A planned 129-unit single-family rental project in Fort Myers — one of the first of its kind in Florida — has received construction financing from a Los Angeles-based mortgage broker.
George Smith Partners Inc. provided $26 million in debt for Soltura at the Forum, which will be part of a 706-acre master-planned community that features amenities such as restaurants and retail space along with offices, medical facilities and various types of housing.
The project is being developed by private equity firm Halstatt Real Estate Partners and Soltura Development Group, a Naples company formed by Danville Leadbetter and Arron Simon last year.
Halstatt is the investment firm for the Sproul family of Naples, descendants of Barron G. Collier, the namesake of Collier County, who also was a founding member of Interpol, the international police agency. Since its inception, Halstatt has been involved in more than $1 billion worth of real estate projects and other investments.
Soltura at the Forum will be the duo’s first project, though another four similar single-family rental projects are planned for North Port and Orlando and in Texas and Ohio.
“It is always satisfying to work on a developer’s first project and assist them in building their business, especially a team as qualified as Soltura Development,” says Evan Kinne, a George Smith senior vice president.
Soltura at the Forum, which will contain a series of one- to three-bedroom cottages with private yards and shared amenities such as a clubhouse, swimming pool, fitness center, fire pits and a dog park, is expected to be completed in phases early in 2022.
Rental rates in the 11.5-acre property are expected to range from $1,700 to $2,000 monthly. Single-family rentals are viewed as an alternative to apartments while providing flexibility and additional space in a traditional residential setting.
Bobby Sullivan, a Halstatt principal, describes single-family rentals as “an emerging asset class.”
George Smith secured the construction debt at below a 4% interest rate, based on the borrower’s equity contribution and credit worthiness.
Founded in Los Angeles in 1992, George Smith has been involved in more than $58 billion worth of real estate financings over its history.
The company places more than $3.5 billion in debt annually, according to its website.
“We feel that we are well positioned to build quickly on this early success,” Leadbetter says, in a statement.