Deal turns a vacant lot into a style of housing not seen in Jacksonville in more than 100 years
As founder and president of JWB Real Estate Capital, Alex Sifakis considers turning blighted property into valuable community assets to be the best part of his job. When he saw a vacant, distressed 1-acre parcel at the edge of Historic Riverside, one of the hottest neighborhoods in Jacksonville, Florida, he knew there was an opportunity to be had.
Fast forward almost three years, and the Courtyard on College is poised to be the first “courtyard homes”-style project developed in Jacksonville in more than 100 years. JWB purchased the property in 2016. In late 2018, JWB received approval from the Historic Planning Commission and is now in the middle of permitting the courtyard-style single-family home project with the city of Jacksonville.
The project consists of 19 36-by-62.5 lots surrounding a “linear park” that serves as the yard for the homes. Another 36-by-62.5 lot is reserved as park space.
JWB uses individual private lenders to finance its projects. Sifakis went to one of his long-term lenders, Steve Kowkabany, to finance the project. The land was being purchased for $315,000, with the entitlement costs expected to be about $150,000. Kowkabany (and a few others) lent $387,000 on the property, on a 3-year note, at 10% interest.
The target buyer for the homes are young professionals looking for a great, walkable neighborhood and a sense of community. Homes are expected to be priced in the mid to high $300,000-range.
After permitting, JWB plans to sell the project to another builder/developer, who will complete the project. The sale price of the entitled, permitted land is expected to be $900,000-$1,100,000.
Solutions & Outcome
JWB has been paying annual interest payments on the loan for the past few years. With land and home values rising, in addition to the value created from the entitlements, Kowkabany and others are sitting in a very favorable LTV position and have been very happy with their returns! ∞