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Tampa Bay Area
Business Observer Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 9 years ago

California real estate firm buys Bradenton's Woodbury Apartments

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Watt Cos. purchased the 270-unit Woodbury Apartments for $8.3 million.

BUYER: WREI Woodbury LLC, Santa Monica, Calif.

SELLER: TWC Eighty-Six Ltd.

PROPERTY: 955 53rd St. E., various units, Bradenton

PRICE: $8.3 million

PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.03 million, December 1994

LAW FIRM ON DEED: Broad and Cassel, Orlando

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Santa Monica, Calif.-based Watt Cos. purchased the 270-unit Woodbury Apartments for $8.3 million.

The price equated to $30,741 per unit.

The low-income rental property had an occupancy rate of about 90% at the time of the sale. The 14-building complex features a clubhouse, two playgrounds and a pool and kiddie pool. It also has a sand volleyball court and laundry facilities. Boulevard Street Avenue

The company plans to improve the property and its amenities, according to Lawrence Baeck, senior vice president for the Watt Cos. It expects to add fitness and business centers, remodel the clubhouse and redo the exterior of the building.

“We're planning to make it a more attractive product for the residents,” Baeck says. “It's a stabilized, well-occupied property and the current management has done a good job over the past several years of owning it.”

Watt hired the former owner, Tampa-based The Wilson Co., to manage the property.

The Woodbury Apartments is Watt's first property along the Gulf Coast of Florida, but Baeck says the company plans to acquire more in the region soon. It owns the 350-unit Andover in Winter Park.

“We really see Woodbury as our entry point into the market,” he says. “We plan to be an aggressive buyer in the greater Tampa market in 2011. At this stage, if you look at demographic trends, I think it's fair to say multifamily appears to be the most attractive investment category of all the investment real estate categories.”

The purchase entity WREI Woodbury LLC mortgaged the property to Wells Fargo Bank NA for $6.64 million.

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