by Dan Rafter
Sometimes, the sales that you most remember aren’t the biggest deals. They’re the ones that required the most work and have a positive impact on the surrounding community.
That’s how Matt Whiteside, a first vice president for investments with Marcus & Millichap’s Milwaukee office, feels about the sale of the Ridgecrest Apartments in Madison, Wisconsin.
The apartment building wasn’t an especially big one. It includes just under 130 units. But when Whiteside first began marketing it, the building did rank as one of Madison’s most troubled ones. Whiteside said that the apartment building had been hit with nearly 80 health-code violations.
Potential buyers saw the problems and passed on making any offers.
“We marketed the property very aggressively,” Whiteside said. “We marketed it extensively. We have a big following of value-add buyers. But they all passed on it. There was too much work to be done there to make it worth their while. We were getting pennies-on-the-dollar offers.”
Whiteside and his marketing team found success, though, when they approached Madison developer Mirius Partners. That company decided to take a risk. In 2014, the developer purchased the property.
“They were able to see past the issues that the property faced and used some creative financing to make their purchase,” Whiteside said. “They were able to work with the city and qualify for some grants. That made the difference.”
As soon as Mirius closed on the property, the company poured money back into it, Whiteside said. Today, Ridgecrest is a safe, clean and healthy place for people to live.
“That deal made a difference to me,” Whiteside said. “It felt good to play a part in turning around a property that has been traded so many times, that had so many out-of-area buyers and absentee landlords,” Whiteside said. “These guys were based in Madison. They knew the right financing and programs that were available to them to right the ship.”