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Buyer of Winter Park apartment complex seeks financing

Winter Park's 288-unit Park at Sutton Place apartment complex is under contract for $30 million to an Atlanta real estate investment firm that is looking for private equity to finance 25 percent of the price, according to offering documents issued by the planned buyer.

Radco Companies, a big buyer and holder of multifamily homes, has a bank loan for 75 percent of the purchase price for Park at Sutton Place and is seeking the balance from institutional investors it has previously done business with and others, according to the documents.

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Radco is known for investing in properties that are renting for under-market rates, and could use some sprucing up. The company does work at the site, then raises rents a bit, but keeps them below prevailing rents in the area.

"We pride ourselves on identifying diamonds in the rough and turning them into valuable assets for everyone involved," the company says on its website.

In the case of Park at Sutton Place, Radco averaged the monthly rents of one- and two-bedroom apartments and came up with $975. A comparable average of one and two bedrooms in the area is $1,150, according to Radco's documents.

The approach Radco is taking to structuring its purchase is not uncommon, as institutional buyers of multifamily and other large properties often use a mix of debt and equity to finance their purchases. When it involves dwellings, the loans are often bought by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

The purchases are structured using bank and other funds because the lender is taking less risk, so a lower interest rate is charged, and big investors get a chance at returns that are well higher than what more mainstream investments, like Treasury instruments, are paying.

Radco may be at the initial stages of establishing a  toehold in the Orlando area. The company, which owns almost 15,000 multifamily units in eight states, likes to cluster its multifamily holdings. It has several in Clearwater and near Clearwater, for instance.

A Radco representative did not respond to requests for comment.

Park at Sutton Place is currently owned by Sutton Place Property Holdings LLC, whose Tampa address is the same as Blue Rock Partners, property records show.

Blue Rock owns and manages apartment complexes in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, its website says.

The holdings appear to include other complexes in the area, with property listings on Park at Sutton Place's website showing two other Winter Park apartment complexes, The Park at Napoli and The Park at Canterbury.

The site also includes five Park-themed complexes in Orlando.

A representative for Blue Rock did not respond to requests for comment.

Sutton Place Property Holdings bought Park at Sutton Place for $18 million in 2011, property records show.

The complex, at 3935 Sutton Place Blvd., was built in 1986 and sits on 26.5 acres. It has 12,080 square feet of living space.

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Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at ktalley@growthspotter.com, via Twitter at @karentalley or (407) 420-5176. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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