Miami-based property developer Landmark Companies is aiming to significantly grow its portfolio this year despite the uncertain borrowing environment.
The multifamily-focused firm targets the Sunbelt states, namely Texas and Florida, and typically works on deals around $70 million.
“We like Central Florida, and in Texas our focus is Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. We think these are the strongest markets in the country at the moment [for multifamily],” Julia Baytler, principal and CEO, told Real Estate Capital USA. “We always look for sites or land in growth markets and for value-add opportunities.”
The firm has a 20-person team in Florida with smaller teams working out of Dallas, Minneapolis and New York. It works solely on ground-up deals.
“Real estate has always attracted me. It’s very exciting to take something through the inception to the end,” said Baytler. “Because of our ground-up development [strategy], we see everything from A to Z. You take this piece of raw land, then you go through the entitlement process where there’s so many different moving components, but then you really see something go from ground to vertical, which is pretty incredible.”
The firm currently has a 7,500-unit portfolio and plans to increase this number to 20,000. It hopes to do this through a mix of on- and off-market deals, working with new and existing brokers and lenders.
Funding its developments in the current environment, however, isn’t always plain sailing.
“Both equity and debt are hard,” noted Baytler. “But we have excellent lenders and JV partners so we are getting [deals] done. We are always in search for more.”
Baytler is hopeful about the months ahead.
“We hope we get out of the cycle relatively soon and hopefully 2024 looks a lot more optimistic for us.”
Attention to detail
The women-led company is headed by Baytler, one of the very few women in the state of Florida with a high-caliber GC license. She has expertise in garden style apartments complexes as well as high-rise multifamily properties.
Being female owned gives them a unique approach to their projects, Baytler said.
“Instead of the traditional male perspective, which is cashflow, cashflow, cashflow, there is more of a human aspect to it. Women generally are more detail-oriented and, given my legal background as well, we certainly like to add that female touch and attention to detail to our projects.”