ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EJF Capital LLC (“EJF”) (www.ejfcap.com) and Toll Brothers, Inc, (NYSE: TOL) (www.tollbrothers.com) through its Toll Brothers Apartment Living (“TBAL”) division, today announced the formation of a joint venture to develop the Rafferty (the “Project”), a two-building, 218-unit multifamily community in the Santa Ana neighborhood of Orange County, CA. The development is located in an area certified as a Qualified Opportunity Zone under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”), which offers investors potential tax benefits to invest into Qualified Opportunity Zones with the aim of spurring economic growth.
The Project, expected to break ground in November 2021, is a joint venture between EJF OpZone Fund I LP and TBAL. The Project’s two land parcels, totaling approximately 1.44 acres, will be developed into two mixed-used buildings with 218 multifamily units and 12,350 square feet of ground floor retail. A portion of the units are dedicated affordable housing at 50% of Area Median Income. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2024.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with Toll Brothers on a project that has such compelling economic underpinnings,” said EJF Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive, Neal Wilson. “To date, the evolution of downtown Santa Ana has focused mainly on office and retail development, creating an opportunity to develop a Class A multifamily asset that will benefit from both a sizable employee presence and the emergence of downtown as a dynamic retail, restaurant, and entertainment hub. The expected growth of downtown Santa Ana makes the Rafferty a great location for a growing community.”
Charles Elliott, President of Toll Brothers Apartment Living, said “Santa Ana is booming, and its ideal location, proximity to major transportation networks, and demographics point to a community that is in growth mode. We are excited for Rafferty to fill an important need for multifamily housing in this vibrant neighborhood.”
The EJF/TBAL partnership capitalizes on several market trends that will add value to the development. From 2014 through 2020, Orange County has delivered an average of 3,361 units per year, while annual net absorption has averaged 3,601 units, outpacing deliveries. Despite the addition of more than 23,600 new multifamily units since 2014, occupancy rates have increased from 95.2% to 97.6% as of the second quarter 2021. Additionally, downtown Santa Ana has a substantial employment node anchored by the Orange County Civic Center, which employs 15,000, as well as state and federal offices including the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and United States Courthouse.
“Santa Ana is in the middle of an incredibly dynamic county, yet the majority of its residents commute to jobs outside the area,” concluded Asheel Shah, EJF’s Senior Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Development. “We believe this combined imbalance is driven in part by the lack of new multifamily housing opportunities in downtown Santa Ana, and that Rafferty is well-positioned to capture unmet demand for multifamily living in this community.”
About EJF Capital
EJF Capital LLC is a global alternative asset management firm headquartered outside of Washington, D.C. As of June 30, 2021, EJF manages approximately $6.0 billion across a diverse group of alternative asset strategies. The firm was founded in 2005 by Manny Friedman and Neal Wilson. Since inception, EJF has focused on regulatory event-driven investment themes including its strategy to invest in Qualified Opportunity Zones.
Toll Brothers Apartment Living is the apartment development division of Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE: TOL). Toll Brothers Apartment Living is bringing the same quality, value, and service familiar to luxury home buyers throughout the country to upscale rental communities in select markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, DC. Toll Brothers Apartment Living was ranked 11th largest apartment developer in the U.S. in 2020 by the National Multi-Family Housing Council. The firm has developed more than 7,900 units, has more 5,300 units under management and controls a national pipeline of more than 14,800 units. Toll Brothers Apartment Living communities combine the energy of vibrant locations with unparalleled amenities, resident services, design, and the expertise of the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes. For more information visit TollBrothersApartmentLiving.com.