Company Compares First Half of 2011 to Same Period in 2010
ST. CHARLES, Md. (July 13, 2011)—The St. Charles Companies reported today that occupancy rates for rental apartments grew and sales of new homes in Fairway Village remained steady in the first six months of 2011 compared to the same six months in 2010. The results, company officials said, reflect the Companies' dominant position in the local real estate market and its ability to offer consumers a competitive cost advantage on a wide variety of housing products in an otherwise anemic real estate market.
"Occupancy in our rental apartment communities exceeded 95 percent at the end of June, an increase of nearly three percent compared to the same time last year," said Alan Shearer, St. Charles Companies Chief Executive Officer. "This growth reflects our commitment to maintaining our strong position in this market. The Company delivered 184 market rate units in 2010, has another 120 units under construction that will be delivered later this year, and plans to begin construction of an additional 192 units that will be available for rent in late 2012. Our low cost basis and construction scale efficiencies allow the Company to deliver quality rental and for sale housing at affordable prices."
Mr. Shearer said the synergy between the Company's apartment and land development operations provides a unique platform to capitalize on demand for rental apartments and new homes in the Charles County and Southern Maryland market. "We believe the wide variety of types of apartments, range of price points, the availability of a lease to own program, and a strong, well executed marketing campaign are factors that have combined to set St. Charles apart as a desirable community for apartment tenants. In addition, our beautiful, centralized leasing office for The Apartments of St. Charles provides one stop shopping for apartment residents looking to locate in Charles County."
Mr. Shearer said the strong results bode well for The Nines at Gleneagles, a new 120-unit apartment community in St. Charles' newest neighborhood that will begin leasing later this year. According to Shearer, "As we continue to diversify our apartment portfolio, we expect these higher end luxury units to offer an excellent amenity package with a distinct price advantage over competitors' units in the Charles County market."
At the same time, Mr. Shearer noted, new home sales in the 9,100 acre planned community continue to exceed expectations. Three national builders in St. Charles—Lennar, Ryan, and Richmond American—together reported sales of 75 units in Fairway Village in the first six months of the year.
"We are encouraged by the continued strong traffic to our new homes," said Mr. Shearer. "Certainly it will remain a challenging market for the foreseeable future, but we believe our marketing and outreach campaign continues to reach residents in many areas of suburban Washington, DC, introducing the affordability, amenities, and convenience of St. Charles to new prospects." Mr. Shearer noted that the Company is proceeding with plans to develop a new neighborhood in St. Charles' next village, Wooded Glen. The new community will consist, upon completion, of approximately 500 single family homes and townhomes. Development will begin this summer, and the first units are expected to be available for sale starting this winter.
The Company also expects to break ground on a new townhome community in the Gleneagles neighborhood this fall. The Company projects these units will be initially offered for sale at $199,000.
"We will continue to use our land planning and development process to offer new homes, townhomes, and apartments at prices that cannot be matched by our competitors," said Mr. Shearer. "Our strength is the diverse community we are building, and our ability to provide our market with lifestyle, amenities, and housing opportunities that other companies cannot match in terms of variety or cost," said Mr. Shearer. "Our ability to sharpen those advantages will be the basis of our success for our operations in the immediate future."
About The St. Charles Companies
The St. Charles Companies (www.stcharlesmd.com) includes American Community Properties Trust, The Apartments of St. Charles, American Land Development and St. Charles Community, LLC. The St. Charles Companies' lines of business include residential and commercial development of St. Charles, a 9,100 acres planned community in Charles County, Maryland and the ownership of an apartment portfolio of approximately 3,000 units, primarily in St. Charles. St. Charles is the largest population center in Charles County and is known for its diverse and abundant neighborhoods, lively retail centers, recreational opportunities and excellent schools. St. Charles is home to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Atlantic league baseball team at Regency Furniture Stadium and has several additional new construction projects underway within its boundaries, including the new St. Charles High School and a new public library. St. Charles appeals to all ages and lifestyles and was recently named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation's top bargains for places to retire and featured in The Washington Post's "Where We Live".
Federal Capital Partners (www.fcpdc.com) acquired The St. Charles Companies in December 2009 through its FCP Fund I, L.P. FCP is a real estate investment company headquartered in Georgetown in Washington, DC. Since its inception, FCP has acquired more than $2.0 billion of real estate assets and debt across all property types. Through its discretionary commingled private equity funds, FCP invests directly in core plus, value-add, opportunistic and development properties. In addition, FCP provides both equity and debt capital to real estate operating partners and is aggressively seeking office, residential (for sale and for rent), industrial and retail investments in the Mid-Atlantic markets.
Source: The St. Charles Companies