Partner| V-CardThomas Olson is a Partner at The Ardent Companies. Thomas focuses 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 Bachelor of Business Administration in Corporate Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Managing Director| V-CardRichard Benson is a Managing Director at The Ardent Companies in the London office. He is responsible for deal origination, capital raising, and asset management for the UK operations. As a qualified lawyer, prior to joining Ardent In January 2021, Richard was Deputy Head of Legal at the Battersea Power Station regeneration project in London where he oversaw the legal functions. In addition to his legal role, Richard was also part of the Development and Leasing teams where he was responsible for managing and delivering all major commercial transactional work at the project including the landmark lease to Apple of 500,000 square feet of office space as well as the £1.6 billion ownership restructuring and refinance of the Grade II* listed Power Station. Prior to Battersea Power Station, Richard trained and worked at major UK law firms Mishcon de Reya, Nabarro LLP (now CMS LLP), and Dentons. Richard holds an LLB (hons) in Law and French from Nottingham Trent University and gained his LPC from BPP Law School.
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 joining Ardent in January 2013, Scott 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. Jonathan focuses 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 joining Ardent in October 2018, 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. He is a past President of YPO Atlanta and co-founder of the ChainLinks’ Retail Leasing Council. Jonathan has been published in numerous retail periodicals and has a passion for giving back to the community. Jonathan received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia and received a Master of Science in Information Technology.
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 Ardent in January 2016, 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 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. Michael received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Furman University and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia State University.
Managing Director| V-CardAndrew Hilston is a of Managing Director at The Ardent Companies in the London office. He will be responsible for deal origination, development, marketing and asset performance for the UK operations. Andrew is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is also a RTPI Chartered Town Planner. Andrew has 20 years of client-side property experience at UK FTSE 100 REITs Landsec and Hammerson, as well as Brookfield and most recently at the sovereign wealth backed Battersea Power Station Development Company. Prior to joining Ardent in January 2021, Andrew worked across Retail, Office, and Residential asset classes, with projects and transactions such as the mixed used Christ’s Lane in Cambridge, West Quay Shopping Centre in Southampton (winner of the Prix Versailles architectural medal), Victoria Gate in Leeds (winner of Best Shopping Centre at MIPIM Awards), the Norman Foster designed Principal Place Office Building (pre let to Amazon), the disposal of a prime central London £520m office portfolio, as well as strategic land acquisitions and joint venture partnerships. Andrew has a BSc (Hons) in Land Management and Development and MSc in Property Development from University of Reading.
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 joining Ardent in July 2014, 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 Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Virginia Tech and an Master of Science in Real Estate from Georgia State University.
Ricardo De Rojas
Executive Director| V-CardRicardo De Rojas is a Director 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 joining Ardent in April 2018, 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 a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ricardo also received a Master of Business Administration from Yale School of Management with a focus in Finance and Real Estate.
Executive Director| V-CardJay Douglas is the Executive Director of Development for The Ardent Companies. Prior to joining Ardent in March of 2022, Jay was the Senior Vice President of Development for SJC Ventures in Atlanta. Jay has experience in all aspects of the development of retail and mixed-use projects – including acquisition, land planning, zoning and entitlements, leasing, and project management. Jay received his juris doctor from Duke University School of Law, and has a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University.
Executive Director| V-Card
Hugo Frewin is a Director at The Ardent Companies. Hugo works within the commercial asset management and Investor Relations department. Prior to joining Ardent in July 2014, 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 received a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Management from the University of Birmingham, UK and a Master of Arts in Real Estate Management from University West of England, UK.
Executive Director| V-CardRoss Mehlman is a Director at The Ardent Companies. Ross serves as the 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 joining Ardent in August 2013, 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 Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in Economics from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Executive Director| V-CardBen Pargman is an Executive Director for The Ardent Companies. Ben started his real estate career at Troutman Sanders LLP as a commercial real estate attorney with a focus in development. The majority of his work as an attorney involved land acquisition and development for Chick-fil-A. Most recently, Ben led the Investment Sales Team at Joel & Granot Real Estate LLC where he focused on retail shopping center sales. Notable transactions include the assemblage and land acquisition for the 725 Ponce office tower and Beltline Kroger, and the land assemblage, rezoning, and annexation of the Toll Brother’s/Publix anchored Sam’s Crossing Village in Decatur. Ben attended the University of Florida for his undergraduate and law degrees. He lives in Sandy Springs and has three sons, and he enjoys coaching baseball and hiking along the Chattahoochee with his dog.
Associate| V-CardEliot Doub is an Associate at The Ardent Companies. Eliot graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. His career began managing retail construction builds, which led him to move to DC to manage multifamily, office, school, and historic builds. His goal has always been to find success in real estate development. Outside of work, he enjoys playing tennis and soccer and also frequenting concerts.
Associate| V-CardDavis Vanier is an Associate at The Ardent Companies. Davis earned a Master of Real Estate Development from The University of Arizona and his Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Alabama. After an internship with Larsen Baker – a development company in Tucson – Davis joined Joel & Granot as an investment sales associate. He played four years of varsity D1 Baseball at the University of Alabama and one year at Arizona. He is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Riverwood High School. He enjoys coaching baseball and fostering dogs.
Administrator| V-CardJasmine Walker is the Commercial Real Estate Administrator at The Ardent Companies. Jasmine executes day-to-day operations and plans and organizes procedures for the CRE team. Jasmine is responsible for liaising with third-party vendors and assisting with the financial performance of a diverse group of commercial assets. Prior to joining Ardent in October 2020, Jasmine earned over nine years of experience managing transactions and business for CRE groups. Her career began in property management, assisting in both retail and commercial office buildings management. Previously, Jasmine was a Real Estate Coordinator for the Huddle House/Perkins brand where she provided strategic analysis on potential site locations and performed financial analysis aimed at site approvals from the board. Jasmine also managed construction projects for the development of new restaurant site locations to ensure successful and timely completion of restaurant buildouts. Jasmine is a member of the Project Management Institute with PMI certification and is licensed to sell real estate in Georgia. Jasmine was awarded an MBA degree from Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson School of Business and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing from Clayton State University.
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.
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.