Townhome JV Targeting ‘Aging Millennials’ in Southern California

Former Irvine Co. executives will run the new BCT Development, which will focus on suburban locales

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A new joint venture is betting on continued suburban residential growth in Southern California. 

Boston-based investment firm Bain Capital Real Estate and Newport Beach, Calif.-based development company Cherry Tree Capital Partners announced plans to build rental townhome communities throughout Southern California, “with the objective of deploying several hundred million dollars of gross capital over the next several years.”

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Named BCT Development, the new joint venture will initially focus on acquiring, entitling and developing land in suburban markets and in growing neighborhoods.

Chris Marsh and Tim Stanley, who together oversaw a 22,000-unit multifamily development pipeline as executives of Irvine Company, launched Cherry Tree Capital in 2021 and will lead BCT Development.

“Aging millennials are the fastest-growing demographic in Southern California,” Stanley said in a statement. “As individuals and families continue to migrate to the suburbs, they’re faced with a lack of attainable for-sale housing and quality alternatives.”

Indeed, demand for housing in urban areas like Los Angeles has dropped while people move to more suburban areas like Orange County. As such, rents have softened in L.A. since the start of the pandemic, but not in Orange County.

“In a supply-constrained market with growing consumer demand, we believe there is a significant opportunity to develop premier townhome communities for the high concentration of households in Southern California that have been priced out of homeownership,” said Martha Kelley, managing director at Bain Capital.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.