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DALLAS-A 438-unit apartment complex in Dallas spirited some feverish bidding and fast talking from a bevy of buyers seeking to claim the prize. The action came despite an $18.5-million asking price on a class B asset.

The Cobblestone Apartments at 10830 Stone Canyon Rd. had a lot going in its favor, Will Balthrope of the Cushman & Wakefield Multi Housing Group in Dallas tells GlobeSt.com. Interest ran particularly high because it’s an in-fill location at the junction of Central Expressway and Meadow Road. It’s also a 94%-occupied property, with an average per unit rent of $650 per month, allowing for plenty of upside.

Within three months of coming to market, 17 offers were delivered to the seller, a Canadian “syndicator” who’s owned the property for several years. The buyer, whose name is being kept quiet, is a Dallas investment group that gathered its capital from an institutional investor in the northeast, Balthrope says.

The buyer intends to sink several million dollars into a top-to-bottom makeover to reposition the 19-building complex on 11.8 acres into a class B plus, according to Balthrope. When the work’s done, the rents will go up. “It’s a classic example of an older infill Dallas property that institutional money is going to buy, renovate and do a value add,” he says. The property will be managed by the buyer as the repositioning is put into play.

The gated community was built in 1975. The Dallas Central Appraisal District pegs its 2002 assessment at $15 million. The assessment versus the asking price paints the picture of where the market is right now for stable class B properties that are well positioned.

Balthrope and partner, Don Ostroff, were the sole brokers on the deal, one of 12 that they are wrapping up under the Grubb & Ellis banner as part of their exit from the firm. To date this year, the team has sold 2,200 units at prices in excess of $100 million, working deals in literally every major Texas market and a few tertiary ones. Now the leaders of Cushman & Wakefield’s multifamily initiative, they have just listed three apartment complexes that will come to market in the next 30 days at a combined price tag of $70 million.

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