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Milhaus ramps up expansion with high-profile hire

August 18, 2015

Milhaus Development LLC is beefing up its leadership team by bringing aboard a veteran real estate executive to help plot the company’s growth as it seeks to expand throughout the Midwest.

Jason Sturman arrived Aug. 10 from Duke Realty Corp. He'll serve as a principal and chief investment officer of the local apartment developer.

Jason_Sturman_mugJason Sturman

Sturman, 40, an Indianapolis native, spent 14 years during two separate stints at the publicly traded Duke. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

At Duke, he oversaw the acquisition of more than $3 billion of properties and was in charge of the company’s 10-million-square-foot West Coast portfolio.

“I thought that some of the things I had done at Duke could be replicated at Milhaus, given its growth,” Sturman said. “Also, joining a young, high-growth organization was appealing to me.”

Milhaus, founded in 2009, has been on a tear lately. This summer, the company ranked atop IBJ's list of fast-growing private companies in the Indianapolis area. From 2012 through 2014, revenue rose from $5.5 million to $41.0 million, a 645-percent increase.

Milhaus’ employment also has swelled, from 68 last year to about 150 now, thanks largely to growing management operations needed to oversee new development.

The company expects have close to 4,000 apartment units by year-end. Its goal by 2020 is to have 20,000 units in 10 markets, by building or through acquisition, with a market value exceeding $4 billion. Besides Indianapolis, Milhaus has projects under development in Cincinnati, Kansas City, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oklahoma City and Pittsburgh.

One of its biggest projects is the $58 million Highland Park development across from the University of Memphis, which will include 354 units and 32,000 square feet of retail space.

“I really feel confident and comfortable we can hit those goals,” Milhaus CEO Tadd Miller said.

In Indianapolis, Milhaus will have units available by the end of the month in the second phase of its Artistry project along East Market Street, which will add 242 units and cost $28 million.

Across Market to the north, work is under way on the 54-unit Mosaic project that will wrap a city-owned parking garage.

And construction is expected to start within a week on a project at the high-traffic corner of College Avenue and East St. Clair Street, where Massachusetts Avenue intersects the streets. Plans call for 42 apartment units, 8,000 square feet of retail and 57 parking spaces on what’s now a parking lot.

Across Mass Ave, Milhaus anticipates submitting a proposal for the 11-acre former Coca-Cola Bottling Co. site that Indianapolis Public Schools recently put on the market.

If that’s not enough, the company has dipped its toes in the local condo market, by starting construction on 84 units in five structures as part of its Park 10 project on a parcel fronting East 10th Street where a church and industrial building once stood.

The condo market, overshadowed in recent years by the blitz of apartments being built downtown, may be making a comeback. About a dozen units already have been sold at Park 10 even though it’s nowhere near close to finished.

“We don’t even have a model unit yet, so we’re selling off paper,” Milhaus President Jeremy Stephenson said.

In April, Milhaus moved its headquarters to Virginia Avenue in Fletcher Place after completing a $1.75 million renovation of a historic building there that dates to 1876.
 

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