COLUMBUS—Havenwood Townhomes has just purchasedMetro West Apartments, one of Columbus' largest,and most troubled, apartment complexes. The affiliate of theUtah-based Romney Group will take charge of 1,200units at 4312 Westport Rd. and promises to transform them intoclass A homes. The price was not disclosed and company officialswere not available by press time.

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The oldest portions of Metro West were constructed in 1965, buta general decline of the area, and a devastating and deadly fire in2004 left many buildings vacant. However, the opening of the nearbyHollywood Casino in 2012 and a recent influx ofretail businesses has brought about a bit of a revival andattracted investors' interest.

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“This community was the largest value-add multi-family asset inthe Midwest,” says Barry Swatsenbarg, the nationaldirector, investment and loan sale advisory services forFriedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions, aFarmington Hills, MI-based company. Swatsenbarg, along with seniorvice president Rich Deptula, handled the recentsale.

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The Central Ohio Community ImprovementCorporation has already been at work getting thedevelopment ready for a transformation. Over 300 of the 1,700 unitswere demolished in the past few months and an additional 328 willget knocked down in May. Havenwood plans to remodel 856 of theremaining townhomes into two, three, and four bedroom units, andlaunch a multimillion-dollar interior and exterior renovation.

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“It is a terrific investment in a growth location and offerslimitless repositioning opportunities,” says Swatsenbarg.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.