In 2017, all of Southwest Florida’s largest five commercial real estate transactions involved apartment communities. This year, the three-county area that comprises Charlotte, Collier and Lee counties hasn’t repeated that feat, but it’s come close.
For 2018, four of the five largest sales were for multifamily rentals, the result of continued population and job gains, especially in Lee County.
As was the case in the Gulf Coast’s other two submarkets, the top deal of the year went to a hospitality sale — Host Hotels & Resort’s purchase of the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa.
And like the other two markets, the Hyatt Regency sale far outpaced, in terms of dollar volume, the four other transactions — more than doubling the amount of the second-largest sale.
Combined, the five largest transactions in the Southwest Florida market generated $474.85 million in 2018, as compared to $326.53 million in the prior year — an increase of 45%.
1. Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa: $198 million
Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., a Bethesda, Md.-based hotel owner, made its second significant lodging purchase in as many years along the Gulf Coast when it bought the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, in April.
In 2017, the company acquired the famed Don CeSar Hotel and Resort on St. Pete Beach for $214 million.
The Bonita Springs hotel was part of a three-property package with Hyatt Hotels Corp. that cost Host Hotels roughly $1 billion, and set a record for the purchase of a single-asset lodging property along the Gulf Coast.
Host Hotels says the Coconut Point hotel and the others are in “what we believe to be some of the best near-term growth markets in the U.S.”
The deal for the 454-room Lee County hotel brings the number of luxury properties Host Hotels owns in Southwest Florida to three. In addition to the waterfront Coconut Point, the company also owns the 450-room Ritz-Carlton Naples and the 295-room Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, also in Naples.
2. The Reef apartments: $78.75 million
Coastal Ridge Real Estate, of Ohio, and partner M Group emerged not
only as a dominate multifamily residential player in its number of purchases in Southwest Florida in 2018, but also in terms of dollar volume.
The company in September bought the upscale student housing complex The Reef near Florida Gulf Coast University, in Fort Myers.
The 288-unit community, which provides 924 beds that rent for $730 to $850 per student per month, was completed in phases in 2016 and 2017.
Amenities include a pair of resort-style swimming pools with cabanas, outdoor billiards and ping-pong tables, a fire pit and sand volleyball court, fitness center and cyber café that serves Starbucks coffee.
The unit interiors are equally plush, with 50-inch flat-screen televisions, high-speed Internet and WiFi, granite kitchen countertops and stackable, full-size washer-and-dryers in each apartment.
The community also is adjacent to another 800-unit multifamily rental property called Coastal Village that Coastal Ridge paid $44 million for in July.
3. Spectra apartments: $71.4 million
Remember how we mentioned that Coastal Ridge was prolific in their
purchases in 2018?
In addition to The Reef and Coastal Village, the company also snapped up the Stock Development Co.-built Spectra apartments, also in Fort Myers.
Like Reef, the 324-unit Spectra project that was completed in July 2017 features nearby walking trails and upgraded finishes, and amenities such as poolside cabanas.
Commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield represented seller Stock Development in the February sale to Coastal Ridge.
With the Spectra, Reef and Coastal Village deals, Coastal Ridge increased its number of Florida properties to six. In all, the company now controls assets valued at more than $1.6 billion.
4. Fountains at Forestwood apartments: $55 million
Miami-based Lloyd Jones Capital bought the Fountains property in
Fort Myers in August to take advantage of the 397-unit property’s proximity to Interstate 75 and Florida Southwestern State College.
Completed in 1985, Fountains offers a resort-style swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center, lakefront jogging trails and a car-wash center.
Lloyd Jones completed the transaction with financing from Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, an affiliate of Berskshire Hathaway, which in turn tapped into a Freddie Mac program that stipulates borrowers must make certain environmentally sustainable improvements to their properties as a condition of their loans.
In addition to Fountains, Lloyd Jones owns 18 multifamily rental properties in Florida containing 3,600 units, including properties in St. Petersburg and Bartow.
5. Mosaic at the Forum apartments: $49.7 million
InvestRes, a multifamily property owner with its Florida headquarters
in Tampa, purchased the Mosaic apartments in Fort Myers in early November.
The 252-unit complex, completed in late 2017 on 13 acres and comprising 10 three-story buildings, was developed by St. Petersburg-based Mosaic Development.
It was 95% leased at the time of the sale to InvestRes.
The 3100 Champion Ring Road complex’s units average 908 square feet in size, and the property offers amenities such as a clubhouse, pool deck with fire pit, gazebos, fitness center, two dog parks, detached garages and a resident package delivery service.
Commercial real estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield represented Mosaic Development in the transaction.