West Shore Continues National Growth with Thirtieth Acquisition

Multifamily Property in Savannah Marks Second Addition to West Shore’s Georgia Portfolio

BOSTON, Mass., October 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — West Shore LLC, a fully integrated multifamily real estate investment firm, today announced the acquisition of Walden at Chatham Center, marking the company’s 30th acquisition. West Shore continues to grow the company’s national footprint with the addition of this 236-unit premier apartment community located in Savannah, Georgia.

In the past five months the company has acquired four properties in its key markets of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. With the acquisition of Walden at Chatham Center, West Shore now owns and operates 28 residential properties with 8,598 apartment units and over $1.35 billion in value. West Shore already owns Grand Oaks at Ogeechee River in Savannah, the city’s only apartment community with deep water access.

“We are very confident in Savannah’s long-term growth prospects and we are pleased to acquire another terrific asset in Georgia,” said West Shore Chairman Steven P. Rosenthal.

Walden at Chatham Center, conveniently located off Chatham Parkway at 100 Walden Lane, consists of fifteen residential apartment buildings and six unique one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans, including carriage houses and lofts. The property also includes a clubhouse / leasing facility, a swimming pool with waterfall, 24-hour fitness center, dog park, playground, covered car care facility, picnic areas with grills and picnic tables, storage units, and private garages. Walden at Chatham Center is centrally located minutes from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), is proximate to some of Savannah’s largest employers, and provides easy access to Savannah International Airport, historic Downtown Savannah, and the adjacent barrier islands and beaches.

“West Shore is continuing to expand our portfolio of multifamily assets with another remarkable property in Savannah,” said Lee Rosenthal, President of West Shore. “We are very excited about our acquisition of Walden at Chatham Center, where we can offer residents a high-quality lifestyle and proximity to downtown Savannah and major job centers.”

The leasing office at Walden at Chatham Center is open Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, please visit

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West Shore Continues Growth With Thirteenth Acquisition In Florida

BOSTON, June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — West Shore LLC, a fully integrated multifamily real estate investment firm, announced today the acquisition of Isla Antigua, a unique 249-unit apartment community located in St. Augustine, Florida. The addition of this asset marks West Shore’s 29th acquisition and its 13th in the state of Florida. The company’s expanding national footprint now includes 27 residential properties with 8,361 apartment units and well over $1 billion in assets under management.

“We are excited to further expand our footprint in Florida with this remarkable asset in St. Augustine,” said West Shore Chairman Steven P. Rosenthal. “The acquisition of Isla Antigua is a great example of our real estate investment strategy.”

Isla Antigua, located at 655 West Marina Cove Drive, has over 850 feet of Intracoastal Waterway frontage in St. Augustine, FL, and is the only multifamily asset built on Anastasia Island since 1984. The newly constructed community is in an ideal location with quick access to retail, entertainment, historic Downtown St. Augustine, and the city’s largest job centers. The property’s unique waterfront outdoor amenities include a resort-style pool with private cabanas, an outdoor kitchen with grilling and dining areas, a sunset beach retreat with fire pit lounges, and a private dock with a kayak launch system. The grand clubhouse features billiards, game, and media rooms, a full business center, and a professional fitness club that includes interactive cardio equipment, a yoga and spin studio, and an indoor rotating rock-climbing wall. The community’s apartments boast breathtaking waterfront views and open concept floor plans with modern kitchens, high-end finishes, oversized closets, and private balconies.

“Isla Antigua is a very valuable addition to our growing portfolio,” said Lee Rosenthal, President of West Shore. “We are proud of our expansion in Florida and we expect to continue our significant growth both in Florida and nationally as well.”

In addition to Isla Antigua, West Shore’s other multifamily properties in Florida include: Grande Oasis at Carrollwood in Tampa, Deerwood Village in Ocala, The District at Clearwater in Clearwater, The Point at Naples and Belvedere at Quail Run in Naples, Savannahs at James Landing and Veridian Townhomes in Melbourne, and Live Oaks at Killearn, 2305 at Killearn, and The Greens at Old St. Augustine in Tallahassee.

