Partner| V-CardThomas Olson is a Partner at The Ardent Companies with a focus on debt and equity originations and innovative strategies. Prior to Ardent, Thomas was a Partner and CFO of Acadia Homes & Neighborhoods – a sister company of Ardent – where he directed the company’s financial strategies, corporate policies, risk management, and investments. Thomas has over two decades of real estate experience in leadership roles at notable firms such as Hines, Resource Real Estate Partners, and Warren-Hanks. Thomas also serves on the Board of Directors for two medical technology companies – ViveBio Scientific and Nephrogen Sciences. Thomas is an active contributor to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, specifically the “Carter Samuel Martin Developmental Therapeutics Research Fund”. Thomas is a Minnesota native, and he received a B.B.A. in Corporate Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Managing Director| V-CardScott Doksansky is a Managing Director at The Ardent Companies. Scott has over 20 years’ experience in property management, operations, and development, encompassing a variety of asset types throughout the U.S. Prior to Ardent, he worked with management companies handling distressed retail properties, office buildings, and bank-owned assets. Scott was involved in nine projects that achieved LEED certifications, and was a speaker on “green” property operations and development for BOMA International, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the International Facility Managers Association, and numerous other local and regional organizations. Scott has served on task forces formulating sustainability and asset management-related educational offerings on both BOMA International and BOMA Atlanta, and was a board member of BOMA Atlanta.
Managing Director| V-CardJonathan Dubovsky is a Managing Director at The Ardent Companies with a focus on creating value across Ardent’s existing retail platform, underwriting and acquiring of retail assets, and integrating retail into development or redevelopment projects. Prior to Ardent, Jonathan was a Managing Director at The Shopping Center Group (TSCG), where he oversaw a 20+ person leasing advisory team assigned to 27 million square feet of retail across Georgia and Florida. He has over 15 years of experience in managing a retail leasing advisory platform focused on existing and development projects that covered a large spectrum – from single tenant buildings, strip centers, neighborhood/community centers, and power centers to mixed-used projects in both urban and suburban markets. Prior to TSCG, he worked for Deloitte Consulting where he managed technology and management consulting projects for Fortune 500 companies. Jonathan received a B.B.A from the Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia and in 2000 received a Master’s Degree in Information Technology. He is a past president of YPO Atlanta and co-founder of the ChainLinks’ Retail Leasing Council. He has been published in numerous retail periodicals and has a passion for giving back to the community.
Managing Director| V-CardMichael Guynn is a Managing Director at The Ardent Companies. Michael has 29 years of varied experience in commercial project management, land development, financial analysis, and distressed property turnaround. Prior to joining The Ardent Companies, Michael served as EVP of Development for Valor Hospitality, Director of the Real Estate Group for Rialto Capital Advisors, President of Guynn Properties, Inc., and various leadership roles at Technology Park/Atlanta, Inc. Michael received a B.A. of Business Administration from Furman University and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia State University. Michael served as a past Chairman of The Council for Quality Growth, Campaign Chair for United Way Gwinnett County, and on various boards including Gwinnett County Boys & Girls Club, Dunwoody Nature Center. He also assumed numerous roles at Saint Jude the Apostle Catholic Church and Pebble Tossers, Inc.
Managing Director| V-CardScott Werbel is a Managing Director at The Ardent Companies. He is responsible for Real Estate acquisitions and originating Bridge Loans through the Ardent Financial Fund platform. Prior to Ardent, Scott was an Acquisitions Officer at RCG Ventures – a Private Retail REIT – where he managed the acquisition of shopping centers and non-performing loans collateralized by the shopping centers. Prior to RCG, Scott was Founder and Managing Principal of Impressa Group – a retail and multifamily acquisition company based in Atlanta and Chicago. Prior to Impressa, Scott was the Vice President of Acquisitions at Equity Investment Group – a private Retail REIT – where he directed an acquisition team based in Atlanta and acquired 27 retail properties. Prior to EIG, Scott was a Director of Sales at LNR – a national commercial real estate company – where he headed a disposition team which restructured, foreclosed, and sold nearly $400 million in distressed assets. Prior to LNR, Scott was an Asset Manager at Trimont Real Estate Advisors/Hatfield Philips, where he was involved with debt restructure and workouts of distressed assets. In 2019, Scott was elected to the Buckhead Community Improvement District (BCID), a nonprofit whose mission is to create and maintain a safe, accessible, and livable urban environment. Scott is also a member of the Georgia State University Real Estate Board. Scott received a B.A. in Architecture from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in Real Estate from Georgia State University.
