About Croatan

A Track Record of Consistent Performance

Croatan Investments is a private equity real estate manager focused on multifamily investments.  For over 16 years, we have had a passion for uncovering new opportunities with excellent intrinsic value and the goal of preserving the trust of our investors. 

The team is comprised of real estate and project management professionals who intimately understand the firm’s target markets and identify opportunities across each stage of the market cycle.  Our track record is a reflection of our commitment to excellence, discipline, and expertise.

Headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, Croatan has team members operating in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, New York City, Washington DC, and Singapore. The portfolio currently consists of multifamily assets across the Mid-Atlantic and Sun Belt.

Croatan is proud to be a certified minority-owned company

16 Year

Track Record of Success

$893MM

Assets Purchased1

35.1%

Gross IRR2

17 Professionals

Across Four States and Two Countries

1Market value on current portfolio derived utilizing a 5.1% cap rate on in-place NOI. In-place NOI includes a $275/unit replacement reserve and real estate tax expense based on a weighted-average tax reassessment at 100% of market value.

2Gross metrics are calculated before deducting fees and other expenses, which are expected to be substantial. Past Performance is not indicative of future results.

Execution of a Dynamic Strategy
Company Founded
2004
Income Recovery & Growth

Purchased income-producing properties with depressed rents and occupancy.

18.2% Gross IRR | 2.58x Equity Multiple

6 properties | 1,362 units

2004
Excessive Evaluation

Sat out overvalued market.

2006
Distressed Market

Purchased assets from distressed sellers at discounted values. Also invested preferred equity during a liquidity crunch to produce superior risk-adjusted returns.

43.0% Gross IRR | 2.93x Equity Multiple

9 properties | 2,232 units

2008
Value Add

Purchased and renovated Class B and C properties with a large rental rate discount to nearby Class A product.

39.9% Gross IRR | 2.99x Equity Multiple

8 properties | 1,546 units

2014
Cap Rate Inefficiency

Purchased assets in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach MSA trading at a historic pricing discount to other cities.

36.1% Gross IRR | 1.85x Equity Multiple

6 properties | 1,930 units

2016
Liquid Market

Identified an opportunity to service a growing demand for 1031 Exchanges and provide retail investors access to securitized, institutional-quality real estate offerings.

1 property | 200 units

2019
Market Dislocation

Identified opportunistic initiatives to take advantage of market instability and liquidity pullback.

2020
2004
2004
2006
2008
2014
2016
2019
2020
Leadership
x
Paul Van

Chief Executive Officer
Chief Investment Officer

Paul Van is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Croatan Investments. Maintaining the vision for Croatan is his main focus, which includes growth planning and corporate culture development. He also guides Croatan’s overall investment strategy and provides leadership to the firm’s transactions function.

Mr. Van began his career as a mergers and acquisitions investment banker at UBS in New York City and advised on transactions in the gaming, consumer product, food service, agricultural, healthcare, and technology industries. Mr. Van then transitioned to Harbor Group International where he became a Vice President of Acquisitions covering multifamily markets across the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest and Texas.

Mr. Van is currently active with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), National Multi-Housing Council (NMHC), Alternative & Direct Investment Securities Association (ADISA), and Association of Asian American Investment Managers (AAAIM). He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University.

Paul Van

Chief Executive Officer
Chief Investment Officer

x
Eric Smith

Chief Operating Officer

Eric Smith is the Chief Operating Officer of Croatan Investments. Executing the corporate growth plan and driving efficiency across the day-to-day operations of the firm is his main focus. He also provides leadership to the firm’s capital markets function and ground-up development investment efforts.

Mr. Smith most recently served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer for Armada Hoffler Properties (NYSE: AHH), a publicly-traded REIT. His experience includes a broad range of asset types, including multifamily, retail, office, mixed-use, and hospitality, across the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S.

In addition to the acquisition of stabilized assets, Mr. Smith had oversight of over $1 billion of development projects during his tenure as COO and CIO of Armada Hoffler with many of these projects containing a public-private partnership component. Mr. Smith was also part of the three-member executive team that shepherded Armada Hoffler through its 2013 IPO on the New York Stock Exchange which raised in excess of $230 million.

Mr. Smith spent the early years of his career in the management consulting, international corporate finance, and investment advisory fields as well as owning his own trading seat on the New York Futures Exchange. Mr. Smith holds a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Connecticut.

Eric Smith

Chief Operating Officer

x
Jeffrey Mack

Chief Administrative Officer
Head of Portfolio Management

Jeffrey Mack is the Chief Administrative Officer & Head of Portfolio Management of Croatan Investments. He provides management and leadership to the firm’s asset management, construction management, fund management, accounting, and corporate administration functions.

Mr. Mack brings 30 years of extensive experience and expertise in real estate investment management covering multifamily, office, retail, industrial, and parking asset types. Most recently, Mr. Mack served as a senior executive at CIM Group where he oversaw a multibillion-dollar national portfolio and managed a team of over 250 personnel. His previous experience includes positions at Jones Lang LaSalle, publicly-traded REIT SITE Centers (NYSE: SITC), and Robinson Development Group. Mr. Mack has also performed advisory work for Harbor Group International as a consultant.

Mr. Mack holds a Masters of Business Administration from The University Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Computer Studies from Northwestern University.

Jeffrey Mack

Chief Administrative Officer
Head of Portfolio Management

x
Chris Madden

Senior Vice President
Asset Management

Chris Madden is a Senior Vice President at Croatan Investments.  Mr. Madden executes the firm’s investment strategy at the asset-level and focuses on value creation through direct oversight of property operations and capital programs.  He is also intimately involved with acquisitions, financings, dispositions, and investor relations.

Prior to joining Croatan Investments,  Mr. Madden priced and securitized residential mortgages at Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group.

Mr. Madden is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), National Multi-Housing Council (NMHC) and various civic organizations.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from East Carolina University.

Chris Madden

Senior Vice President
Asset Management

x
Don Foster

Senior Vice President
Transactions

Don Foster is a Senior Vice President at Croatan Investments.  Mr. Foster is responsible for the acquisition, disposition, and financing of investments, as well as maintaining and expanding institutional equity relationships.

Over the past 20 years, Mr. Foster has completed more than $2 billion in multifamily transactions across the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, and Texas markets. Prior to joining Croatan Investments, Mr. Foster was the Director of Acquisitions at Fogelman Properties. He has also held senior positions at UDR, Archon Residential (a Goldman Sachs Company), and Harbor Group International.

Mr. Foster received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University.

Don Foster

Senior Vice President
Transactions

x
Geoffrey Chen

Senior Vice President
Capital Markets

Geoffrey “Geo” Chen is a Senior Vice President at Croatan Investments. Mr. Chen involved in business development and capital sourcing.

Mr. Chen started his career in New York City as a currency trader for the Royal Bank of Scotland. He then segued to Credit Suisse in Singapore where he managed the developed markets currency trading business. In 2017, Mr. Chen left the banking industry to manage capital through his family office, Stratosphere Trading.

Mr. Chen is a member of the Association of Asian American Investment Managers (AAAIM) and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University. He is active in the Asian investment community as well as philanthropy, where he supports causes in environmental conservation and humanitarian aid.

Geoffrey Chen

Senior Vice President
Capital Markets