Apartment giant sells $2B worth of holdings


A Charleston-based company that is the nation’s largest apartment operator has shed a piece of its U.S. portfolio in a deal valued at $2 billion.

Greystar Real Estate Partners said one of its investment funds sold 32 multifamily rental properties to an affiliate of the Wall Street buyout giant Blackstone.

The sale price works out to about $192,000 for each of the 10,399 rental units. Greystar’s apartment-management business will continue to oversee the properties for Blackstone, the company said in announcing the deal Tuesday.

“We worked diligently to assemble a high-quality portfolio of well-located apartment communities in major institutional markets,” Greystar CEO and founder Bob Faith said. “We are very pleased with the outcome of the transaction and believe the level of interest this portfolio generated is a testament to our core competency of sourcing underperforming assets and creating value through operational improvements and comprehensive capital renovation strategies.”

The sale included a mix of mid-rise, high-rise and garden-style apartment buildings in markets that include Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, South Florida, New York City and Boston.

Greystar acquired the properties using a mix of borrowed money and $600 million it raised from pension funds and other big backers after creating it seventh investment fund in 2011.

“Our investors are very pleased,” said Faith, who oversaw the S.C. Commerce Department under Gov. Mark Sanford.

Greystar has built or invested in several apartment complexes in the Charleston region. Its only active construction project in the area is Courier Square, a commercial and residential development at Meeting and Columbus streets in downtown Charleston.

Greystar is a partner in that deal with Evening Post Industries, the owner of The Post and Courier.

Greystar manages about 410,000 residential rental units in over 130 markets in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. It had an ownership stake in about 55,000 of those apartments before the deal with Blackstone, Faith said.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572.