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Blackstone Group sells Casselberry multifamily community for $87.5M

The 476-unit Newport Colony apartment community in Casselberry features a fitness studio, outdoor grilling stations and tennis courts.
The 476-unit Newport Colony apartment community in Casselberry features a fitness studio, outdoor grilling stations and tennis courts. (Seminole County Property Appraiser)

Blackstone Group, the world’s largest alternative asset manager and one of the biggest property investors, just divested from an old multifamily community in Casselberry.

A company tied to the private equity and real estate company sold the 476-unit Newport Colony apartment community at 3679 Derbyshire Rd. for $87.5 million, or about $183,800 per unit, Seminole County records show.

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The buyers are real estate investors Mordechai Schapira and Labe Twerski. Last year, the partners bought a pair of South Florida apartment complexes for $57 million, according to The Real Deal.

Schapira and Twerski financed the most recent deal in Casselberry with a $56 million loan from Capital One National Association in Virginia.

Newport Colony, built in 1990, consists of a mix of two- and three-story multifamily buildings. Apartments contain up to three bedrooms, and residents have access to a clubhouse, fitness studio, outdoor grilling stations, community pool, electronic package lockers, playground and tennis courts.

Pulte Homes wants to annex about 20 acres into the City of Casselberry so it may develop a townhome community behind a Slovak church and museum.

Blackstone bought the apartment community in 2017 for $59.4 million.

The complex sits on about 41 acres south of Casselberry, near the submarkets of Maitland and Winter Park.

Nearby, Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG) recently opened a new 384-unit multifamily complex, called Azul at Lake Howell. The community sits on about 30 acres south of Red Bug Lake Road, east of State Road 436, along the northern shore of Lake Howell.

The deal for Newport Colony takes place shortly after Blackstone Group announced plans to acquire hotel owner and operator Extended Stay America Inc. for $6 billion with Starwood Capital Group.

With this purchase, the two firms would take control of 567 properties owned by Extended Stay. The company franchises an additional 82.

Blackstone is also looking to raise $4 billion for a fund called Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Fund IV, according to a recent Reuters article.

The seller rebranded the community immediately after acquiring the 20-building student housing complex in 2017 for $45.3 million.

The fund will stray away from Blackstone’s usual assets, and instead focus on investing in things like timber, mines, oil tankers and satellites. It can also invest in companies, either through their equity or their debt.

Blackstone’s real estate entities and funds have been bullish in Central Florida. The company has become one of the most active buyers in Orlando’s multifamily space in recent years.

Last month, it paid $63.4 million for a student housing community near the University of Central Florida.

In December, the private equity firm, paid $152.3 million for two multifamily properties in Orange County, totaling more than 700 units, as part of a multistate portfolio acquisition.

Other recent acquisitions include the 338-unit Integra Cove apartments near SeaWorld, the 396-unit Knightsbridge at Stoneybrook apartments in east Orange County, a 105-bed senior living facility in Ocoee, the 55 West mixed-use tower in Downtown Orlando and the 432-unit Estates at Park Avenue in MetroWest.

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Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at Newsroom@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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