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Commercial Real Estate
Business Observer Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 4 years ago

Tampa apartment owner continues buying spree

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Robbins Electra, on the heels of buying more than $1.1 billion worth of multifamily projects in 2016, maintained its buying spree in the first quarter this year.
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

Robbins Electra, on the heels of buying more than $1.1 billion worth of multifamily projects in 2016, maintained its buying spree in the first quarter this year.

The Tampa-based apartment owner bought seven additional complexes in the initial three months of 2017, putting it on pace to purchase another $1 billion worth of rental real estate again this year.

The complexes purchased recently in and around Jacksonville and Atlanta contain 1,810 units and all are 91% leased or greater. Robbins Electra plans to invest more than $7 million into the complexes to upgrade primarily interior spaces.

“We like the major Southern markets: The Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Texas,” says CEO Joe Lubeck. “And for us, it all comes down to job and population growth. As long as those two things continue to grow, we believe there will be opportunity in the value-add multifamily sector.”

Lubeck adds that with each purchase, Robbins Electra evaluates opportunities to make strategic upgrades to units or amenities.

“We always try to buy properties in good condition and in good locations and then we upgrade them.”

In all, Robbins Electra now owns 67 complexes in six states, containing more than 22,500 units and valued in excess of $2.5 billion, the company says.

And more acquisitions may be in the offing in Atlanta as well as in Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.

Lubeck adds that unless the economy drastically turns later this year that Robbins Electra will target $1 billion worth of acquisitions in 2018, as well.

Still, Lubeck isn't blind to the frothiness of many apartment markets throughout the Southeast.

“The market is pricey, no question, but we buy most of our product through off-market transactions, so we think that gives us a competitive advantage,” he says.

“And, we don't have a mandate to grow. We're looking just to buy good assets.”

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