May 23, 2024

Since launching early last year, local real estate investment firm Piedmont Capital exceeded the expectations of founder William Hodges
Hodges, who previously spent seven years with Charlotte-based New Forum, launched Piedmont in January 2021 in an effort to focus on the acquisition of “core-plus to value-add commercial properties” throughout the Carolinas. 
In its first year, the firm closed on three joint-venture deals — Wendover Plaza and City West Commons in Charlotte, in partnership with Abacus Capital; and Mountainaire Inn and Log Cabins in Blowing Rock, in partnership with Savara Hospitality. 
Hodges said those three deals made it possible to bring Michael Threlkeld, former vice president of finance at Grubb Properties, on board last November. Hodges said recruiting Threlkeld to the team gave Piedmont the legs it needed to begin closing solo deals and allowed the firm to eventually hire longtime JLL managing director Chris Lingerfelt
“Michael leaving such an established firm really lent credence to Piedmont Capital in its infancy and allowed us to close four deals on our own between February and August of this year,” Hodges said. “And if Michael had not joined Piedmont, we would not be (in) any position to recruit someone with Chris’ track record.” 
One such deal was the $7.85 million purchase in June of Ashley Road Plaza, a 6.4-acre retail center anchored by Food Lion, according to previous CBJ reporting.
Lingerfelt, who spent 12 years with HFF, which was acquired by JLL in 2019, joined the team last month. He said his primary focus will be deal sourcing and assisting in the pursuit of new asset classes across the Southeast. He said this type of work in the industry has always been a long-term goal. 
“There are many similarities (in this position), as I will still be evaluating commercial real estate opportunities, however at JLL I was solely focused on institutional office properties,” Lingerfelt said. “I will now be looking at all product types for investment purposes on behalf of Piedmont Capital and our investors.” 
Hodges said Lingerfelt brings an institutional mindset to the much smaller commercial real estate firm, helping to elevate Piedmont even further. 
“Already, we have developed new models for our underwriting and are evaluating opportunities at a much quicker rate than before,” he said. “We could not have made a better addition to our team to help us look at this industry from a different perspective and find opportunity in the uncertainty we are about the enter.” 
Hodges said though he’s happy with Piedmont’s early success, particularly with the acquisition of several grocery-anchored retail properties, the firm has begun looking at different asset classes. 
“Seven acquisitions in less than two years far surpassed my expectations … We are heavily invested in grocery-anchored retail with additional acquisitions in multifamily and hospitality,” he said. “This higher rate environment is making it harder to find yield, and we know we will have to start looking at different types of assets as well as different markets in the year ahead.”
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