Crescent Communities divests from timber to focus on ‘higher use’ real estate – update

The real estate investment firm has sold some of its last remaining forestry holdings in North and South Carolina to Timberland Investment Resources.

*adds investor detail.

Institutional timberland investment manager Timberland Investment Resources (TIR), has bought 14,000 acres of timberland in North and South Carolina from Crescent Communities, a real estate investment firm.

The sale represents some of the last forestry holdings for Crescent Communities as the company focuses on “higher and better use properties” in the residential, resort and office real estate market, according to a spokesperson at the company.

Crescent sold its Great Falls forest properties to Blue Heron Timber, a subsidiary of TIR that was buying the property on behalf of a UK pension fund that has a separate account mandate with the investment manager, according to a spokesperson at TIR.

Other parcels of the property were sold previously for conservation purposes to buyers including South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Katawba Valley Land Trust for the Heritage Tract and Landsford Canal State Park. Lake Wateree State Park was also established from land previously owned and managed by Crescent, according to a press release.

The timberland is also well suited to timber production, according to Crescent’s Hank Higgins, vice president of land sales.

“Great Falls has always been an excellent timber market because of its rural setting and proximity to many wood product manufacturing facilities,” he wrote in a statement. “Interest in Crescent’s unique land holdings has been climbing, and we’re pleased that most of this acreage will continue to be a sustainably-managed forest under its new owners.”

In 1970s and 1980s, Crescent’s business mostly relied on land management and commercial forestry before the firm turned its attention towards more residential, resort and office properties. It has also branched into the retail real estate sphere after selling IKEA, the Swedish furniture company, a property for its first Carolina-based store. It changed its name from Crescent Resources to Crescent Communities in 2013 to reflect an increasing focus on community developments.