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Commercial Real Estate
Business Observer Friday, Apr. 26, 2019 2 years ago

Blackstone fund buys St. Petersburg apartments

Verandahs' deal comes amid corporate shift for giant New York investment firm
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

The Blackstone Group has acquired a 381-unit multifamily rental complex in St. Petersburg, a signal that institutional investors remain bullish about prospects for rent and population growth in the Tampa Bay area.

An affiliate of the New York-based investment giant bought the Verandahs at Brighton Bay complex for $65.2 million from an entity controlled by The Praedium Group, Pinellas County property records show.

Praedium Group, also of New York, had purchased the 17-year-old complex in September 2014 for $50.3 million, according to records.

BREIT MF Brighton Bay LLC’s deal for the 10800 Brighton Bay Blvd. N.E. community follows a dozen other apartment purchases by Blackstone-controlled groups statewide, according to state records.

Blackstone officials could not be reached for comment on the transaction or future plans for the property.

Apartments in the Verandahs complex rent for between $1,244 per month for a one-bedroom unit and $1,966 monthly for a three-bedroom unit, notes.

The complex features a number of typically suburban apartment amenities, including a fitness center, clubhouse and a resort-style swimming pool with “extravagant waterfalls.”

Blackstone becomes the latest major apartment player to buy a multifamily asset in the Tampa Bay area since the start of 2019.

In March, UDR Inc. bought the 381-unit Peridot Palms apartments, also in St. Petersburg, for $98.25 million; NorthEnd Equities acquired the 982-unit Reserve at Brandon complex for $123 million the previous month; Toronto-based Brass Enterprises Inc. spent $107.6 million on the 348-unit Hermitage apartment building, also in St. Petersburg; and Nuveen Real Estate Inc., the investment arm of Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association, began the year with a $62 million deal for the 318-unit 5 West Apartments in Tampa’s Rocky Point area.

Blackstone’s purchase comes as the real estate giant continues to surge in investments in response to favorable yields and investor demand. At the close of the first quarter of this year, it had more than $140 billion in real estate assets under management, a 17% gain from the same period a year ago, the company’s most recent earnings report notes.

The Verandahs transaction also comes as Blackstone itself is preparing to undergo a major change.

On April 18, Chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman unveiled plans to convert Blackstone from a series of funds under a publicly traded limited partnership umbrella into a corporation.

Blackstone hopes the conversion, which is expected to occur in July, will “make it significantly easier for both domestic and international investors to own our stock and should drive greater value for all of our shareholders over time.”



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