ORLANDO-Atlanta-based ARA just closed back-to-back multifamilydeals. The investment advisory brokerage closed the sale of Gatesof Harbortown in Orlando and Woodbridge Apartments in nearby WinterPark.

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ARA principal Kevin Judd, principal Richard Donnellan, and vicepresident, Patrick Dufour, represented an institutional seller inthe Harbortown deal. Judd, Dufour and ARA principal Marc deBaptisterepresented Midland Loan Services in the Woodbridge Apartmentssale.

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“Both properties were sold to private buyers looking for avalue-add opportunity,” Judd tells GlobeSt.com. “Activity inCentral Florida’s multifamily market is definitely picking up thisyear. We have a few more transactions should close before the endof the year.”

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Gates of Harbortown, a 428-unit, class A, luxury garden andtownhome apartment community in the master-planned MetroWest areais 94% occupied. Los Angeles-based JRK Property Holdings purchasedthe property for an undisclosed amount. With no landavailable for future multifamily development, JRK enjoys asignificant barrier-to-entry for future competition in theimmediate area.

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“This is our second transaction in MetroWest on the heels of thesale of The Estates at Park Avenue in May,” says Donnellan. “Wealso closed this week on Woodbridge Apartments in Winter Park. Thisvalidates the strong and resurging investment demand we are seeingfor multi-family throughout Orlando and the entire state. Thefundamentals for apartments look very favorable for the foreseeablefuture. We are very bullish on the asset class.”

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Woodbridge Apartments is a 168-unit multifamily communitylocated in Winter Park. The property sold for $7.8 million and is91.7% occupied. The property was sold out of receivership. Juddsays the sale represents a significant upside potential, from bothproperty performance improvements and value-add physicalenhancements.

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Woodbridge’s infill location in upscale Winter Park is proximateto one of the largest concentrations of employment in the Orlandoregion. The property is five miles from the University of CentralFlorida, Central Florida Research Park, and Rollins College. Theproperty is 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and one mile from FullSail University.

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“What you are seeing in Central Florida is banks realizing it’stime to get these properties off the books,” Bob Smith, presidentof Smith Equities Real Estate Investment Advisors in Orlando, tellsGlobeSt.com. “If you have under 85 percent occupancy you can’t getfinancing. People that are selling these things are shootingthemselves in the foot if they don’t offer seller financing becauseyou are limiting the pipeline of who can buy it to cash buyers.That’s what’s driving these prices down.”

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