The leasing office at Isla Antigua is open Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, please visit

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West Shore Acquires Two Significant Assets In Carolinas

BOSTON, May 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — West Shore LLC, a fully integrated, multifamily real estate investment firm, has acquired two Class A multifamily communities in the Carolinas in as many weeks. With the addition of Plantation at Pleasant Ridge in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Town Center at Lake Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, West Shore now owns and manages seven properties across the Carolinas.

In the past 12 months, West Shore has acquired four properties in North and South Carolina. The company’s expanding national portfolio now includes 26 residential properties with 8,111 apartment units and well over $1 billion in assets under management.

“These properties are in proximity to several other properties that West Shore owns in the Carolinas, situating us well for future expansion in the market,” said Steven P. Rosenthal, Chairman of West Shore. “We are very optimistic about the prospect of continued growth in the Carolinas and our portfolio is well positioned to benefit from that growth.”

Plantation at Pleasant Ridge (, located at 1198 Pleasant Ridge Road in Greensboro, North Carolina, offers 288 apartment homes ranging in size from one to three bedrooms. The community has four unique floor plans complete with modern kitchens and high-end finishes such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, spacious oversized closets, and private balconies. Extensive community amenities include a zero-entry swimming pool, outdoor cabanas, a fire pit, a state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center, and a clubhouse containing a billiards room and game room. Pleasant Ridge is conveniently located minutes from Piedmont Triad International Airport, Highway 68 and I-40, and near downtown Greensboro.

Town Center at Lake Carolina (, located at 20 Helton Drive in Columbia, South Carolina, is comprised of 260 one to three-bedroom luxury apartment homes. The property features generous clubhouse space, a resort-style pool, a fitness center with yoga studio, a playground, parks and green space, and miles of walking trails. The apartment units are designed with exclusive interior features including open floor plans, high ceilings, and chef-inspired kitchens. The property is located near Lake Carolina with easy access to I-77 and I-20, and a short drive from the University of South Carolina, BlueCross Blue Shield of South Carolina, Fort Jackson, and Prisma Health.

“The Plantation at Pleasant Ridge and Town Center at Lake Carolina are both terrific properties and very valuable additions to West Shore’s portfolio,” said West Shore President Lee Rosenthal. “We look forward to much continued growth in this region for West Shore.”

In addition to The Plantation at Pleasant Ridge and Town Center at Lake Carolina, West Shore’s other multifamily properties in the Carolinas include: Ansley Falls and Aurea Station in Charlotte, NC, Arcadia’s Edge in Columbia, SC, Reserve at Mill Landing in Lexington, SC, and Riverwalk Apartments in Rock Hill, SC.

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West Shore Acquires Significant Multifamily Asset In Tampa, Florida

Grande Oasis at Carrollwood marks largest acquisition for real estate investment firm

BOSTON, Dec. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — West Shore LLC today announced it completed the acquisition of a premier 883-unit residential community in Tampa, Florida, the company’s largest single transaction in its three-year history.

Grande Oasis at Carrollwood is a well-located top-tier asset, offering residents a variety of amenities on a sprawling, 58 acre site. The transaction marks West Shore’s 26th acquisition nationwide and its 12th in Florida.

West Shore Chairman Steven P. Rosenthal describes Grande Oasis as an ideal high caliber multifamily asset the company sought for its growing portfolio, with an expected high return on investment. “Grande Oasis is truly a premier property with a superb location, high end amenities, and a solid job market,” said Rosenthal. “This deal demonstrates our ongoing success and portfolio growth over the last three years as we continue to identify and acquire high quality properties like Grande Oasis in thriving areas.”

