Stone Spring Courtyard - Why the Courtyard
Hammond Asset Management Harrisonburg Virginia
Copyright 2014 ~ Hammond Asset Management
Why the Courtyard
The site sits on one of the major east/west thoroughfares (Port Republic Road) of Harrisonburg and less than a quarter mile east of Rockingham Memorial Hospital - area's second largest employer.  The area's largest employer, James Madison University begins less than one mile to the west.  The frontage road (Port Republic) that connects the site and the two employers (RMH & JMU) has bicycle paths and sidewalks allowing for pedestrian and community outreach.  Also within 1/4 mile of the subject will be the new South East Connector Loop, providing access to major points of the city and intersecting thoroughfares.  Adjacent to the property, across Stone Spring Road, is Stone Port, a 100 acre mixed-use development that is also currently under construction.  This site will feature grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, restaurants, shopping centers, professional offices, and single family homes, duplexes, and townhomes.  The Reserve at Stone Port, a 168 unit, high end multifamily development is also under construction.  Immediately to the west is Aspen Heights, a 600 bed, high-end student townhouse complex that recently completed construction in 2013.  This new community will help form Rockingham County's Urban Development Area - promoting the growth and expansion of a designated 520 acres of Harrisonburg's MSA.
The central location of the site couldn't be better as far as access to the two largest employers and major roadway arteries for Harrisonburg.  The property is within easy walking distance to the newest shopping, entertainment, and necessity stores in Harrisonburg.  Public utilities are immediately available to the property as well.  There is no other property of this size and with more preferable location that is currently available in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area.
Harrisonburg has consistently been one of the fastest growing Metropolitan Statistical Area's in the United States, mainly due to the growth of JMU.  JMU has recently been awarded the title of 'Most sought after University in Virginia'.  (JMU receives more than 20,000 applicants annually).  Bloomberg ranked JMU's College of Business #29 in the United States for 2013.  Additionally, one of JMU's main Colleges is the CIST School (College of Integrated Science & Technology) which provides highly educated, information technology industry graduates.  JMU has become a 'breeding ground' for employees in this field.
Harrisonburg also sits outside of the 'blast zone' of Washington DC and along the existing infrastructure of the high speed internet pipeline to Washington DC.  This infrastructure, the proximity to Washington DC, and the relatively low cost of living and low unemployment rate has made Harrisonburg an attractive option for technology based companies.
While JMU was growing the CIST School; the Commonwealth of Virginia, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Shenandoah Valley Partnership, Rockingham County, and the City of Harrisonburg all jointly invested in a 365 acre Technology Research Park - the Innovation Village at Rockingham Center <>.  Since the announcement in 2006, several technology-based companies have already relocated to the Harrisonburg MSA and/or made major investments in satellite operations; including SERCO, Interchange, and most notably the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), joining Jenzabar and the international headquarters of Rosetta Stone.  SRI has announced their world research headquarters for nano and bio technology research in the park and has already established the Center for Advanced Drug Research (CADRE).  JMU is feeding these companies with employees from their nationally-recognized CIST School program.  Through the Innovation Village, SRI, and JMU, Harrisonburg is being deemed 'The Next Silicon Valley'.
As Harrisonburg transitions from an agricultural and manufacturing economy to an information technology research and development economy, the standards for housing the population are changing dramatically.  As these new companies move into town employing a completely different demographic, there will no doubt be a shortage of desirable housing.  Developers have successfully built (and filled up) downtown apartment complexes to help meet this demand; but nothing has been built outside of that district.  This leaves no options for the demographic who desire to rent outside of the downtown area.
JMU and RMH are poised for rapid growth as well, both making major infrastructure investment.  In the next 3-4 years, JMU will experience a major turnover in professional personnel due to approximately 1,500 employees retiring.  It is anticipated that many of these positions will be filled by single, young professional instructors.  Housing for this expected demand is not currently available in the Harrisonburg vicinity.  Considering JMU's growth and anticipated turnover, the burgeoning IT industry, and RMH; Harrisonburg is expecting a boom in the growth of middle to upper-middle class young professionals.
Economic Trends
There is an abundance of national data suggesting apartments are the next big thing in real estate development.  The cost of purchasing a home with its inherent greater down-payment requirements, more stringent underwriting for mortgages, and our more transient population, (people are no longer looking at homes as a 2-4 year investment); apartment complexes should absorb a vast portion of what would have previously been first time home buyers.  Significantly, the influx of higher-paying jobs and the expansion expected in the next few years fed by several component institutions and industries - Harrisonburg's economic outlook is one of the very best in the state of Virginia as well as the entire Eastern United States.