The time is right for M&M, a new multifamily developer in Memphis

The stars are aligning for real estate developer James Maclin, as he recently launched his new development company, M&M Enterprises, with plans to target multifamily development and management in Memphis and the surrounding regional area.

Starting my own company has always been a dream of mine,” said Maclin, who is a former SVP and director of corporate services for Mid-America Apartment Communities.

Maclin is considering sites for the company’s multifamily first project and hopes to have two or three new construction projects underway in the next couple of years in Memphis.

“I want to use my experience that I gained over the last 20 years working with MAA, the largest apartment REIT in the country located right here in Memphis.”

With MAA recently merging with Post Properties, Maclin decided to strike out on his own. Also, he and his wife and business partner Dr. Karol Maclin are set to become empty nesters this fall when their youngest of three children goes off to college.

“Multifamily is what I do. I know how to build platforms, I know how to build apartments and operate them on a large scale,” said James Maclin. “That’s what I want to capitalize on.”

“I think the opportunities are there, and it sounds like the city government is behind them,” said Maclin. “Pushing projects through special programs like EDGE (Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine) and the Downtown Memphis Commission, I think the timing’s right and the stars are lining up.”

Future projects for M&M could also happen in other cities ike Little Rock, Nashville, Birmingham, and Jackson, Miss.

“In the apartment business, size matters,” said Maclin. “The smaller the project, the less efficient and more expensive it is to run it on a per unit basis.

So generally speaking, the sweet spot for a project is around the 150-unit to 200-unit range where you can have a team onsite to manage the day to day, serve the clients and meet the renters’ needs.”

While the apartment market is currently considered a seller’s market, Maclin expects to be ready when that shifts.

“Now is more conducive to developing apartments as opposed to buying and renovating, but at some point that will change,” said Maclin. “So depending what the market gives us, we’ll be able to take advantage of it.”

For now, he is happy with his newfound freedom.

“If you’re working for somebody or if you have limits on what you do, you’re stuck,” said Maclin. “I don’t have that today.”

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Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.