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Exploring a recent SL Taylor investment – The Wesley

The Wesley is a 67-unit apartment complex located in Dallas, Texas, between the recently redeveloped Southwestern Medical District and Oak Lawn, near the intersection of Dallas North Tollway and Wycliff Avenue.

Sandra and Lance of SL Taylor Investments acquired, renovated, and successfully positioned the property for sale nearly two years earlier than expected.

The Situation

Built in 1967 and located in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, the 67-unit apartment complex was in need of upgrades, renovation, and financial restructuring. 

In 2020, Sandra and Lance saw an opportunity to acquire, renovate, and improve the property. The close proximity to employee-dense districts (Oak Lawn, Medical District) and its location in a gentrifying neighborhood made this an attractive investment.
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The Situation

Built in 1967 and located in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, the 67-unit apartment complex was in need of upgrades, renovation, and financial restructuring. 

In 2020, Sandra and Lance saw an opportunity to acquire, renovate, and improve the property. The close proximity to employee-dense districts (Oak Lawn, Medical District) and its location in a gentrifying neighborhood made this an attractive investment.

The Challenges

The area surrounding the Wesley was in transition and the property lacked credit tenancy, drive-up appeal, and a public identity.
The vast majority of the units remained in classic condition and the chiller, heating boiler, and water boiler for the building were all between 25 and 50 years old – leading to inefficient utility usage.
SL Taylor saw an opportunity to change those metrics, convert the all bills paid leases to tenant bill-back leases, upgrade the units and the facilities, and improve the property’s profitability.
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The Actions

SL Taylor moved quickly to renovate 48 of the 67 units – adding upgrades like plank flooring, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, paint, and updated fixtures.
 
The chiller and both boilers were replaced with current, efficient models, and the pool equipment was modernized. Through a leak detection company, SL Taylor detected and fixed three under slab leaks.

A previously unused office space was converted into an on-site workout room and the community laundry facilities were completely remodeled with all new machinery and a coinless payment system. 

To better manage the complex’s financials, SL Taylor undertook direct leasing responsibility through an on-site presence and increased prospective tenant screening thresholds to improve tenancy quality and creditworthiness.
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The Results

SL Taylor transferred all utility responsibilities (water/sewer, gas, and electric) to the tenants. The team also terminated the bulk cable contract and began to require all residents to pay for their own cable and internet. The new chillers and boilers increased utility efficiency, and water usage decreased dramatically after repairing under-slab leaks. 

Due to the value-add program, SL Taylor increased the average rental rate by $230 and net operating income from $250,000 to $444,000. The outstanding performance of this multifamily apartment project resulted in Sandra receiving an Impact Award from CREW Network (Commercial Real Estate for Women)

Through Sandra and Lance’s holistic approach, the Wesley Apartments project was able to close within a 90-day period. And while they initially expected to hold the property for 3 to 4 years, SL Taylor successfully positioned the property for a sale at 2.5 years and before the latest federal rate increases.

What's next

Currently, Sandra and Lance are focusing their attention on growing their multifamily real estate investment portfolio in the Dallas area.

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