Grande Oasis is centrally located in Tampa’s Carrollwood section, within close proximity to Tampa’s many demand drivers, amenities, and attractions including the Westshore Business District, Tampa Riverwalk, Raymond James Stadium, University of Tampa, ZooTampa, Busch Gardens, University of South Florida, and St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“Grande Oasis is a major addition to our portfolio,” said Lee Rosenthal, West Shore President. “We now own and operate 12 Florida properties and we see tremendous opportunity for continued growth in all of our Florida markets. Grande Oasis is a top-tier property in a solid market and we are especially pleased to be adding scale in the Tampa area – one of the country’s fastest growing metropolitan areas in terms of job and population growth.”

Palm trees surround the private, gated, pet-friendly, lakeside community, which was built in 1991 and renovated in 2006. Residents also have easy access to public transportation from the property. The community offers residents spacious studio, one, two, and three bedroom floor plans, designed to be customized to meet their every need. Individual units feature fully-renovated kitchens with granite countertops; upgraded plank flooring and carpeting; spacious walk-in closets; ample storage space; high ceilings; fireplaces; beautiful views of the lake, pools, and nature; high-end appliances and screened-in balconies or patios in select units. Community amenities include an activity center; three resort-style pools with spa and sundeck; new, upgraded fitness center complete with cardio room and equipment; and three lighted tennis courts. Car garages and storage units, valet trash service, car care and wash station, bike racks, 24-hour clothes care center, and on-site maintenance and management are available. The property also boasts several outdoor living enhancements including a seven-acre lake with beautiful views and two fishing docks; tranquility garden and urban vegetable garden; nature preserve with one mile walking trail; brand new playground; and picnic areas complete with barbecue grills.

West Shore owns and manages 11 additional Florida properties: Deerwood Village in Ocala; Legacy at Fort Clarke in Gainesville; Belvedere at Quail Run in Naples; The District at Clearwater in Clearwater; Savannahs at James Landing in Melbourne; Grand Oaks Apartments in Riverview; The Point at Naples in Naples; Veridian Townhomes in Melbourne; 2305 at Killearn in Tallahassee; Live Oaks at Killearn in Tallahassee; and The Greens at Old Saint Augustine in Tallahassee.

The leasing office is now open at 3516 Grand Cayman Drive, Tampa, FL 33614, Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please visit

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Lee Rosenthal
President, West Shore LLC
Age: 33
Industry experience: Nine years

A Recession-Resistant Multifamily Investment Strategy

By Steve Adams | Banker & Tradesman Staff | Nov 24, 2019

A father-and-son team with deep connections in Boston legal and real estate circles is carving out a niche in the private equity industry as a multifamily investor. Boston-based West Shore LLC specializes in acquisitions of garden-style apartment communities in markets with dramatically lower housing costs than Greater Boston – which could translate into more growth potential.

West Shore Chairman Steve Rosenthal is a former managing partner at the law firm now known as Mintz and a former CEO of developer Northland Investment Corp. His son Lee, a 33-year-old Harvard graduate, worked in acquisitions and financing at Northland before the two founded West Shore in 2016. The firm has raised three private equity funds that have acquired 24 rental properties totaling nearly 6,700 units with an estimated market value of over $1 billion.

Q: What’s West Shore’s investment strategy?

A: To acquire high-quality multifamily assets below replacement cost in certain markets. We’re a big believer in Boston, but with the returns we’re trying to hit, it was most conducive for us to explore the Sunbelt. It’s really a niche strategy: all garden-style multifamily units, and it’s proven to give us some operational advantages versus mid-rise or high-rise properties. Your expense load is lower as well.

The management responsibilities at a garden-style are different, and we manage everything we own.

We’re completely vertically integrated. We’re really fortunate to have a strong acquisition story over the past few years. I started in Florida, having great familiarity there. In my career prior to West Shore, I spend the most time in Austin, Texas and Florida, so naturally those were the first two places I gravitated toward. We thought it would be good to geographically diversity. There are nuances in every market, but also great similarities in culture and rent points. Our average price per unit across the portfolio is about $125,000 to $135,000. The rent-to-income ratios in our portfolio is quite high, which is hopefully a bullish point for the future.

