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Dodson Property Management Arms Merging With Out-of-Town Competitors

Dodson Property Management Arms Merging With Out-of-Town Competitors

As Richmond’s real estate market stays red hot, a local firm that manages thousands of Richmond-area rental units has inked deals to link up with two out-of-town players. 

Dodson Cos. announced on Thursday its plans to merge its Dodson Property Management arm with Alabama-based firm Evernest, while the Dodson Multi-Family management arm is set to become part of Orlando-based Atrium Management Co. 

The Evernest deal closes today, while the Atrium deal is scheduled to close Aug. 1, Dodson Cos. President Duke Dodson said. Terms were not disclosed. 

Dodson described the deals as mergers. He said he’s retaining minority stakes in both businesses and has a seat on both Evernest and Atrium’s boards of directors. The Dodson Property Management and Multi-Family brands will be dissolved in favor of Evernest and Atrium.

Through the second half of 2021 Dodson went on a bit of an acquisition spree, buying three property management companies in Petersburg, Leesburg and Williamsburg. The Dodson Cos. had made nearly a dozen such deals in its 15-year history. Dodson said he pursued these latest deals with Evernest and Atrium in part because it gives his companies more long-term stability.

“We’re looking at the next 10 years and trying to figure out what’s best for each of them. I think that partnering with (Evernest and Atrium) gives us a little more scale,” he said. “The Atrium and Evernest folks are long-time friends that I like and trust quite a bit.”

Dodson’s Multi-Family and Property Management has a management portfolio of over 5,100 units in the Richmond region.

The mergers will add 1,650 units to Atrium’s portfolio of about 2,300, giving it a total of 4,000 units. Evernest gains 3,500 units to give its portfolio a total of over 11,000. Atrium’s holdings are all in its home region of Central Florida, while Evernest’s cover the entire country but are primarily in the Southeast.

Dodson Co.’s development, short-term rental and commercial divisions were not part of the deals, nor was any of the real estate it owns such as the Morton’s Apartments and Atrium on Broad buildings in the Arts District. Dodson most recently acquired a mixed-use building on Hull Street in Manchester.

The 160 people on staff in Dodson’s Multi-Family and Property Management divisions are being retained and will continue to work for Atrium and Evernest. Dodson said they’ll continue working out of its local headquarters at 409 E. Main St. downtown.

Though he said he’ll continue working in a fractional role at Evernest, Dodson said the deals will free up some time for him to focus on his company’s developments such as its ongoing mixed-use project in Colonial Beach.

“I’ll have quite a bit of time to devote to the development and remaining Dodson Cos. Those remaining Dodson divisions will continue to grow and development will play a big part of that,” he said. 

(This article originally appeared in Richmond BizSense, written by Mike Platania.)

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