden-style apartment communities. Morgan Properties said it plans to consolidate the six assets into four large apartment communities to maximize operational efficiencies, while investing $35 million in renovations.

The company plans to install more than 2,200 washers and dryers, upgrade kitchens and make exterior enhancements at each of the properties. The renovation of Pavilion clubhouse would bring more amenities for residents such as a fitness center, movie theatre, club room, putting green, and dog park.

The Shops at Mark Center, an institutionally maintained grocery- and pharmacy-anchored neighborhood shopping center, has national retailers including CVS, Global Foods, Starbucks, and SunTrust Bank.

In 2012, the city of Alexandria gave approval to the property’s previous owner to redevelop the apartment communities and retail center into a mixed-use town center. The redevelopment plan would maximize the allowable density from 2.5 million square feet to 6.4 million square feet. Morgan Properties said that it obtained that right to redevelop through acquisition, giving the company an opportunity over the long-term to nearly triple the density.

Based in King of Prussia, Pa., Morgan Properties and its affiliate, Morgan Properties JV, own and manage a multifamily portfolio comprised of 146 apartment communities and over 40,000 units located in ten states, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Region. Morgan Properties is currently the 25th largest apartment owner in the country.

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