Creating Value

Hathaway Development
Written by Pauline Müller

Tier 2 real estate developer Hathaway Development is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and its signature no-fear approach to risk has defined its thirty-five successful years in the property industry. With over 12,000 multi-family units worth close to a billion dollars in its portfolio, Hathaway Development is a powerhouse of focused activity.

The company was founded by David Hathaway in 1988, and since then, has transformed from Hathaway Development Company Inc. (HDC) into Hathaway Development. Today, it has several sister companies, including Hathaway Construction Services Inc. (HCS); Provence Real Estate, LLC (Provence), focused on property and asset management; and Lynx Capital, its private equity fund established in partnership with Andrew Rosenberg.

David Hathaway’s three children are integral to the company’s success today. Daughter, Anna Hathaway Browning, development associate, is joined by her two older brothers, Daniel Hathaway, owner of Hathaway Construction Services and partner at Hathaway Development as well as Lynx Capital; and Nick Hathaway, partner and director of development. Nick kindly took a moment out of his busy schedule to share some of the firm’s latest news with us.

“We have come a long way. We try to step up and stay with the crowd,” says Hathaway. For this company, real luxury lies in a combination of intelligent design and high-quality finishes. The team aims to add value at every opportunity, and to achieve this, the company has worked with key architects for decades. These include Atlanta’s Dynamik Design Partners and Fred Pucciano’s Studio for Housing Design, LLC.

Hathaway Development works throughout the southern states from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee to as far as Texas.

Despite market fluctuations, the team is as busy as ever, with an impressive number of projects currently underway. “About ten years ago, we were running about three projects a year for our internal GC, Hathaway Construction Services, [alongside] a couple of general contractor jobs done as a third party. Now, we have nine projects going, and each project usually has a unit count of about three hundred, give or take ten units,” Hathaway says.

Six projects are also lined up for the upcoming year, and it is clear that business is looking rosy for Hathaway Development. That is, in a big way, thanks to Lynx Capital as the real estate investment fund allows Hathaway Development to continuously expand its presence, delivering property development and construction across an ever-growing geographic region.

The company knows that just because an area is not currently desirable does not mean that it won’t be in the future. As such, it does a lot of work around Orlando, Florida, due to changing real estate markets and population growth in this area. The approach has stood it in good stead, bringing in lucrative opportunities it would otherwise have forfeited.

In 2021, Hathaway Development broke ground on a luxury apartment community in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Raleigh Exchange Apartments comprises 305 apartments across a mixture of three four-story buildings on a 13.74-acre property.

“This development features our first integrated clubhouse. It was a long process—it is coming out of the ground, it is vertical—and it will open soon. It is one of our finer products,” says Hathaway. The design was in the capable hands of Dynamik Design Partners.

Another recent project, Coastal Exchange Apartments, has just been completed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This premium luxury three-hundred-unit development promises to dazzle with decadent kitchen and bathroom designs, nine-foot ceilings, walk-in closets, generous balconies, and several wrap-around patios. There is a clubhouse, an impressive fitness center, electric vehicle charging docks, an outdoor entertainment space topped off with a resort-style pool, and much more. Another positive is its easy access to the SR-17, only half a mile away.

The Hathaway family has trailblazing in its blood. That is clear in the trajectory David Hathaway’s career took when he exchanged his flourishing banking career for real estate. Hathaway, Senior went from developing single-family homes in Macon, Georgia to erecting multi-family developments across the American Southeast. The recession of the nineties led to the establishment of Hathaway Development.

Hathaway Development Company became the hold-all for its multi-family developments. Following this, he introduced additional service and supply firms under the HDC label to stimulate growth and more opportunity. As the Hathaway children joined the company, expansion opportunities multiplied, and the world became their oyster.

As Hathaway Development recovered from the economic storm of the early nineties, the company turned its focus to in-house deals, building equity, and reinvesting. Anna joined her brothers in 2018. Prior to joining the family in business, however, Anna Hathaway practiced commercial real estate law as an associate attorney at a reputable firm in Atlanta. Today, she handles the legal side of all its commercial and investment dealings. Anna is also the liaison between the company and its investors.

Its central team is comparatively small, especially considering the enormous volume of work it completes and the success it achieves every year. Apart from the immediate Hathaway family, there is also Chief Operating Officer Thomas Gunter, Director of Development and Acquisitions John Spivey, Director of Finance and Portfolio Management Chris Galle, Development Associate Marzena Demko, Development Coordinator Jack Shelton, and the latest addition to the team, Development Associate Patrick Silvia. Although this group is small, its overall workforce is around three hundred strong.

On its building sites in the field, safety is paramount. All relevant team members must complete a compulsory ten-hour OSHA safety training qualification offered in English and Spanish.

Together, the company packs a mighty punch, regardless of circumstances, including COVID-19 and the problems that followed in its wake. Through supply chain issues, labor shortages, price hikes, and the rest, the team has come out on top, consistently adding value to everything it touches. “Most of us have been through this once; it [market downturn] is not new. Enough people know what to expect. At least everybody knows what the worst-case scenario looks like. I do not think it will ever be that bad again,” Hathaway says.

Discussing upcoming industry trends, Hathaway points out a possible shift in lending. “I think the brokerage will have to work a lot harder as far as trying to get the sellers’ side to where expectations are and balancing the buyers’ side, too. I also think we are going back to longer due diligence and permitting periods for land acquisitions and funding,” he says. He points out that, in coming months, development estimations and projections are bound to start leaning more toward the conservative rather than the overly optimistic but he is not concerned. “We will welcome it as it comes and take it in our stride,” he says with a smile.

Looking at the map of the company’s coverage and its growth, one can see that Hathaway Development has Raleigh, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando firmly in its aim. These areas have seen unprecedented growth in new construction, with a record number of large projects exceeding 140 million dollars. While the construction market did take an ever-so-slight dip in 2022, it is predicted to hit over seven billion dollars in fresh builds in 2023. Naturally, such growth will make for a fertile investment landscape in the New Year, a situation that Hathaway Development has a keen eye for.

As the lending market shifts, Hathaway foresees the company moving toward more strategic markets. Having weathered many economic troughs and crests in its time, the company takes such trends as part of the package, adapting and rolling with the changes.

“Currently, the focus is a little bit tighter; we are going to do what we can to get through the next year as far as putting products out goes. Quality projects to markets where we know they will work,” Hathaway says. Whether times call for conservative asset management, fearless forward motion, or both, the company is ready.

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