Brass Enterprises has grown into an investment group with a robust appetite for acquisitions in high growth markets in the US. Our origins found us in our home country, Canada, where we are still based.
ORIGINAL VISION: Brass Enterprises was formed with the goal of purchasing apartment buildings throughout Canada. Initially we invested heavily in the Toronto market, where real estate assets saw a massive lift in growth. Brass acquired buildings in: The Forest Hill Village in central Toronto, where young professionals were moving to enjoy the convenience of a short commute to downtown employment centres without the need for a vehicle; the Church and Wellesley area which was becoming a hot spot for student living and cultural community living; and the High Park region, which was gentrifying at an accelerated pace.
In 2008, Brass started buying in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, whose government was undergoing a dramatic change. For sixteen years the province had been dominated by the left-leaning NDP party, which had sought to protect the province’s natural resources from exploitation. In 2007, power was transferred to a right wing, conservative party – and growth in the province began to accelerate. Anticipating a boom, as its neighboring province, Alberta, experienced, Brass set their sight on commodity-rich Saskatchewan. Concurrently, the price of commodities began to rise steeply. Within a few short years, The Brass team succeeded in putting together an attractive portfolio of apartment buildings throughout Prince Albert, Swift Current, Yorkton, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Overall, throughout the life of the Toronto investments, monthly distributions were made in the amounts of between 4-6% of invested equity on an annualized basis, and sales of these apartments realized average gains of 43% annualized. Virtually all of the buildings were sold within 4 years of their purchase.
A CHANGE OF FOCUS: In 2012, Brass shifted its focus to the US, where we saw an opportunity for stronger returns and as a way to capitalize on our then strong Canadian dollar, which reached parity with the US dollar. The US population growth, job growth, and the overall economy was clearly stronger.
Brass Enterprises has continued pursuing investments where capitalization of market trends can be realized. Brass developed a portfolio of apartments in South Florida, an area at the cross-section of the South American gateway and home to a large population of workers employed in the hospitality industry. The Brass team then began developing a portfolio in Austin, Texas, home to a growing technology center bought properties that were located minutes away from the Dell world headquarters and the Apple campus. Since Austin we have been buying in high job growth population growth cities: South Florida - Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach - Austin, TX.; Denver, CO; Phoenix, AZ; and St Louis, MO.