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Multi-Family Residential Developments

Four apartment complexes sell recently for more than $300 million, including one plagued by mold and bugs

A Los Angeles-based company has taken over a mold and bug-infested apartment community in Winter Park with a multi-million dollar makeover in mind.

The acquisition of the complex formerly known as The Park at Napoli by TruAmerica on July 22 is one of three multifamily assets the company secured in recent weeks in the Orlando area for a combined total of $185.3 million.

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On Aug. 10, TruAmerica bought the 499-unit Lindon Audobon Park east of downtown for $113.5 million, or $226,452 per unit, and the 314-unit Linden Crossroads in the tourism district for $71.8 million, or $228,662 per unit. Both were previously owned by Virginia-based property management company Harbour Group International.

Of the acquisitions, the Winter Park property, purchased for $38.2 million, requires the most attention.

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This community, built in 1985, was recently the center of media coverage after tenants sounded the alarm on lingering mold and bug problems. Their calls for help prompted a property visit by state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

Tenants told the Orlando Sentinel that the previous property management firm, Blue Roc Premiere, had ignored their complaints.

As the new owner, TruAmerica plans to solve those problems as part of a multi-million dollar capital improvement program, a company spokesperson told GrowthSpotter. Bruce Beck with DB&R Marketing Communications did not provide specific cost estimates.

“After immediately addressing deferred maintenance issues, TruAmerica will undertake a thoughtful capital improvement program that will include the renovation of apartment interiors and common areas in order to enhance the living environment for the residents,” according to a news release by Beck.

The company’s Chief Investment Officer, Matt Ferrari, was not immediately available to provide more details on the renovation project.

Rep. Smith said he’s hopeful the new owner delivers on its promises to improve living conditions at the property.

“These tenants deserve safe and healthy living conditions and Blue Roc failed them on every level,” Smith told GrowthSpotter. “Corporate landlords are very good at making promises, then failing to deliver. Given the history of problems in these apartment homes, we’ll be holding them to those promises for long-overdue improvements that these tenants are owed.”

Since its founding in 2013 by Robert Hart, TruAmerica has been one of the country’s most active multifamily investors and manages a $16.1 billion portfolio of 55,634 units across 269 assets throughout 17 states, according to its website.

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Its focus is on acquiring, renovating and managing multifamily assets, its website says.

Lindon Audobon Park is located behind Orlando’s Fashion Square Mall on E. Colonial Boulevard. Lindon Crossroads sits along S.R. 417, where World Center Drive meets International Drive.

The latest purchases by TruAmerica come amid a busy week for apartment activity.

Miami-based real estate firm Starwood Capital Group bought the 268-unit Axis West apartment community along Westwood Boulevard near SeaWorld for $86.5 million, or $322,761 per unit.

Formerly owned by Delaware Trust, the community was built in 2017.

The week also saw the acquisition of land for a new multifamily project in Clermont.

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Tampa-based Kolter Multifamily paid $5.2 million to its parent company, Kolter Land, for property along Sawgrass Bay Boulevard to build a 300-unit complex in its master-planned Serenoa community. Kolter is the master developer of the Clermont community, which is the top-selling master-planned community in Lake County.

For the project, the company took out a $51.7 million construction loan from PNC Bank, according to Lake County records.

“We are super excited about this development,” Jeff Kruse, the company’s managing director told GrowthSpotter. “We are just getting underway with the construction now.”

This is the company’s first multifamily project in the Orlando market, and it’s located just three miles west of Disney theme parks. “This is a milestone for us,” Kruse added. “There’s a really strong convenience factor that we see specifically here. We generally look at Orlando as an excellent growth story.”

The ten, 3-story garden-style apartment buildings will rise in Serenoa phase 4, which also calls for a neighborhood grocery store and shopping center.

Serenoa currently has 1,600 single-family home lots. Kolter has sold 600 of the lots to D.R. Horton for the 55-plus Palms at Serenoa community, with the remainder being sold to various builders such as Pulte Homes, NVR, Ashton Woods, and David Weekley Homes.

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Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at (407)-800-1161 or dwyatt@GrowthSpotter.com, or tweet me at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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