Artery’s first development, Connecticut Avenue Estates, was a 10-home development in Montgomery County, Maryland completed in 1960. Artery eventually constructed over 12,000 homes in the Washington DC suburbs and, at its peak in the late 1980s, was constructing and selling over 700 homes per year, with a focus on entry level homes. Artery’s innovative designs and attention to the buyer’s desires enabled it to become one of the largest homebuilders in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Artery ceased internal homebuilding operations in 1994 and now provides debt and equity financing to homebuilding companies.
In 1962, Artery completed construction of its first apartment complex, Country Club Gardens, a 22-unit complex in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Artery went on to develop or acquire and renovate over 13,500 apartment units, which were either managed directly by Artery’s management team or managed in partnership with other professional residential property management firms.
Artery’s innovative marketing and focus on customer service resulted in its outperformance of its competitors. Artery was one of the first companies to offer large washers, dryers, and microwaves in its apartment units. Artery’s high customer satisfaction ratings from its renters benefited its homebuilding operations as many renters at Artery properties eventually bought a house at an Artery development. Artery was a marketing innovator, offering unique discounts for referrals and military personnel. On the financing side, Artery was an innovator in the use of low-cost HUD financing and tax exempt bonds, which enabled it to earn a higher rate of return than competitors.
In the early 1990s, Artery took advantage of the burgeoning real estate investment trust market and, via tax advantageous “UPREIT” transactions, contributed most of its apartment portfolio to an affiliate of Equity Residential Properties Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust. Henry H. Goldberg, the founder and owner of Artery, was a member of the Board of Directors of EQR for 8 years and affiliates of Artery retained a significant interest in EQR. Artery sold its remaining apartment portfolio in the early 2000s and currently invests in apartments through private real estate funds and joint ventures.
Between 1983 and 1993, Artery partnered with the Charles E. Smith Companies to develop Class A mixed-use commercial properties in the close-in Washington, DC. These developments included Artery Plaza at the Bethesda metro station in Bethesda, Maryland, Arlington Courthouse Plaza at the Courthouse metro station in Arlington, Virginia, Democracy Plaza, adjacent to the intersection of I-495 and I-270 in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Fairfax County Government Center adjacent to Route 66 in Fairfax County, Virginia. Artery’s buildings featured a very innovative design – Artery Plaza was chosen as the Most Outstanding New Office Building of 1986 by Montgomery County, Virginia.
In total, Artery has developed and purchased over 3 million square feet of commercial office space. Artery sold its office building portfolio in the 2000s and currently invests in office buildings through private real estate funds and joint ventures.
In the early 2000s, Artery formed strategic partnerships with major national and local homebuilders to acquire and develop residential subdivisions comprising over 5,000 lots in the Washington, DC suburbs. Artery managed the entire process including site selection, acquisition, design, programming, obtaining land use approvals, budgeting, obtaining financing, constructing all site improvements, and marketing and selling the finished lots. Artery sold its entire land development portfolio earlier this decade. However, affiliates of Artery continue to own the rights to collect annual “front foot benefits” (deferred payments for water and sewer infrastructure installation) from more than 2,500 homeowners in Maryland, providing a predictable long-term source of recurring cash flow.
Artery developed a Safeway-anchored 125,000 square foot Class A shopping center located in Germantown Town Center, Montgomery County, Maryland. This shopping center is adjacent to a 328-unit apartment complex and 228 residential lots also developed by Artery. In addition to Safeway, tenants include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Zoe’s Kitchen, Starbucks, Burger King, FedEx Office, Capital One Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Hair Cuttery, Ruby Tuesday, Corner Bakery, Baja Fresh, & Pizza, Avail Vapor, and Sunoco.
In 2003, in partnership with Pinnacle Hotel Management Company, Artery developed the Homewood Suites by Hilton Columbia, a 150-room hotel that remains under the ownership of an Artery/Pinnacle joint venture. After the 2008 recession, Artery took advantage of a decline in real estate prices to expand its portfolio of Marriott and Hilton branded hotels. In partnership with Urgo Hotels and Pinnacle Hotel Management Company, Artery now maintains major investments in the 253-suite Washington Dulles Marriott Suites, the 219-room Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa and the 329-room combination Courtyard Montreal Airport and Residence Inn Montreal Airport.
Real Estate Financing
To take advantage of the home renovation and condominium conversion trend in Washington, DC, Artery provides capital through its partnerships with lenders and residential developers.
In addition to real estate, Artery is invested in cutting edge technology and biotech venture capital and exchange traded funds. Artery has invested much of its idle cash in liquid brokerage accounts managed by top stock pickers and maintains significant availability on its lines of credit.