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Manatee-Sarasota
Business Observer Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 10 months ago

2017 Top Deals: Sarasota-Manatee

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Echo Lake Apartments leads Sarasota-Manatee
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

Following a trajectory it set in 2016, sales of multifamily rental projects led all other asset classes in both Sarasota and Manatee counties in 2017.

Of the Top Five deals in the submarket, four were for apartment complexes. In 2016, three transactions made the Top Five.

Unlike in 2016, though, when 60% of the total dollar volume of the Top Five deals was the result of apartment transactions, in 2017 that figure jumped to 86%.

Analysts say apartment sales have been driven by a relative lack of new supply and steady gains in population, even as home ownership rates have fallen in Florida and throughout the U.S.

In keeping with the two-year trend, too, the apartment purchases in 2017 were made by large, national firms like Continental Properties Co. Inc., Northland Investment Corp. and Advenir Inc., all of whom have been seeking to increase market share and solidify positions for future balance sheet growth — the result of incremental rent hikes that have been a feature of the market since 2015.

1 Echo Lake Apartments: $76.1 million

Northland Investment Corp. followed its $112.4 million deal for the 35-story Element tower in downtown Tampa two weeks later by acquiring Echo Lake Apartments in Lakewood Ranch.

The 360-unit complex, which was completed in May, contains 12 buildings on 41 acres.

Matthew Gottesdiener, Northland's chief investment officer, calls Echo Lake “one of the nicest garden-style, luxury apartment communities in the state of Florida.”

Echo Lake, which was 93% occupied at the time of Northland's purchase, features a 3.5-acre park, a state-of-the-art fitness center, saltwater swimming pool and community garden plots among its amenities.

Throughout Florida, Northland now owns nearly three dozen apartment communities containing nearly 10,000 units.

2 Advenir at Gateway Lakes: $60.5 million

Like Northland's deal for Echo Lake, Aventura-based Advenir Inc. purchased Advenir at Gateway Lakes in North Sarasota County to obtain a garden-style complex with ample amenities and proximity to multiple road networks, retail and community assets.

Its 1000 Marlin Lakes Circle complex, containing 318 units, was completed in 1996 and substantially renovated in August.

Formed in 1996, Advenir's portfolio today contains some 11,500 units valued in excess of $1.7 billion. In addition to its Sarasota holdings, the company also owns multifamily rental projects in Venice, Orlando and Naples, according to its website.

3 Lost Creek at Lakewood Ranch: $50.5 million

Continental Properties Co., of Wisconsin, bought the 272-unit Lost Creek apartments in midyear.

Best known regionally for developing or acquiring “Springs” complexes in Sarasota, Port Charlotte and Bradenton — where the national brand was launched in 2001 — Continental Properties was formed in 1979 by a trio of college students.

The 11140 Lost Creek Terrace community is among more than 15,000 units the company controls in 24 states, according to its website.

4 Merigot Bay apartments: $43.25 million

Richmond, Va.-based General Services Corp. added to its regional portfolio in October with the purchase of the former Bermuda Estates apartments, in Sarasota County.

The 220-unit complex, at 4001 N. Taggart Cay, was developed in 2003.

That deal followed the $60 million purchase of the 360-unit Hamlin at Lake Brandon complex, in Brandon, in July.

In all, General Services now owns 10 multifamily communities along the Gulf Coast, in Sarasota, Bradenton, Brandon, Clearwater, Largo and Tampa, according to its website.

5 Sarasota City Center: $36.5 million

Separate from its summer acquisition of seven buildings in Tampa and Lakewood Ranch, The Dilweg Cos. in April bought the 13-story Sarasota City Center office tower from Michigan-based Osprey affiliates.

Dilweg is working on a roughly $4 million modernization to the 245,293-square-foot building's lobby, fitness center, hallways, restrooms and courtyard.

The company also plans to add a conference facility and a social space for tenants in the building, which was completed at 1819 Main St. in 1989.

Drew Cunningham, Dilweg's chief operating officer, calls Sarasota City Center “one of the best buildings in the market.”

The property was 88% occupied at the time of Dilweg's purchase by food manufacturer Boar's Head Provisions Co., investment firms Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, UBS and others.

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