Q: What percentage of your acquisitions are off-market?

A: A lot of it. It’s pounding the pavement, working local contacts in the brokerage community, having direct relationships. There’s multiple sellers where we’ve acquired two or three assets from them. I get a call before it goes out, or it may be a busted marketing process where the asset was sitting out there for several months and it didn’t transact. We often come in second or third [in bidding] and get a call back. Nine out of 10 are off-market, but we’re looking for good value. If there’s a good opportunity, we’re not afraid to go after it, but in this competitive environment, it’s important to make sure those off-market activities exist. Some of the smaller markets may be more fractured in the ownership.

Q: What demographics do you seek in a market?

A: It’s major educational and medical job growth hubs, and population growth. When I say high household income, if our average rents are roughly $1,200 and the average household income is roughly $80,000 throughout the portfolio, there’s a really healthy spread there. That’s a more than a five-to-one rent-to-income ratio and even in a recession or a bad market, everybody needs shelter. We feel pretty protected from the massive fluctuation in the overall economy in America. Everyone is talking about upside and growth, but we feel the cash flows are strong and consistent in the portfolio and the tenant is not recession-proof, but recession-resistant.

Q: How much of the latest fund has been invested so far?

A: Right now we are on West Shore fund III and getting ready to close that down, [and scheduled to acquire] a couple of assets by the end of the year. Next will be fund IV. These are niche funds, $60 million to $75 million, and six to 10 assets. And then we put that in a box and start a new fund. Nothing goes in the fund that we feel doesn’t hit our target.

Q: What’s the profile of your investors?

A: It’s really high–net worth individuals. We have a great team and longstanding relations in the community, and continue to gain traction on the fundraising side as we build that track record and show success and returns on a consistent basis. We co-invest very heavily in all our funds. The general partnership is heavily invested, so these deals have to work on their merits. We’re not in this for the fees. We’re in this to buy good real estate and watch alongside the growth, and benefit mutually.

Q: Does West Shore own any properties in jurisdictions contemplating rent control?

A: Not yet. Particularly in the Southeast, the governments in most of the portfolio would not favor that.

Q: How good is the capital markets climate for acquisitions in West Shore’s niche?

A: That is a strength of the market right now, and asset values continue to rise because of the strength of the capital markets top to bottom. It’s as good a time to borrow as ever. What’s important is to make sure we’re buying strong assets with a strong business plan. Regardless of the conditions in the capital markets, we want all of our deals to work on their merits and not be financially engineered.

Q: What’s your father’s role in the company and how has he influenced your career?

A: Steve is the chairman of West Shore and I couldn’t think of a better partner or mentor. The success of our business is our working relationship, which is completely separate from the familial connection. It really works because he’s such an excellent businessman. He’s so integral in the fundraising efforts, of course, and one of the most prodigious fundraisers I’ve ever come across. People know they can trust him and we’re going to look out for everybody’s best interests. He’s built and grown companies before significantly, and he’s a tremendous asset to consult with as we grow our own operations.

Q: Why doesn’t Greater Boston fit into your investment profile?

A: It’s interesting. There’s a lot of supply up here, and the rents in Boston versus the inner suburbs are astounding, and then you go to the outer suburbs and it’s even more astounding. There’re really three levels of rent. The conventional wisdom out on [Interstate] 495 is that deals pencil to a pricepoint that still seems to be a fraction of what you’re paying in Boston, and a fraction of what you’re paying inside  [Route] 128. The one question is overall demand: is there enough population growth and really job growth to fill another whole wave of supply, like you saw in the mid-2000s. I don’t think it’s impossible, but I’m not sure I would say with conviction there’s tremendous rent growth on 495.

