Empire Communities Announces New Rental Housing Division

Empire Communities has announced the company’s expansion into rental housing with the formation of Empire Rental Living, a vertically-integrated developer, builder, and operator of built-for-rent single-family and multi-family rental communities.

As part of this expansion, Empire Communities appointed Cole Young and Donald Povieng as the new leadership team to head North American operations for Empire Rental Living.

Povieng has deep expertise in the real estate industry and most recently served as President, Southern California at Encore Capital Management, a real estate private equity firm where he led land acquisitions and homebuilding operations on for-sale and rental housing communities. Povieng’s previous real estate experience included senior management roles at KB Home and Pulte Group where he oversaw teams responsible for land acquisition, entitlements, purchasing, development, and construction. Povieng earned a Bachelor of Science in Management Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego, as well as a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California. Povieng is also a licensed general engineering contractor, general building contractor, and real estate broker.

Young has significant real estate experience, most recently dividing his time as a Vice President at Builder Advisor Group, an investment bank focused on homebuilders and developers, where he led mergers and acquisitions and capital raises, and Encore Capital Management, where he was actively involved in sourcing, underwriting, and asset management of residential projects. Young’s previous experience included stints at J.P. Morgan and other banking institutions, where he advised on transactions with an aggregate deal value in excess of $4 billion. Young graduated from Tulane University with a Master of Finance and received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.

“With increasing supply and affordability challenges throughout the North American residential sector, we believe the diversification of our business into the rental market led by Cole and Donald will provide opportunities to expand our customer base,” says Tim Royds, COO of Empire Communities.

Empire Rental Living’s first community will launch in the second quarter of 2021 in Toronto. Following this launch will be an extensive pipeline of strategically segmented housing types that include single-family attached and detached homes, horizontal apartments, and multi-family mid-rise buildings.

Single-family projects currently under development include a 102-unit townhome community on the southside of Atlanta, GA, 300 single-family homes in Austin, TX, and over 1,300 townhomes, stacked flats, and single-family homes in Ontario, Canada. Another 357 horizontal apartment units are planned for Houston and Austin, TX, with 900 multi-family units in construction or planning in Atlanta, GA and Toronto, ON.

“Empire Communities’ exemplary history of building quality and diverse housing typologies allows Empire Rental Living to target the hyper-localized needs of our residents at every stage of life with wide-ranging affordability options and flexible home designs,” says Povieng.

Empire Rental Living is also working on partnerships with North American masterplan developers that will add additional markets and another 2,000 homes to Empire Rental Living’s portfolio.

“Long-term, trusted partners are the most important part of this business. By aligning ourselves with teams and people that have similar visions and values, we are creating a runway for growth far out into the future,” says Young.

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