By Natalie Simms
Cartersville businessman Josh McWhorter is certainly not a man who “rests on his laurels.” In the last five years, McWhorter has taken his McWhorter Capital Partners, a private equity and real estate investment firm, and grown the company from three to more than 40 employees. From billboards to real estate to construction, McWhorter has his hands in a several different ventures, all booming.
Currently, McWhorter Capital is focused on its three subsidiaries which include Horton Outdoor Advertising, a growing outdoor billboard company; LakePoint Realty Group, a residential and commercial real estate firm; and McWhorter Goss General Contractors, which was founded earlier this year with local contractor Ron Goss Jr., of the former Pennant Construction.
Horton Outdoor Advertising
Horton Outdoor Advertising one the fastest growing outdoor companies with assets in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and soon to be expanding into other states in the Southeast with a $150 million investment.
“I’ve really enjoyed the billboard business. There is a misconception that it’s easy but it’s not. There is a lot of opportunity in it and we’re working on growing and building out team,” says McWhorter. “We were approached by Greenfield Advisors, an investment group that has clients who wanted to be in the business. So, through investments in hedge funds, we are now working on the acquisition and creation of new structures all across the Southeast … basically anywhere you can drive to within one day.”
As of Sept. 1, Horton Outdoor had a total of 113 structures (both static and digital boards) but that number is expected to reach 250 by the end of the month and grow to between 500-600 boards by the end of the year.
“The industry is now a $29 billion market in the U.S. and its revenue is expected to grow by 3 to 4% per year in the next five years to reach $33 billion by 2021,” he says. “Outdoor advertising remains one of the most successful and cost-effective ways to market products and services to consumers. The average American spends upward of 20 hours each week in a car traveling more than 200 miles.”
Real estate and construction
LakePoint Realty Group was founded in 2015, based in Carterville. Trish Sullivan is the qualifying buyer. They recently launched The McWhorter Team, a group of 11 real estate professionals who work together to “push the envelope of how real estate is done.
“There are four designated listing agents, six specialized buyers’ agents, a transaction coordinator and an administrative professional dedicated solely to the team,” says McWhorter.
Aside from buying and selling real estate, McWhorter Capital also is involved in real estate development. The company is behind two large projects: Old Mill Townhomes in Calhoun and Etowah Bend in Euharlee. And a third project, a 72-acre residential development called Allay Cove, is proposed in Taylorsville.
“We broke ground in June in Calhoun and we hope to have at least 14 units done within the next two to three months. We plan to have 83 units build within two years,” he says.
Old Mill Townhomes is a swim-tennis gated community off Redbud Road. Homes are priced from the 180s. “We have seen lots of interest and currently working with several buyers,” he adds.
Meanwhile, construction began at the end of July on Etowah Bend subdivision off Milam Bridge Road in Euharlee. McWhorter Capital owns about 166 acres in the area and is developing 120 acres along the Etowah River. Etowah Bend is a gated community that will feature 28 estate lots in sizes ranging from three to seven acres, all with access to the river.
“We are seeing so many folks who either want to live out in the country or be closer to downtown living. We have so much interest in this project from folks who want to move out, want more space and have river access. We’ve already sold three lots and have letters of intent on at least two others,” says McWhorter.
Houses will be built on the site at a minimum of 2,500 square feet. He estimates the price range to span from $400,000 to $500,000.
“This is a destination, dream-home type community. McWhorter Goss (General Contractors) will be doing some building but owners can use other builders. We are not planning to build any spec homes given all the interest we are seeing in the development,” he says.
Grading is under way and utilities are being laid underground. McWhorter expects asphalt to be laid within the next six weeks so “folks can drive through without having to leave their car.”
And then last week, McWhorter Capital announced plans for Allay Cove in Taylorsville, a 72-acre development off Old Alabama Road.
“We have 127 acres but we are only developing about 72 acres. We will have three-acre lots with lower priced homes below $300,000. This will meet a different market who want some land and more affordable housing,” says McWhorter.
But before this project can get off the ground, the company seeks to rezone about 15 lots from A-1 agricultural to RE-1 residential. The Bartow County Planning Commission is scheduled tol review the rezoning proposal at a public meeting this Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. The request then goes before Bartow County Commission Steve Taylor for approval on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m.
Allay Cove will be marketed by The McWhorter Team at LakePoint Realty and homes will be built by McWhorter Goss General Contractors. McWhorter says there most likely will be some spec homes built in the development.
“Our goal is to get Etowah Bend off the ground and get the Calhoun units sold before we start in Taylorsville. We don’t want to take on too much at one time,” he says. “My best guess would be to start some ground development by the end of the year but we are in no rush.”
McWhorter says his company will continue to look for opportunities to growth and make investments but the biggest one they are making right now is in their people.
“Over the last three to six months, we’ve been working to hire the best people we know. We have top notch people in place and we see the biggest opportunity is in our people. If we let them do their thing, then we can go where ever we want to go,” he says.
For more, please click McWhorter.