New York investor drops $16.5M on bulk condo unit buy in tourism corridor

GrowthSpotter contributor

New York-based multifamily investor ESG Kullen LLC paid $16.57 million last week for 145 units in the Discovery Palms condominium complex in Orlando, according to a deed recorded Tuesday in Orange County.

ESG Kullen secured a mortgage on the property for $20.82 million from TH Commercial Mortgage LLC, property records show. Phone and emailed messages to ESG Kullen were not returned on Tuesday.

The seller was USO Norge Dp LLC, an affiliate of Obligo Real Estate Inc., also of New York.

"Orlando's jobs growth engine, infrastructure and market dynamics continue to make it a desirable venue for value-add real estate investment," ESG Kullen founder and managing director Eric Granowsky told GrowthSpotter via email. 

Orange County property records show USO Norge owned 145 condominium units at Discovery Palms, located at 12806 Madison Pointe Circle. About 190 other condo units on property were not included in the sale, according to the deed. 

Amenities at the complex include a swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground, high-speed internet, a clubhouse, gated entrance, garages and extra storage. The property lies just off S. International Drive on the east side with Little Lake Bryan Road and I-4 to the west. Lincoln Property Co. will continue to manage the condos under the new owners, vice president Denise R. Liptak confirmed via e-mail.

Condos at Discovery Palms come in a variety of floor plans and monthly rent ranges from $995 for a 569-square-foot unit, to $1,635 for a two-bed, two-bath unit with 1,459 square feet. All the buildings were constructed in 2003, according to property records.

"We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity with such a high-quality asset in the heart of the I-Drive corridor," Granowsky said. "We are planning high-quality, designer-inspired interior renovations using sustainable, energy-efficient materials. Our mission is to focus on resident experience and deliver the most compelling value proposition in the submarket." 

Granowsky and Los Angeles real estate developer Thomas DelPonti launched ESG Kullen in 2009, according to the company website. The firm took advantage of the reeling real estate market to acquire and reposition distressed multifamily assets in Florida and Texas.

Between 2010 and 2014, more than 3,000 REO and distressed apartments were acquired across seven communities in San Antonio, Texas, Miami, Boca Raton, Orlando and Tampa. One of the properties the company acquired was Madison Club Villas, a 280-unit complex at 6739 Mission Club Blvd., Orlando. Total capitalization of those assets is more than $250 million, the company claims.

ESG Kullen most paid more than $22 million in April for a 196-unit controlling stake in the Grand Reserve at Kirkman Parke condo complex. 

The Discovery Palms acquisition now brings ESG Kullen's Orlando portfolio to 700 units, and its Florida holdings to more than 5,000 units, Granowsky said. 

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