ATLANTA-A private investor from Connecticut paid $4.9 million,or $38,000 per unit, for the Gardens at Briarwood, formerly knownas the Highlands at Sutton Place, a 130-unit lender-ownedmultifamily property in Atlanta.

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JMG Realty, a third-party management company based in Atlanta,which was the receiver, was technically the owner of the43-year-old property, says Paul Vetter, an associate vice presidentand director of the National Multi-Housing Group at Marcus &Millichap in Atlanta, who represented the receiver in thetransaction. CW Capital was the special servicer.

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In May 2009, when the receiver was appointed for the property,the occupancy was 65%, says Vetter. But by the time Marcus& Millichap listed the property, it was 90% occupied, hesays.

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Miles Properties, which owned the Highlands at Stutton Placebefore the receiver took over, was overleveraged. In January2010, the Atlanta-based company and several related entitiesdeclared Chapter 11 bankrtupcy in the Northern District ofGeogia.

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The Gardens at Briarwood has the advantage of being in theBuford Highway submarket, a B plus submarket which is at thebackdoor of Buckhead, an upscale area, says Vetter. The propertyhas no immediate capital needs, he says.

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The Gardens at Briarwood has private patios for townhouse unitsand screened-in balconies for the garden-style units. Communityamenities include two swimming pools with large deck areas.

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In 2006 and 2007, multi-family properties in the Bufordsubmarket sold for between $50,000 to the mid-$60,000s per unit,says Vetter. He is hopeful that The Gardens at Briarwood will dowell with the new owner. He described the property “as a stabilizedasset, because the receiver nursed it back to health," adding, "Wereceived 19 offers for the property in less than 30 days ofmarketing,"

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When the recession hit, says Vetter, rents and occupancy ratesat the property. Still, occupancies should have been in the high80s to low 90s for this submarket, he says. Most REO assetsare distressed, but today, this property does not fall in thatcategory, says Vetter.

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