A joint venture between EJF Capital LLC and Chance Partners LLC plan to develop a three-building, 295-unit multifamily community in Jacksonville, Florida. The community, known as Southgate, is located in a qualified opportunity zone in the St. Nicholas neighborhood.
Consisting of two parcels totaling 9.5 acres, the Southgate project will include three four-story buildings surrounded by a 400-space parking lot. The property will reportedly have smart home technology such as keyless entry, WiFi thermostats, 1G hi-speed internet, as well as indoor and outdoor social areas, a swimming pool and sundeck, a fitness center, dog park and pet spa, and walking trails.
The joint venture purchased the Southgate Plaza shopping center located on Beach Boulevard and intends to start demolition later this month. The project is slated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“Jacksonville is an exceptional market with vast investment opportunity, and we along with our partner, Chance, believe the economic underpinnings could not be stronger,” said Neal Wilson, EJF’s co-founder and co-chief executive officer. “Factors that make this such a compelling location include strong demand for multifamily housing, robust population growth, and a diverse economy with healthcare leading the way.”
The project is EJF and Chance’s fifth in the Jacksonville market following Eastborough, The Exchange, Barlow, and San Marco Promenade.
“Five projects in a single market demonstrates our conviction to the future of the San Marco and St. Nicholas neighborhoods to meet residential demand serving these historic infill locations,” said Jeff Rosen, principal with Chance Partners. “We like everything about this market, especially its location, which is minutes from the Southbank district and its array of healthcare complexes, which are anchored by Baptist Medical Center and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.”
Opportunity zones were created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur long-term private investments in lower income areas by providing potentially significant tax benefits to investors.
Chance Partners is a real estate firm specializing in the acquisition and development of infill, multifamily and mixed-use communities. Since 2010, the company has developed or purchased more than $700 million of assets ranging from multifamily and student housing to hospitality and retail in walkable locations throughout the Southeast.
EJF Capital LLC is a global alternative asset management firm headquartered outside of Washington, D.C. that focuses on regulatory event-driven investment themes including its strategy to invest in opportunity zones. EJF’s second opportunity zone fund, EJF OpZone Fund II LP, invests primarily on multifamily and industrial development opportunities in disadvantaged areas. EJF’s inaugural fund closed in January 2021 after raising approximately $280 million. As of December 31, 2021, the firm managed approximately $5.5 billion across a group of alternative asset strategies.