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SAN ANTONIO-When the 322-unit Lodge at Shavano Park opened two years ago, there were a number of other top-notch multifamily properties opening about the same time, says Will Balthrope of Grubb & Ellis Co.’s multi-housing group in Texas.

“For the last two years, the market has been absorbing class A (multifamily housing) space,” he says. The San Antonio multifamily market has held up much better than Austin’s, in part reflecting the fact that San Antonio has not been as severely affected by the recent recession as has the capital city, Balthrope said.

Now that the top of Austin’s apartment market has begun to pick up means it is a good time to market the property, according to Balthrope. The Hanover Co. recently hired Balthrope and partner, Don Ostroff, to sell the property for $23 million in cash or an average of $71,429 per unit. “What’s very unusual about this property is that it’s set in a very exclusive neighborhood among homes that go from $500,000 to $1 million,” Balthrope says. “That’s unusual for an apartment building.”

The Lodge at Shavano Park is in the midst of the north central submarket and draws tenants from the fast-growing job centers in San Antonio, including the South Texas Medical Center and the USAA world headquarters, which are less than two miles from the complex at the corner of Huebner and Lockhill Selma roads.

Balthrope thinks there is room for a new owner to “move rents up significantly over the next few years.” Today’s average is about $821 per unit. Balthrope believes rent could be bumped up to a $1,000 per unit.

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