In between developing office and apartment properties in Richmond, Va., in recent years, Yogi Singh and his crew were quietly amassing a sizable portfolio of real estate of a different sort, according to Richmond BizSense.
The group, based on Monument Avenue not far from the newly built apartment property it quickly sold last year for $5 million, has begun to focus more heavily on so-called land lease properties: those that house small lots for RVs, campers and manufactured vacation homes, as well as traditional mobile home parks.
And they’ve ramped up those efforts closer to home in the last year, acquiring waterfront RV parks and vacation spots in Charles City and Smith Mountain Lake.
It’s part of a nearly $50 million overall investment strategy of acquisition and development to revamp and modernize the properties and streamline their operations.
Singh said the plan is aimed at capitalizing on what his group sees as “the emerging trends within the industry of tiny homes, camping and glamping, and renovating RVs.”
“We’ve had some great luck with deals in Richmond but the land lease space is something we’re focused on,” Singh said. “We’ve bought almost 1,000 sites in the RV sector over the last 12 months. It’s a sector that we think has a lot of interesting tailwinds behind it.”
The group now owns a dozen such properties in four states. Its most recent investment and most involved undertaking is at the former Blue Heron Marina and Resort, which sits on the Chickahominy River in Charles City.
They acquired the 18-acre property last June at a foreclosure auction for $1.26 million and have since rebranded it to River’s Rest Resort ahead of a $5 million-plus overhaul.
That plan includes renovating the property’s existing 20-room hotel and constructing a second hotel building of 20 rooms, and a full renovation of the docks and 72 boat slips.
They’ll also look to capitalize on a swath of unused land on the property by adding to it 126 campsites that will be available for seasonal leases to RVs and park model RVs, which are akin to tiny houses.
Additional amenities will be added to make the site more desirable to visitors, such as bathhouses, a pavilion and a dog park.
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