In late 2010, Bridge Partners purchased the non-performing note secured by West Run Apartments. The developer had built the property at the peak of the market assuming rents that were never achieved. Burdened by the heavy debt load, the developer could not make the required debt payments. The bank had tried to sell the note previously, but an uncooperative borrower meant that the bank had no property-level information to provide, including any information related to occupancy. The bank was motivated to sell the note before the end of the year. The lack of information and the quick time-frame required by the bank reduced competition. Leveraging its operational experience and ability to mobilize, Bridge Partners was able to complete the acquisition of the note in two weeks, closing the transaction just before Christmas. Following the note acquisition, Bridge Partners negotiated a friendly foreclosure to acquire the property.
West Run Apartments is a purpose-built student housing property offering a by-the-bed lease structure to students attending West Virginia University. The 994 bed property is well positioned within the market to take advantage of the 30,000 student population. Bridge Partners hired a student housing third-party management company and invested over $800,000 to upgrade the amenity package. Bridge Partners turned the operations around within one leasing season, improving the occupancy from 85% to 97%, while increasing rents.