JACKSONVILLE, FL—Jacksonville is getting anothermultifamily project. LandSouthConstruction just broke ground on a $4 millionapartment community on Jacksonville's Westsidecalled Village on Wiley.

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The multifamily project sits on 4.3 acres andoffers 43 units in 12 buildings. Doors should open at Village onWiley next summer.

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Ability Housing of Northeast Florida, anot-for-profit in Northeast Florida that focuses on developingaffordable housing for those at risk ofhomelessness and adults with disabilities, is behind the project.Florida Housing Finance Corporation is funding the multifamilybuildings.

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On the investment front, Jacksonville saw one of the largest multifamily complex sales in the metro inNovember. Olympus Property Management snapped up atwo-property multifamily portfolio there for $62 million. CBRECapital Markets represented the seller, Atlanta-based CortlandPartners.

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“This market-leading transaction only confirms thesustainability of Jacksonville's improving fundamentals, and theviability of the multifamily sector here,” says Brian Moulder,senior vice president of CBRE Capital Markets, Multifamily. “Rentsin Jacksonville are forecasted to increase about 3% each year forthe next five years, and average occupancy should hold strong inthe 92% to 93% range.”

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On the capital markets front, 22 Lantern successfully completed amulti-year turnaround strategy on Lantern Square Apartments, afailed condo conversion project in Jacksonville. PrudentialMortgage Capital Company loaned Lantern$18.1 million in a CMBS transaction.

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What should we expect in 2015? The combined Tampa Bay, Orlando, andJacksonville markets are seeing 25,000 units recently completed orunder construction with an additional 5,200 planned.

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“Rents are above pre-recession levels and don't show signs ofabating,” says ARA principal Klann. “Occupancy throughout Floridaremains above 95%. In addition, the condo market is strengtheningand converters are back in the market, looking formultifamily product to reposition as for-sale,which will further constrain supply. This shortage is due partly tochanging demographics, the fact that 60,000 rental units wereconverted to condominiums in the last cycle

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