Friday, October 12, 2018

Atlanta’s Cortland Partners Ready to Buy European Modular Factory

Atlanta-based Cortland Partners — which owns more than 49,000 apartment homes in the U.S. and has offices in Shanghai and the U.K. — is in talks to buy a stake in an undisclosed European modular homebuilder, Cortland CEO Steven DeFrancis told the audience Wednesday during the Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference Southeast at the W Hotel – Midtown.

“We are looking at modular development,” DeFrancis said. “It is much more accepted in the U.K. than it is in the States, but we do think that's the way the world is going.”

When asked after his speech, DeFrancis said the decision on the investment is imminent.

“It's either going to happen or die in the next 10 days,” he said.

Modular construction in Europe is not a new phenomenon. But unlike in the U.S., where it is relatively uncommon and focused more on stick-framed apartment projects, modular developers in Europe use concrete and metal frame construction. Each unit is assembled in a factory, brought to the development site where a concrete core is erected and the units are stacked around it to create a residential tower, DeFrancis said.

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