"They've been very active looking for deals in the state of Florida," he told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday. "They're primarily based in Los Angeles and they're buying a lot of properties on the West Coast. But last year they became very active in Florida and they're looking for (more) good deals."
The Los Angeles Times reported this week that TruAmerica, partnering with institutional investors, acquired a 14-property portfolio for $482 million, one of the largest multifamily asset deals in Southern California in two decades.
TruAmerica's strategy both on the West Coast and in Florida seems to be buying older, value-add properties and upgrading them into higher-rent operations. Central Park's two phases built in 1992 and 2000 would qualify.
"If you can update the amenities and apartments, you can lift the rent and raise the value of the property," Wickham said. "I think that's their strategy."
TruAmerica plans to renovate the kitchens at Central Park with all stainless-steel appliances. The bathrooms in the units will also be upgraded and modernized, Wickham said.
Central Park is within five miles of more than 17 million square feet of office and retail space, including Maitland Center and Lake Mary/Heathrow office centers. Wickham said the buyers especially liked the complex's proximity to the Uptown Altamonte mixed-use area, including the 45-acre Cranes Roost Park.
"What they were telling us, why they liked it so much, was the live, work and play you get and all the retail," Wickham said. "Florida Hospital has a strong presence in the area, all those office buildings in Maitland and Cranes Roost."
Last October, TruAmerica paid $47.7 million for the 300-unit Arium Falcon Pines in Orlando, which it renamed Canterbury Cove. Months earlier in May 2017, the company bought two other Orlando-area properties, the 348-unit Highpoint Club in Orlando, and Montevista at Windermere with 360 units.
It also invested in other parts of Florida last year, acquiring a 300-unit property in Boynton Beach and a 640-unit property in Fort Myers.