Atlanta investment firm has $200M to spend on distressed assets 

ANiMAL launched a year ago and has acquired properties in West Midtown

Atlanta Firm ANiMAL Has $200M to Spend on Distressed Assets
ANiMAL's Max Cookes and Alex Hay (ANiMAL, Getty)

A year-old Atlanta investment firm is locked and loaded with gobs of cash, ready to go on a “serious buying spree.”

ANiMAL, founded by Max Cookes and Alex Hay, has $200 million to invest and will primarily target assets across the Southeast, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported

The firm has already acquired the former Atlanta Humane Society property, at 981 Howell Mill Road Northwest, and a neighboring city block, in the West Midtown area. Once a dilapidated industrial district, West Midtown has been transformed into a trendy, walkable neighborhood with tech hubs, restaurants and nightlife.

Cookes called the neighborhood “the strongest market in Atlanta” with a “cool factor.”

ANiMAL is eyeing urban and suburban development sites in cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Dallas. Having deployed over $100 million, the firm is positioned to capitalize on distress in commercial real estate in the next year and a half.

Distress has become increasingly apparent in Atlanta, where commercial real estate sales volume has plummeted by at least 50 percent. Despite this trend, Atlanta remains an attractive investment target, ranking relatively high in multifamily and retail sales volume.

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ANiMAL’s strategy involves scouting for urban infill sites, including aging office buildings, hotels, malls and parking decks. The firm is also exploring large suburban tracts for mixed-use projects or residential subdivisions. 

The firm possesses a medium-term investment perspective, holding properties for two to eight years. 

Separately, another Atlanta-based firm, Noble Investment Group, is poised to invest heavily in distressed hotels across the Sun Belt after closing a $1 billion real estate fund. 

—Quinn Donoghue 

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