Apartment industry icon Marvy Finger sells 20 properties in $2 billion transaction

Written by MLHA Team

November 23, 2021

Marvy Finger, founder, president and chief executive officer of Finger Cos., rarely sells the apartments he develops. Finger Cos. is selling 20 garden and mid-rise assets from its national holdings to a venture led by Greystar.

The Finger Cos., a Houston-based apartment developer and operator founded by Marvy Finger in 1958, said Tuesday it will sell 20 properties from its national portfolio for $2 billion.

The sale, to a venture led by the international real estate company Greystar, is expected to close in December. As part of the deal, the Greystar venture will keep Finger’s on-site employees. The locations and number of units were not disclosed, but represent roughly half of the Finger Cos. portfolio.

The deal results from strong global demand to invest in apartments, which have fared better than office and retail properties, during the pandemic, according to Finger. Investors spent $134.9 billion on apartments in the United States in the first eight months of 2021 through August, nearly double the amount invested during same period in 2020, according to Real Capital Analytics.

“I did not go knocking on doors to sell,” said Finger, the company’s CEO. “It’s a moment in time where values went up 40, 50 percent or greater in a very short period of time.”

Finger, 85, is known for holding onto most of the properties he develops since opening Colony Oaks, a 317-unit complex on Chimney Rock in Houston in 1959. His formula includes building in prime neighborhoods — what he calls “Main and Main locations” — that attract residents, even during downturns. These are areas with close easy access to stores, services and amenities.

“The fundamentals today are no different than they were early on when I started. I didn’t know the word ‘walkability’ early on,” Finger said. “But I can say I have more apartments that are within one to two blocks of a major food market, and I know that’s one thing that truly creates the beehive.”

A JLL Capital Markets investment sales advisory team led by Scott Galloway and Dustin Selzer in Houston and Roberto Casas in Dallas is representing Finger in the transaction. The sale includes garden and mid-rise apartment complexes.

“Marvy is one of the true icons of the multi-housing industry,” Scott Galloway, executive managing director of JLL Capital Markets, said in a statement. “These assets not only come with prime locations, but they also come with the highest quality product offerings and the best management team in the business. They perfectly complement Greystar’s national portfolio.”

Greystar, based in Charleston, S.C., manages more than 748,000 units in the U.S. alone and has $45.1 billion of assets under management.

katherine.feser@chron.com

twitter.com/kfeser

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