Rosenthal’s Five Favorite Esoteric Lighthouses:
Assateague Lighthouse, Chincoteague, Virginia
Cockspur Island Lighthouse, Tybee Island, Georgia
St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida
Block Island North Light, Block Island, Rhode Island
Dyce Head Lighthouse, Castine, Maine

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West Shore acquires Class A luxury asset in South Carolina

BOSTON, MA, November 12, 2019 – West Shore LLC, a fully integrated, multifamily real estate investment firm, today announced the acquisition of Arcadia’s Edge, a 204-unit luxury residential community in Columbia, South Carolina. The top-tier, Class A asset, which offers residents luxurious amenities in a serene and natural setting, is West Shore’s 25th acquisition nationwide and its fifth in the Carolinas.

Arcadia’s Edge is centrally located in the state capital of Columbia, one of the fastest growing metropolitan regions in the Southeast. Columbia was recently ranked among the Top Places to Live by U.S. News & World Report and is widely regarded as one the best cities for millennials, given its thriving economy.

According to West Shore Chairman Steven P. Rosenthal, Arcadia’s Edge is a perfect example of the caliber of multifamily asset the company seeks for its portfolio; superior residential properties located in thriving markets. “Arcadia’s Edge is a unique Class A property that offers residents the best of everything—ideal location, robust economy, solid job market and luxury living,” said Rosenthal. “This deal is demonstrative of our success and growth over the last three years as we continue to identify and acquire high quality, off market properties like Arcadia’s Edge, in high-growth areas like Columbia.”

Built in 2012, the 220,000 square foot, 13-acre private community is surrounded by trees and highlighted by preserved wetlands. It was the first community in South Carolina to be certified by the National Association of Home Builders as meeting the National Green Building Standard.

Arcadia’s Edge is one of the region’s premier luxury communities, offering residents spacious one, two, and three bedroom open-concept floor plans, designed for smart living and customized to meet their every need. Individual units feature granite countertops, sleek stainless steel appliances, designer wood cabinetry, spacious walk-in closets, ample storage space, nine foot ceilings and beautifully vaulted ceilings and private patios in select units. Communal amenities include a resort style saltwater swimming pool and sundeck; poolside grilling and dining; waterfront park and fire pit; outdoor resident lounge, complete with a fireplace and media center; scenic pond; wooded walking trail; community garden; state-of-the-art fitness center; and first class clubhouse, including a cyber café and coffee bar. The property also boasts several green amenities and features including Energy Star Frigidaire appliances, Low-E glass windows, low flow water fixtures, low VOC paints, Rinnai Value tank-less gas water heaters, a natural irrigation system and sustainable landscaping.

“We are thrilled to add Arcadia’s Edge to our portfolio,” said Lee Rosenthal, West Shore President. “We now own and operate 1,429 units in the Carolinas and we see tremendous opportunity for continued growth there. Arcadia’s Edge is a top-tier, well-built property in a solid market and we are especially pleased to be adding scale in the Columbia market.”

West Shore owns and manages four additional properties in the Carolinas: Ansley Falls in Charlotte, North Carolina; Aurea Station in Charlotte, North Carolina; Reserve at Mill Landing in Lexington, South Carolina; and Riverwalk in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

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West Shore Expands Multifamily Portfolio with 261-Unit Texas Acquisition

BOSTON, MA, September 9, 2019 – West Shore LLC, a fully integrated, multifamily real estate investment firm, today announced the acquisition of Broadstone Traditions, a 261-unit residential community located in Bryan, Texas.  The acquisition marks the 24th acquisition by the Boston-based firm which, in its three year history, has already built an impressive portfolio of 6,669 units in 23 communities, and assets under management of more than $1 billion.

This is West Shore’s third major acquisition in the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area, an increasingly popular hub for young professionals, academics and recent graduates, given its close proximity to Texas A&M University. One of the region’s premier luxury communities, this asset is part of the esteemed Traditions Community, a 1,000-acre oasis of “unparalleled sophistication” located among the beautiful woodlands of central Texas, and adjacent to Lake Walk town center and just steps from the world-renowned Traditions Club.