Ricardo De Rojas
Director| V-CardRicardo De Rojas is a Director of Commercial Real Estate at The Ardent Companies. Ricardo has more than 16 years of experience working for nationally and internationally recognized development and construction management firms. Prior to Ardent, Ricardo was the Development Director at Regency Centers (formerly known as Equity One), where he was responsible for the development and redevelopment of over 1 million square feet of retail real estate within the portfolio. He is an active member of ICSC and an associate member at ULI. Ricardo received an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management, with a focus in Finance and Real Estate, and a B.S. in Engineering and M.Eng in Structural Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Director| V-CardLakeisha DePeyster is the Director of Property Management for Ardent Commercial Realty. She joined the firm in May 2015 and is responsible for overseeing the property management department in the commercial division. Lakeisha nearly 20 years’ experience in property management and has managed over 90 commercial properties throughout the southeast during her career. In addition to property management, Lakeisha has spent much of her career working in property and project management, contract negotiations, tenant relations, budgeting, and financial reporting. Prior to joining Ardent, she worked for RPAI U.S. Management, Resource Real Estate, Inland Southern, and Maxwell Properties. She is a U.S. Navy veteran as well as graduate of Columbia College with a B.S. of Business Administration. Lakeisha is also an active member of ICSC for the past 20 years.
Hugo Frewin is a Director for Ardent within the commercial asset management and Investor Relations department. Prior to joining Ardent, Hugo was Tenancy Manager for Bristol Residential – an independent residential developer – based in the UK. Prior to Bristol, Hugo was the Managing Broker for National Rental Services – the residential arm of American Invesco – which is a developer based in Chicago. Hugo has a M.A. in Real Estate Management from University West of England and a B.A. (Hons) in Leisure Management from the University of Birmingham, UK.
Director| V-CardRoss Mehlman is a Director at The Ardent Companies and Head of Multifamily Investments. He is responsible for all aspects of commercial and multifamily underwriting and has acquired or overseen the development of more than $1 billion of commercial assets since joining Ardent in 2013, including more than 2,300 apartments and over 4.5 million square feet of office, retail, and industrial space. Prior to Ardent, Ross handled underwriting and asset management for Rialto Capital, where he was responsible for the management of a $100 million portfolio of commercial and residential assets including over 770 rental homes. He underwrote portfolios of real estate assets and loans in excess of $250 million. Prior to Rialto, Ross led the acquisition team at The RADCO Companies, a multifamily investment and management company, where he focused on underwriting and acquisition of value-add apartments. He was also responsible for working with several Wall Street banks to reposition multifamily REO assets and facilitate the successful turnaround of multiple fractured condo projects simultaneously. Ross received a B.S. in Finance with a minor in Economics from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Senior Associate| V-CardPan Pan is a Senior Associate at The Ardent Companies. Her main focuses are programmatic join venture platforms and innovative strategies. Prior to Ardent, Pan worked in mergers and acquisitions at The Howard Hughes Corporation. She was responsible for sourcing and underwriting large-scale mixed-use development projects, master-planned community development opportunities, and corporate M&A. Before joining The Howard Hughes Corporation, Pan worked at Diane Hendricks’ family office which controls 11 million square feet of commercial and residential real estate across the U.S. She received a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University, and received her Bachelor’s Degree with distinction from University of Wisconsin-Madison’s real estate and finance program.
Atlanta, GAIn 2013 Ardent purchased 37,853 square feet of retail located on the ground floor of a 35-story high-rise with 443 luxury condominiums, located on Peachtree Street, in the heart of Midtown in Atlanta. At the time of acquisition, the property was 95% leased, however, through a stringent due diligence process and unparalleled access to market intelligence, Ardent anticipated the closure of the anchor tenant, accounting for 38% of current income. Ardent believed the anchor tenant was paying well below market rent and also saw an opportunity to reposition the space to enhance the tenant mix. Ardent believed curating a different tenant mix would encourage cross-shopping synergies and better support the needs of the Midtown residential and daytime populations. At the completion of the repositioning, NOI on the space grew by 55% and a single tenant was replaced by 4 nationally credited tenants better suited to serving consumer needs in the market. Additionally, the enhanced, complimentary mix of tenants improved overall sales as consumer traffic and spending grew at the property. Lastly, over the hold period, equity in the asset has grown by 3x.
