Nashville-based real estate and investment firm Freeman Webb Co. maintained its position as a leading employer and investment opportunity amid a year of unprecedented uncertainty.
Freeman Webb actively restructured the firm’s portfolio through strategic dispositions, acquisitions, asset refinancing and corporate mergers. It enhanced the firm’s revenue and also created significantly more employment opportunities during a period of record unemployment.
“We are pleased to see that our long-standing business principles of taking care of our residents and clients and making smart business decisions for our investors continue to pay off, despite the economic instability we are all overcoming this year,” said Freeman Webb co-founder and chairman Bill Freeman. “We have seen record growth in 2020, and we are happy to be a sound investment for our business partners and investors. I am equally as proud that we have helped our residents through their individual challenges however we can and created new positions to provide employment for more employees than our company has seen in its first 40 years.”
The company followed its disposition activity in 2019, which included the sale of six properties for $75 million across Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Jackson with an active expansion during 2020. The company closed on five acquisitions in the first nine months, which totaled more than $50 million in assets and 614 units. They included:
• Tremont Apartments in Murfreesboro.
• Bluff View at Northside Apartments in Hixson.
• Innovation Flats at Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama.
• Lakeshore Crossing in Huntsville, Alabama.
• Cottages at Madison Landing in Madison, Alabama.
“Freeman Webb has maintained its position as a company that puts a great deal of research and planning into our dispositions and acquisitions,” said Kirby Davis Jr., Freeman Webb’s chief operating officer. “We work very hard to be a wise investment opportunity, but we work just as hard to remain an affordable and reliable source for our current and prospective residents.”
With the focus on growth, Freeman Webb also recently merged with Nashville-based Continental Property Management, founded in 1985 by former president and chief manager Charles Biter. The merger added 10 properties and an additional 1,020 units to Freeman Webb’s management portfolio with an expansion in company locations in Nashville, Murfreesboro and Knoxville, as well as an additional location in Mississippi.
“Freeman Webb has a well-earned reputation for honest and successful dealings and generously agreed to accept all our 31 employees,” commented Mr. Biter. “This merger will be extremely beneficial to our beloved clients and
owners, as Freeman Webb will afford better collective pricing with vendors and suppliers and will provide in- depth services such as marketing, IT services, construction and mortgage lending.”
The firm’s growth through acquisitions, mergers and third-party management has created several new employment opportunities. Freeman Webb has increased its employee figures by 11 percent in 2020, growing from 508 employees at end-of-year 2019 to a current 568 employees.
Amidst the expansion of 2020, the company has also executed a number of refinancing projects to take advantage of record low interest rates. Freeman Webb proactively refinanced six properties in the past six months, locking in 10-year, fixed interest rates at or below 2.5 percent. Combining the company’s refinanced and newly-acquired properties, Freeman Webb has completed transactions in excess of more than a quarter billion dollars in value
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The refinanced properties include:
Hillhurst Apartments in Nashville, Tennessee
Sussex Downs in Franklin, Tennessee
Colony House Apartments in Murfreesboro, Tennessee Alder Terrace Apartments in Murfreesboro, Tennessee Ashwood Cove II in Murfreesboro, Tennessee Ashwood Cove III in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The company has also increased its third-party property management footprint by adding additional properties under its purview in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; Huntsville, Alabama; Pearl, Mississippi; and Hopkinsville, Kentucky. These facilities represent seven different markets across four states and include 1,659 units collectively.
As part of their continued efforts to address the challenges facing their residents and communities, Freeman Webb has worked to provide continuity in housing for their residents through the Nashville tornadoes in April 2020 and throughout the pandemic response and shutdown orders. They have provided direct assistance to hundreds of residents seeking assistance and unemployment services in recent months, and the company also covered all costs associated with efforts to immediately source and facilitate new apartment homes for over 300 residents displaced as a result of the April tornadoes, witnessing over 100 employees volunteering to provide assistance in packing belongings, loading moving vans and setting up in their new homes.
About Freeman Webb
Freeman Webb Company is a full-service real estate investment and management firm that specializes in the acquisition, management and rehabilitation of multi-family residential and commercial properties.
Freeman Webb is proud to be one of the largest owner / operators of apartments in middle and east Tennessee, and they own and/or manage more than 12 million square feet of multi-family, office and retail space throughout the Southeast and Midwest. Freeman Webb was the 2017 Accredited Management Organization (AMO) Firm of the Year as designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the Greater Nashville Apartment Association’s Property Management Company of the Year in 2010, 2016, 2019 and 2020. The company was also voted by its employees as a Top Workplace in Nashville in The Tennessean for the past four years. Freeman Webb has a total portfolio of 15,686 multi-family units across Tennessee, Missouri and Alabama.