During the summer of 2010, Panther properties agreed to purchase the non-performing loan underlying this property at a significant discount to construction cost and take possession of Avalon.
At the time of acquisition, Avalon was an underperforming asset. Although physical occupancy was at the market average of 93%, economic occupancy was significantly lower at 70%. Panther believed that Avalon's performance was hampered by market volatility following the financial crisis and management issues.
Panther's analysis indicated that financial stability and diligent property-level management would increase Avalon's financial performance significantly.
Avalon is located in Pensacola a city in Florida's Panhandle with a population of 455,000. The area had strong fundamentals for multifamily housing at the time of purchase. The local economy was supported by an employment base built on military and government related positions. Further, the area boasted excellent higher education and medical institutions. Avalon was well-positioned in the market. It was one of only two Class "A" properties at the time and was conveniently located and contained excellent amenities.
Panther generated an initial property assessment by identifying key areas of improvement and developing a strategy to grow NOI. The firm believed that pro-active property management and an aggressive lease-up strategy would significantly improve financial performance.
Panther's investment thesis indicated that active, hands-on property-level management coupled with stable, long-term financing would drive NOI growth and property cash flows to generate an attractive IRR for investors over a 3-5-year period.
Immediately upon acquisition Panther began methodically executing on the business plan to improve Avalon's performance. The firm's discipline in executing the well-crafted plan paid-off. Over the 4-year holding period, Panther increased economic occupancy to 92% from 70%. Over the same time, the firm increased NOI 44.8%.