Utah-based multifamily investor pays $56M to enter FL via Orlando, seeks more

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

Salt Lake City-based multifamily investor Millburn & Company paid $56.45 million on Friday to enter the Florida market via Orlando, buying a new and stabilized Class A property with an eye to aggressively grow its Orlando footprint over the next 24 months. 

Located at 10038 Vista Laguna Dr., at the intersection of N. Dean Road and S.R. 408 just southeast of Valencia College's east campus, the 23.66-acre property was previously bought by a Wood Partners affiliate in 2015 for nearly $4.68 million.

Sixteen upland acres were then developed in 2016 for 312 apartments, dubbed "Alta at Eastmar Commons." 

The sale deed was signed Oct. 13, and recorded Tuesday morning in Orange County. CBRE had marketed the property for Wood. 

Millburn now owns close to 5,300 apartments across approximately 20 properties, nearly all of which are concentrated in six states in the southwest and northwest United States. Its latest acquisitions in North Carolina and Orlando have drawn the company out east. 

"This was a diversification play. We wanted to pick growth markets on the east coast and felt there was still a discount to replacement cost there that we weren't seeing in the west," principal and CEO Jed B. Millburn told GrowthSpotter

Millburn is more often a buyer of older value-add multifamily properties, but was drawn to the local Wood Partners asset at a price per unit of $180,929 because it was well below the company's estimated replacement cost in this market of $200,000.

"You could go to Portland and you'll pay $250,000 per unit for suburban product or $240,000 to build it new, and that is out of whack from our perspective," Millburn said. "We prefer to go somewhere now where properties are below replacement cost with room to grow." 

Millburn sourced a $42.43 million Freddie Mac loan via CBRE Capital Markets that matures in November 2027. 

The property had been previously managed by Wood Partners, but Millburn brought in ZRS Management this week, which will be its first partnership with the group.

Looking forward, Millburn & Company will look to focus its Florida acquisition search in Orlando ahead of other parts of the state, and would like to have 1,500 to 2,000 units in the region within two years, Millburn said. 

"We are interested in value-add upside properties, typically looking for early 2000s or late 1990s product. We like to buy properties that still have functional floor plans and amenity packages but may need a bit of refreshing," he said. "We're most interested in Orlando of all the regional markets because of the job growth and being inland." 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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