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ORLANDO-The 27-year-old, 254-unit Ashley of Spring Valley apartment complex, located at the hottest commercial real estate intersection in Central Florida, is under new ownership today with Houston-based CNC Investments at the helm.

CNC outbid a dozen buyers for the class B, 99%-leased suburban property at Interstate 4 and State Road 436, eight miles north of Downtown.

The Texas investor paid Gray Co. Inc. of Richmond, VA $11.18 million or $43,000 per unit ($43 per rentable sf) for the property which sits on a low-density, 16-acre heavily wooded parcel in suburban Altamonte Springs, FL.

Gray owned the property since 1995 and had invested several million dollars into renovating and refurbishing the units, Stephen M. St. Clair of Marcus & Millichap’s Orlando office, tells GlobeSt.com.

Marcus & Millichap negotiated for Gray after bids came in from qualified institutional and private investors who were exposed to the listing by M&M’s national network of 550 brokers.

St. Clair is director of M&M’s National Multi Housing Group. The property has two pools, racquetball and tennis courts, a fitness section and clubhouse.

Area brokers tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity the $43,000 per unit price would have been on the low side if economic conditions were rosier. “It’s about right for these times,” a broker who has sold similar assets tells GlobeSt.com.

“Although the property is 27 years old, the hard and soft replacement costs today of the complex, plus the 16 acres it sits on at one of the hottest commercial intersections in the state, would be closer to $100,000 per unit,” the broker says.

In its July analysis of the area’s multifamily market, Marcus & Millichap research shows vacancies at 7.4%, down from 8.6% in the first half of 2000. M&M expects the year to end with an overall 7% vacancy level because the construction pipeline is emptying.

“Sales of class A and B properties were strong in 2000 while class C transactions were a third of the level achieved in 1999,” notes Steven M. Ekovich, vice president/regional manager, Marcus & Millichap, Tampa, FL.

The Ashley of Spring Valley complex is considered a B-plus property.

“Investors are positioning themselves in the best properties in anticipation of a tightening of the rent market,” Ekovich tells GlobeSt.com. “So far this year, the trend has continued as the only complexes to sell during the first quarter were class A.”

The property has 48 one bedroom-one bath units, sized 620 sf at $615 per month rent; 64 one bedroom-one-bath units, 850 sf, $665 rent; 42 two bedroom-one-bath units, 950 sf, $750 rent; and 100 two-bedroom-two-bath units, 1,100 sf, $790 rent.

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