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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Friday, May 15, 2015 6 years ago

St. Pete apartments with view of Tropicana Field sell

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Fusion 1560 is purchased by Mesirow Financial Real Estate Value Fund in Chicago for $57.5 million, or $177,000 per unit.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Condominiums might be big business again in downtown St. Petersburg, but any plans to turn Fusion 1560 on Central Avenue into units for sale will have to wait at least another six years.

Zaremba Group of Cleveland sold the 325-unit complex Wednesday to an affiliate of Chicago-based Mesirow Financial Real Estate Value Fund for $57.5 million, or nearly $177,000 per unit. The sale, however, comes with a caveat that Mesirow can't convert the apartments -- which rent as high as $1,900 a month -- until April 2021, according to property records.

Zaremba purchased the 3.2-acre lot at 1560 Central Ave. in December 2007 for $9.7 million through a $700 million development fund it established with the California State Teachers Retirement System. It built Fusion 1560 in 2011, just as multifamily was taking off in downtown St. Petersburg. The complex was built in direct sight of Tropicana Field, where the Tampa Bay Rays play, as part of the Central Avenue business district.

Before the sale, Zaremba owned nearly 4,400 units in Florida, nearly 800 of those in the Tampa Bay area, according to its website. The development company also owns Tortuga Pointe Apartments in St. Pete's Carillon district, and The Village Lofts Apartments in Tampa.

Mesirow is one of the largest independent financial services firms in Chicago, according to the company's website. It was founded in 1937, and has more than $36.3 billion in assets under management.

Mesirow funded the purchase through a $37.4 million mortgage with New York Life Insurance Co.

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