Mountain raids Synovus Bank for $110m residential portfolio

Mountain Real Estate Capital, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based equity investment arm of the Mountain Real Estate Group, has purchased a portfolio of 135 residential assets from Synovus Bank, the regional bank.

Charlotte-based Mountain Real Estate Capital has purchased a portfolio of residential assets in Georgia from Synovus Bank, the regional US bank.

The firm, headed by chief executive officer Peter Fioretti, said the portfolio comprising an estimated 1,300 acres and more than 1,500 home sites, was previously valued at $110 million. It said it planned to sell a portion of the portfolio to homebuilders but will also seek to build homes itself through joint ventures with homebuilders with which it has existing relationships.

The firm has previously completed investments in non-performing loans but said its relationship with lenders had enabled it to access actual real estate also. MREC invests equity on behalf of its Distressed Real Estate Opportunity Fund which it said has more than $1 billion available for investments.

Arthur Nevid, chief investment officer at MREC said: “We had successfully acquired portfolios in Georgia and Florida during the first quarter, so with this additional portfolio in Georgia and others we are currently underwriting in North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and more in Florida, we continue to meet our fund’s investment goals.”

 “While most of what we have bought has been composed of residential lots that we will either sell on a retail basis to merchant builders or develop through joint ventures with qualified builder partners, we are now expanding our underwriting and asset management platform to all commercial real estate types.”

Nevin added the firm would close on “multiple” bank NPL and REO portfolios this year as “banks now have sufficient reserves set aside to close on these types of transactions.” In addition, he said the firm would seek to buy real estate portfolios from banks needing additional equity to meet their Tier 1 capital requirements.