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Commercial Real Estate
Business Observer Friday, Mar. 22, 2019 1 year ago

American Landmark isn't afraid of a multifamily cycle

Tampa-based investor says job, population growth more than justifies investments in area apartments
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

Tampa-based American Landmark Apartments last month spent $53.7 million to acquire the Carlyle at Crosstown multifamily community between Tampa and Brandon, its fifth area purchase.

But while some investors have begun to shy away from Tampa apartments, citing compressed capitalization rates, rising prices and flattening rental rates after years of continued growth, American Landmark remains bullish on both the area and the sector.

“We think it’s a great time to buy in Tampa,” says Joe Lubeck, the company’s CEO. “We love the opportunities here, driven by job and population growth.”

Lubeck adds the company also is largely undeterred by the run-up in apartment prices in the area. The 300-unit Carlyle, for instance, traded for a 30% premium to the price the complex sold for less than three years ago.

“I think there’s generally more and more interest in the rental lifestyle, and we’re seeing that in high occupancy in all our Tampa-area properties,” Lubeck adds.

The rebranded Luxe at 1820, at 1820 Crosstown Club Place, was 96.3% occupied at the time of American Landmark’s February purchase.

American Landmark intends to invest $2.3 million into the 20-year-old community to improve units with “smart” thermostats, closet cabinet systems and electronic key fobs. Package lockers and other amenity improvements also are planned.

American Landmark’s home city isn’t the only place the company is high on for acquisitions. Since the start of last year, it has invested $1.5 billion to buy 28 multifamily projects in all, according to its website.

“You have to pick your spots and carefully evaluate deals, and while a correction is due, I don’t think it will be that severe based on the date,” Lubeck says. “One thousand people a day are still migrating to Florida.

“We purchased this property off-market, so that was a help, and the market is competitive, but frankly, we’re not overly concerned about the notion of a cycle at this point.”


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