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Urban Core Holdings buys Tampa Gardens Apartments

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  • | 10:00 a.m. February 6, 2015
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BUYER: Urban Core Holdings LLC (manager: Omar Garcia), Tampa
SELLER: Suriname Investment Group Inc.
PROPERTY: 1527 W. Spruce Terrace, Tampa
PRICE: $3.55 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.73 million, November 2011

Tampa's Urban Core Holdings LLC purchased the 135-unit Tampa Gardens Apartments in West Tampa for $3.55 million.

The price equated to $26,296 per unit. That figure is lower than the two-year average price per square foot for multifamily space ($72,609) in the Tampa Bay area, according to the CoStar Group.

The 13-building development was constructed in 1964 on 4.42 acres east of Rome Avenue. Units range from one to three bedrooms and have an average of 820 square feet of living space. It was roughly 75% occupied at the time of the sale.

“This is the first purchase of what I hope to create as a portfolio of urban core properties,” says Omar Garcia, managing member of Urban Core Holdings. “I'm an urban core fanatic. This is one of the few privately owned parcels in the West River Redevelopment Area.”

The city of Tampa has announced a number of long-term plans to improve the West River Redevelopment Area, which encompasses the 150 acres bounded by Rome Avenue, Columbus Avenue, the Hillsborough River and Interstate 275. The Tampa Housing Authority is working to demolish the existing public housing development and build new mixed-income housing. The city is also working with Hillsborough County to create a community redevelopment district on the property, which would require that all property taxes from the area be spent within its boundaries.

“This is like taking my site and dropping it in the middle of Hyde Park,” he says of the potential two-year impact of the redevelopment efforts.

Garcia says he was also attracted to the development's concrete structure and the size of the units.

“There is nowhere around this downtown urban core that can offer the same value we can offer for this location,” he says.

The new ownership is putting together plans for a major renovation to the property. Those changes including painting the buildings' exteriors, resurfacing the parking lot, improving the landscaping, putting in new flooring, air-conditioning, kitchen cabinets and appliances in the units and installing security cameras and a laundry room.

Casey Babb and Luis Baez of Marcus & Millichap's Tampa office handled the transaction.

Urban Core Holdings mortgaged the property to The Bank of Tampa for $2.48 million.


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