Broadstone Traditions will be integrated into the adjacent 8085 at Traditions community; a 396-unit property in Bryan owned and operated by West Shore since 2018. The newly combined 657-unit property is West Shore’s largest multifamily asset. West Shore also owns and operates SoCo at Tower Point, a 318-unit community in College Station.

“The new 8085 at Traditions is truly a unique Class A property and is well located in the thriving Bryan-College Station area,” said West Shore Chairman Steven P. Rosenthal. “This transaction is emblematic of our success and growth over the last three years as we continue to identify and acquire high quality, off-market properties like this in high-growth areas.”

“We are excited about this acquisition as well as the tremendous prospects for future growth in the Bryan-College Station market … we now own and operate 975 units there and the economies of scale will bring great operating efficiencies and a quality-resident experience.”

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West Shore LLC Adds 230 Units to National Portfolio

Acquisition of Lexington, KY property marks 6,408 units in three years

BOSTON, MA, US, July 23, 2019 / — West Shore LLC, a fully integrated multifamily real estate investment firm, today announced the acquisition of Enclave Hartland, a 230-unit residential community located in Lexington, Kentucky. The purchase brings West Shore’s diverse and growing portfolio to a total of 6,408 units in 23 communities, with a total market value of more than $900 million in just three years.

Enclave marks West Shore’s third major acquisition in Lexington. Enclave Hartland joins two other multifamily properties in Lexington which are owned and operated by West Shore, Hamburg Farms and 1809 at Winchester.

“Lexington’s diverse economy and job growth are expected to outpace US averages over the next decade,” said Steven P. Rosenthal, Chairman of West Shore LLC. “The acquisition of Enclave Hartland is another example of our investment strategy due to its superior demographics, walkable location and connectivity, providing residents with a short commute to Lexington’s significant demand drivers.”

Conveniently located seven miles south of downtown Lexington, Enclave Hartland offers residents spacious one, two and three-bedroom apartments and top notch amenities including a swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center, cyber café, dog park and media and business conference centers. Units feature private balconies and patios, over-sized closets, sunrooms, fireplaces, spacious storage and newly remodeled kitchens.

Enclave Hartland runs adjacent to Man O’ War Boulevard and is in close proximity to New Circle Highway, the city’s inner beltway, providing residents with easy access to some of Lexington’s most popular attractions, including The University of Kentucky, Hamburg Place, The Summit at Fitz Farm and the Keeneland and Red Mile racetracks.

“Lexington is a vibrant city with a highly educated population, an emerging technology scene and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Lee E. Rosenthal, West Shore’s President. “We are excited to now own more than 700 apartment homes in Lexington.”

West Shore will manage and market Enclave Hartland. The leasing office is open at 3901 Rapid Run Drive, Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about Enclave Hartland, please visit

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West Shore Expands Presence in South Carolina

Riverwalk Apartments in Rock Hill marks fourth major acquisition in the Carolinas

BOSTON, MA, June 25, 2019 – West Shore LLC, a fully integrated multifamily real estate investment firm, today announced the acquisition of Riverwalk Apartments, a 307-unit apartment community located on 16 acres in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The purchase, West Shore’s fourth major acquisition in North and South Carolina, is part of the Riverwalk Development, a 1,008-acre, $600 million master-planned, mixed-use community offering apartment buildings, home sites and retail space strategically located along the banks of the Catawba River in York County, N.C.

“Our latest acquisition exemplifies our strategy of investing in properties in high growth locations with a strong future,” said Steven P. Rosenthal, Chairman of West Shore LLC. “Riverwalk Apartments is a high-quality asset located in a tightening rental environment with rapid economic growth occurring along the I-77 corridor.”

Riverwalk joins Aurea Station, Ansley Falls and Reserve at Mill Landing as West Shore properties in the Carolinas. Much like the others, Riverwalk offers comprehensive amenities and spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans with top-of market unit interiors and custom features in keeping with today’s selective renter profile. The community is also in walking distance to expanding retail and lifestyle amenities and was recently completed in two phases in 2016 and 2018.

