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Carlyle Group buys Citrus Park project for $72 million

Affiliate of giant investment firm acquires Bonita Springs mobile home and RV property.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. July 19, 2019
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JIM JETT — The 420-acre Citrus Park, developed in the 1970s, contains more than 500 mobile home sites
JIM JETT — The 420-acre Citrus Park, developed in the 1970s, contains more than 500 mobile home sites
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An affiliate of Carlyle Property Investors has spent $72 million to acquire the Citrus Park mobile home and RV park in Bonita Springs, in one of the largest multifamily rental transactions in Southwest Florida in the past five years.

CPI Citrus Park Owner LLC, an affiliate Carlyle Property Investors that is a subsidiary of the giant Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Carlyle Group, bought the 420-acre property from Trost International Inc., Lee County property records indicate.

Citrus Park-Trost International developed the 1,536-unit community, which contains various recreational amenities such as swimming pools, tennis and shuffleboard courts, softball field and a golf driving range, beginning in the 1970s.

Neither Carlyle officials nor executives from Murex Properties, the Fort Myers-based firm that manages the manufactured home park, returned telephone calls for comment on the acquisition.

In addition to more standard amenities, the gated property also contains a recreation hall where weekly dances are held for residents and visitors and a clubhouse that hosts various activities, according to Citrus Park’s website.

The 55-plus community, at 25501 Trost Blvd., had been owned by the Trost family since opening on land that had been orange groves. Citrus Park was developed by Erich J. Trost, of Kornbach, Germany, who settled on the property after spotting it from a chartered plane, the website notes.

The Carlyle transaction follows the October 2018 acquisition of a pair of similar, manufactured home resorts in Sarasota County for a combined $165 million.

In that deal, Cove Communities, of Phoenix, bought the Camelot Lakes Village for $90.77 million and the nearby Camelot East Village for $74.23 million, county property records show.

Camelot Lakes spans 119 acres and contains 534 home sites, while its sister property covers 105 acres and contains 434 home sites. Both were developed beginning in 1981 and are accentuated by a plethora of activities and amenities.

In the case of Citrus Park, Carlyle Property Investors likely bought the park as part of its strategy of targeting so-called “core plus” properties with stable cash flow.

Carlyle Property Investors focuses primarily on investments in multifamily rental and senior housing projects, according to documents the company filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

Formed in September 2015, today Carlyle Property Investors controls assets valued at about $1.4 billion, SEC records show. The firm seeks properties that will generate an internal rate of return between 9% and 11%.

Citrus Park’s 563 mobile homes and RV rental spots generate annual revenue of about $2.55 million, according to figures compiled by research firm Dun & Bradstreet.

For 2019 and 2020, a six-month RV site rents for $3,700, according to Citrus Park’s website.

It could not be determined whether Carlyle Property Investors and Murex Properties intend to make any substantive improvements to Citrus Park in the wake of the purchase last month.

In August 2017, the community was beset by flooding from a historic level of rainfall that left much of Citrus Park under water for days. Numerous mobile home parks and the property inside them were damaged when more than six inches of rain fell in Bonita Springs in a matter of hours. City officials ultimately pumped out much of the water that lay about the community and crippled traffic in and out.

In addition to managing Citrus Park, Murex Properties also oversees more than a half-dozen multifamily properties along the Gulf Coast, according to its website.

In Charlotte County, the company manages the Lakewood Village, Riverside Oaks, Ventura Lakes and Buttonwood Village projects, all in Punta Gorda.

The company also manages the Flamingo Garden Apartments, in Bradenton; the Japanese Garden, in Clearwater; Schalamar Creek, in Lakeland; and The Gardens, in Parrish.

Elsewhere in Florida, Murex administers properties in Haines City, Boynton Beach and Flagler Beach, according to its website.

Outside of the state, the company is involved with multifamily projects in Medford, Ore.; Killeen, Texas; and Dolce Vita, Apache Junction, Ariz., its website indicates.








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