Greensboro – Coming off a year when it sold two high-end Triad apartment complexes, Greensboro-based Signature Property Group is preparing to break ground on two new ones located in the eastern Triad.

Work should begin next month on a $32 million, 288-unit complex in Burlington around the same time work starts on a $30.2 million, 264-unit complex in Mebane.

Signature CEO Frank Auman said he’s excited to begin building in both cities, and the locations of each fit into a model he says has proved successful — within walking distance of amenities, and close to interstate access.

“We want to expand our presence outside the market,” Auman said. “My strategy is to first move toward the greater Raleigh area, so we’re kind of marching in that direction.”

In Burlington, Signature last month purchased 11.3 acres at 3179 Garden Road near the Alamance Crossing shopping center for $2.1 million in two transactions.

The complex, which does not yet have a name, will be modeled after Signature NorthPoint Apartments, the north High Point apartment complex signature sold to the The Carroll Cos. last year for $26.5 million.

“It’s a great site, and we’re excited to get over into Burlington,” Auman told me. “I think it’s a fairly small market, but if you get a location like this one where you’re right on that lifestyle (shopping) center, right at a major intersection with lots of businesses and lots of amenities for people to walk to, it’s hard to lose with those.”

Amenities will include an exercise studio with separate yoga studio, a heated salt water swimming pool with outdoor grill and fire pit, a dog run area and a pet-washing station, he said.

In Mebane, Signature is building at 60912 Highway 119, and purchased that land in November, though transaction details weren’t immediately available.

The Mebane community will have slight differences in the design of the buildings, and it will have some enclosed garages for residents to rent, but otherwise will be similar to the Burlington complex though slightly smaller.

“We’re planning to break ground on both and bring product to market at the same time,” Auman said. That’s expected to occur in early 2017.

Sister company Signature Development Group is the contractor for both projects.

Asked about the pool of potential residents for the communities, Auman said it’s expanding, as a broader swath of the population looks to rent instead of own.

“Our rental demographic keeps expanding, especially in this rental class,” he said. “You’re as likely to get recently graduated college kids on their first job as you are to get retirees who are tired of mowing the grass and want to be more mobile.”