“Riverwalk is supremely positioned in the nucleus of new development in York County,” said Lee E. Rosenthal, West Shore’s President. “Population growth has generated a need for continuously improving multifamily units and lifestyle amenities, and Riverwalk provides ideal access to thriving and expanding employment opportunities.”

Riverwalk Apartments will be professionally managed and marketed by West Shore LLC. The leasing office is open at 517 Moon Drive, Rock Hill, S.C., Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about Riverwalk Apartments, please visit

What Attracts Investors to the Southeast

West Shore’s Lee Rosenthal evaluates the potential of those markets and describes what makes a community appealing to Millennials and empty nesters.

Boston-based West Shore LLC has built a $750 million multifamily portfolio in the two years that have passed since the company was founded. Most of its properties are in southeastern markets, but West Shore is considering expansion to other areas as well as consolidating its presence in states with favorable tax conditions. Lee Rosenthal, president of the company, discusses the organization’s investment strategy and what modern renters look for in a community.How do you see the U.S. multifamily market today? What are the main trends in the business?

Rosenthal: The multifamily market is thriving across the country. A strong economy, continued revitalization of mid-sized cities and their surrounding close-in suburbs, as well as the ongoing growth and demographic trends in all of our markets indicate a continued upswing. In mid-sized cities that have growing high-skills jobs and employment, we are seeing great opportunities to provide the kind of rental housing that attracts and serves these workers.

So far, West Shore invested in the Southern and Southeastern markets. What can you tell us about the particularities of these regions when it comes to trends and challenges in the multifamily sector?

Rosenthal: We have had great success with the assets we have acquired in Florida, the Carolinas, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. We are likely to acquire additional assets in other fast-growing areas that have strong job growth and favorable demographic and tax conditions. Most of the new opportunities we are evaluating right now are in similar markets in the Southeast and the Southwest. These growth markets are increasingly attractive to renters, including young individuals and couples, as well as retirees looking for better weather in a comfortable setting with upgraded amenities. We’ve also seen a lot of interest from empty nesters that want to stay near their friends and communities as they downsize.

What other markets are you considering for a portfolio expansion and why?

Rosenthal: In addition to the markets where we currently own, in which we expect to expand our footprint in a meaningful way, we are actively considering investing in other markets with significant job growth, positive demographic trends and favorable tax conditions.

What makes a community appealing to Millennials?

Rosenthal: We focus on buying high quality B+/A- properties below replacement cost with significant upside. These are attractive communities that often feature gyms, tennis courts, pools and other amenities that may be in need of updating. We believe in strong, hands-on management and we make strategic investments in these properties which we know will generate increased net operating income.

We often upgrade or add amenities and update in-unit finishes with the kind of modern technology and high-end appliances that are desirable to young professionals and Millennials. Both younger renters and empty nesters want to live in modernized, attractive communities that have the appeal of a small town or village. Our management assures that the fitness center, the pool and central shared areas all provide a cohesive sense of community.

Shopping, transit, open space, bike paths, daycare and good schools, and health care are all very important for younger couples looking to create a home. Millennials are now 25 percent of the population and many of them prefer renting to buying. They’re often working in careers that require them to be flexible on location. This is a digital-centric generation. What’s needed is excellent on-site Wi-Fi, upgraded technology and a relationship centered on digital communication between tenant and management.

What are your predictions regarding the multifamily sector going forward?

Rosenthal: The prognosis for multifamily is excellent in both the short and long term in our markets. The economy continues to grow and favor high-skill jobs, particularly in cities and markets that previously were left out of prior employment booms and now have favorable tax and demographic conditions.

The pool of Millennials and empty nesters is growing in our markets. Interest rates may be going up somewhat, but they remain at historic lows. In any event, history shows that rent growth will outpace interest rate increases and any inflation. As our growing portfolio and our operating results continue to show, our strategy for multifamily investment will continue to provide predictable, sustainable cash flow along with very significant upside for our investors.

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