Shadowood Office Park
Atlanta, GAShadowood Office Park is a 3-building, 198,000 square foot office complex in the Northwest submarket of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The property was purchased in February, 2013 from a special servicer for $8.1 million with 40% occupancy. The original underwriting projected $2.3 million in additional capital investment over a 5-year hold period, a 20.3% IRR and 1.73x equity multiple. The asset was sold at the end of 2017 for $22,324,000 at 87% occupancy, additional capital of $3.2 million and a realized IRR of 25.8% and a 2.27x equity multiple.
Atlanta, GAPiedmont Center represents an example of Ardent’s ability to execute on complex value-add commercial transactions. Acquired through a combination of off and on market from three unique ownership structures, Ardent was able to reassemble a majority of the Piedmont Center campus on a very attractive cost basis. By strategically working a business plan of capital improvements, branding, and wayfinding efforts, we have seen rental rates, occupancy, and tenant retention rise above underwritten metrics at acquisition. Long-term plans include continued execution of strategy and pursuit of additional entitlements for the campus.
Nashville, TNWe acquired 312 Broadway in October 2014 for $5M nearly $500/SF. The property was occupied by “Boots & More” western wear paying $18/SF gross on a month to month lease. At the time, this acquisition was the highest price/SF paid in Nashville. Ardent received significant negative press and criticized for being absentee landlord by overpaying for the property. During the due diligence period, we executed a lease with an Atlanta-based restaurant & bar operator “The Valentine” at $53/SF NNN rent, and the tenant invested nearly $2.5M or $250/SF to renovate the 100+ year old building. The tenant opened for business 1 year later after adding a roof top deck, which increased square footage by 2,000 SF and rental income by 20%. The Valentine was easily able to support the rent with $700+/SF sales. We sold the property in Jan 2017 for $10M, yielding a 2.4+ ROE and 40%+ IRR.
The Moran & Telegraph
Oakland, CAIn late 2015, Ardent purchased two sites in the Arts District of Oakland, California. The intent of the purchase was to entitle the land and build two separate multifamily projects – The Moran and Telegraph – to total 175 units and 7,500 sq ft of commercial space. The total budget on the project came in at $99,000,000 through a mix of debt, Ardent equity, and a partnership with UBS on an equity piece. Prior to construction on one of the sites, two historic homes had to be moved to an adjacent lot and restored to pre-move condition. The relocation and restoration of the home were completed in multiple stages to ensure preservation of their structural integrity. Construction on the site then commenced in September 2017 with substantial completion reached by July 2019. Both sites are podium construction with enclosed garage parking, using state-of-the-art car stacking systems. This parking amenity is considered a local luxury, as parking at neighboring developments are forced to use street parking or offsite parking. Units range from one to three-bedroom luxury apartments in prime Uptown Oakland locations, with stunning city views from the rooftop decks. The Oakland housing market has remained strong with expected growth approaching sooner than anticipated. The area continues to expand with many tenants capitalizing on the rent spreads between San Francisco and Oakland. With the luxury assets and the current market, project lease up is expected by February 2020 with retail space opening by June 2020.
Prager Single-Family Rentals
Atlanta GAArdent formed a Co-GP joint venture with an Atlanta-based single-family rental home operator, The Prager Group, and acquired 852 homes within the Atlanta MSA. Since the acquisition, the portfolio has been optimized through the sale of 227 homes and the stabilization of the remaining 625 homes. Subsequent to the sale, the remaining portfolio was refinanced with Freddie Mac debt, resulting in approximately 85% of the initial equity being returned to investors and locking in 10-year fixed rate financing. This investment is currently a long hold given the attractive current yield on the remaining equity. In addition, it has spurred two additional Ardent investments in the single family rental space, including another 1,700 homes.