Freeman Webb successfully navigates uncertain times with a clear focus on growth through
strategic mergers, acquisitions and expanding employment opportunities with an expanded
number of newly-renovated units in Chattanooga
Company sees 11 percent employee growth and projects record annual revenue of $234.2 million in
2020—a 24.5 percent increase from 2019’s revenue of $188.1 million
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2020
(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -
Amid a year of unprecedented uncertainty, Nashville-based real estate and investment firm Freeman Webb Company has actively restructured the firm’s portfolio through strategic dispositions, acquisitions, asset refinancing and corporate mergers. This has enhanced the firm’s revenue while also creating more employment opportunities during a period of record unemployment, said officials.
“We are pleased to see that our long-standing business principles of taking care of our residents and clients and making smart business decisions for our investors continue to pay off, despite the economic instability we are all overcoming this year,” said Freeman Webb Co-founder and Chairman Bill Freeman. “We have seen record growth in 2020, and we are happy to be a sound investment for our business partners and investors. I am equally as proud that we have helped our residents through their individual challenges however we can and created new positions to provide employment for more employees than our company has seen in its first 40 years.”
The company followed their disposition activity in 2019, which included the sale of six properties for $75 million across Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Jackson, with an active expansion during 2020. The company closed on five acquisitions in the first nine months of 2020, totaling more than $50 million in assets and 614 units. These include:
Tremont Apartments in Murfreesboro, Tn.
Bluff View at Northside Apartments in Hixson, Tn.
Innovation Flats at Research Park in Huntsville, Al.
Lakeshore Crossing in Huntsville, Al.
Cottages at Madison Landing in Madison, Al.
“Freeman Webb has maintained its position as a company that puts a great deal of research and planning into our dispositions and acquisitions,” said Kirby Davis, Jr., Freeman Webb’s chief operating officer. “We work very hard to be a wise investment opportunity, but we work just as hard to remain an affordable and reliable source for our current and prospective residents.”
Maintaining growth during tough economic times is a challenge for any business, but Freeman Webb has risen to the challenge to continue their commitment to provide high-quality, reliable homes for a growing number of residents, said officials. “Freeman Webb has always planned its growth very carefully, and we are excited that Chattanooga continues to be an excellent place to grow our company,” said Julie Maynor, Freeman Webb’s regional property manager who oversees the company’s properties in Chattanooga. “Freeman Webb recently expanded our portfolio in Chattanooga, giving us a total of 398 units in this market. The new properties are now undergoing
two renovations, resulting in favorable rental growth and impressive contributions to their submarkets. Our residents are very pleased with the changes, as well as our efforts to modify COVID-related business practices to keep our residents well-informed while offering helpful resources and community activities following social distancing guidelines.”
With the focus on growth, Freeman Webb also recently merged with Nashville-based Continental Property Management, founded in 1985 by former President and Chief Manager Charles Biter. This merger adds 10 properties and an additional 1,020 units to Freeman Webb’s management portfolio with an expansion in company locations in Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Knoxville, as well as an additional location in Mississippi.
“Freeman Webb has a well-earned reputation for honest and successful dealings and generously agreed to accept all our 31 employees,” said Mr. Biter. “This merger will be extremely beneficial to our beloved clients and owners, as Freeman Webb will afford better collective pricing with vendors and suppliers and will provide indepth services such as marketing, IT services, construction and mortgage lending.”
The firm’s growth through acquisitions, mergers and third-party management has created several new employment opportunities. Freeman Webb has increased its employee figures by 11 percent in 2020, growing from 508 employees at end-of-year 2019 to a current 568 employees.
Amidst the expansion of 2020, the company has also executed a number of refinancing projects to take advantage of record low interest rates. Freeman Webb proactively refinanced six properties in the past six months, locking in 10-year, fixed interest rates at or below 2.5 percent. Combining the company’s refinanced and newly-acquired properties, Freeman Webb has completed transactions in excess of more than a quarter billion dollars in value during 2020. The refinanced properties include:
Hillhurst Apartments in Nashville, Tn.
Sussex Downs in Franklin, Tn.
Colony House Apartments in Murfreesboro, Tn.
Alder Terrace Apartments in Murfreesboro, Tn.
Ashwood Cove II in Murfreesboro, Tn.
Ashwood Cove III in Murfreesboro, Tn.
The company has also increased its third-party property management footprint by adding additional properties under its purview in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga and Knoxville; Huntsville, Al.; Pearl, Ms.; and Hopkinsville, Ky. These facilities represent seven different markets across four states and include 1,659 units collectively.
As part of their continued efforts to address the challenges facing their residents and communities, Freeman Webb has worked to provide continuity in housing for their residents through the Nashville tornadoes in March 2020 and throughout the pandemic response and shutdown orders. They have provided direct assistance to hundreds of residents seeking assistance and unemployment services in recent months, and the company also covered all costs associated with efforts to immediately source and facilitate new apartment homes for over 300 residents displaced
as a result of the March tornadoes, witnessing over 100 employees volunteering to provide assistance in packing belongings, loading moving vans and setting up in their new homes.