Charlotte-based real estate investment firm Fitch Irick Partners has acquired GEM Management and has entered into a contract to acquire an affiliated portfolio of more than 190 affordable housing properties, creating one of the largest companies specializing in the development, management and ownership of affordable housing in the Southeast.
GEM Management, also based in Charlotte, provides property management services for a portfolio of approximately 8,500 multifamily units in the Carolinas, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. One of the largest affordable housing management companies in the Southeast, GEM has been in operation for 25 years, and its executive team, led by CEO Danny Ellis, will remain in place along with all current staff members. Ellis has also been appointed to the board of Fitch Irick Partners.
Melvin Melton and Timothy Gunderman, who owned GEM Management with Ellis, plan to retire.
“Mel, Tim and I have been in business for over 25 years, and it was time to start organizing for our retirement,” said Ellis. “Fitch Irick Partners helped us reach our retirement goals while allowing me to continue managing the company and working with our valued third-party clients and lenders.”
As part of the transaction, Fitch Irick Partners will also acquire the ownership interest held by the principals of GEM in more than 190 multifamily properties representing more than 6,000 units. GEM Management will continue to manage those properties as well as a third-party portfolio totaling nearly 2,500 units. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Ellis and Melton have retained a financial interest in the surviving enterprise.
“This is an exciting and transformative acquisition for Fitch Irick Partners,” said Hollis Fitch, managing principal. “GEM Management is a highly regarded property management firm that will add value for our residents and stakeholders and complements our growing development business.”
Fitch Irick Partners was formed in 2014 as an affordable housing development and investment firm. Through its development arm, Flatiron Partners, the company is currently developing 12 affordable housing projects in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia and has a pipeline of more than 1,000 units.
Fitch Irick Partners has held majority stakes in Flatiron Partners and Flatiron Holdings, an affiliated asset management firm, and recently purchased the remaining ownership interests, becoming the sole owner of both companies.