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Pettinaro selects BPG to manage residential portfolio

Katie Tabeling
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Buccini/Pollin Group has signed a deal with the Pettinaro Company to manage Pettinaro’s portfolio of more than 3,000 apartment units in Delaware and Maryland.

BPG Founder Rob Buccini, left, and Pettinaro Chief Operating Officer Mike Walsh have completed a deal that will transfer management of Pettinaro’s apartment complexes under the BPG name. | PHOTO COURTESY OF BPG GROUP

WILMINGTON — Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), a leading commercial real estate developer in northern Delaware, has signed a deal with Pettinaro Management to manage Pettinaro’s vast portfolio of residential properties.

Pettinaro Companies is also a titan in Delaware commercial real estate, complete with construction, design and management arms. Its residential portfolio included 11 properties with a combined total of 3,000 apartment units in Dover, Bear, Newark, North Wilmington, Greenville and Elkton, Md. Its largest residential complex is Greenville Place, which includes three seven-story towers of garden-style apartments off Kennett Pike.

Pettinaro is not selling the assets as its business model for residential includes long-term holds. The company took apartment complex management in-house in 2013.

Greg Pettinaro, CEO of the namesake firm, told the Delaware Business Times that the company has been restructuring to better position Pettinaro Companies for future projects. At one point, he had been considering national firms to manage its residential properties.

“At the end of the day, we chose BPG because they’re local, they’re family-owned and they have a similar management style for our companies. But I think our ethics and our hearts are in the same place,” Pettinaro said. “Rob and Chris sort of fit the bill.”

Another selling point was that BPG would bring on the 58 members of the Pettinaro Management team to ResideBPG, the company’s residential property management arm. BPG will now have roughly 1,060 employees in Delaware and a little more than 3,500 across the company, according to Delaware Business Times records.

“The staff is so capable and creative with what they do,” BPG co-founder Rob Buccini said. “With a tight labor market, to get more highly trained and best-in-class people is a great win. We’ve known Greg for a while and we’ve shared data on construction issues we’ve faced and friends outside of work. So there’s also that inherent trust already there.”

The residential properties that were managed by Pettinaro stand at 99% occupancy, which also made it an attractive deal for BPG. With legacy properties like Rockwood Apartments and Greenville Place, Buccini said the portfolio stands out in a large market with less complex management issues to take on.

BPG already has an established presence as an apartment management firm primarily in Philadelphia. Roughly, the company has about 12,000 apartment units between Wilmington and the Philadelphia area, with about half under third-party management.

“Our assets tend to be more urban and are focused in Wilmington, with the exception of those on Concord Pike,” Buccini added. “It’s almost like a perfect fit because these properties are very complementary to each other. The most defining experience for our residents is our staff will maintain that same level as customer satisfaction. With a high occupancy rate, that speaks volumes. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

Looking ahead, Pettinaro and Pettinaro Chief Operating Officer Mike Walsh told DBT that the deal would also allow the company to focus on future growth instead of maintaining current assets.

“We literally just started an expansion on apartments at the Paladin Club Condominiums, and we’ll be starting multi-family residential at the Barley Mill Plaza late this summer,” Walsh said. “We’re also starting the approval process for additional units in London Grove in Pennsylvania and another 270 units planned for Rockwood.”

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