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FORT WORTH-AmeriSouth Realty has spent $1.6 million on a niche play in Fort Worth, buying a second federally assisted housing complex and a neighbor to one bought just five months ago.

The latest acquisition by the Dallas-based multifamily owner is the 72-unit Sabine Place, a 4.5-acre development with 13 buildings at 1215 Terminal Rd. in Fort Worth. In the next 30 days, Meridian Construction of Dallas will begin work on $350,000 of improvements, Jeff Ratliff of AmeriSouth Real Estate Services Inc. tells GlobeSt.com.

Sabine Place is situated near North Hills Manor, a 100-unit complex bought in February. Both complexes are HUD-supported developments, with all units tied to HAP contracts. “It’s smaller than we typically like, but we have another 100 units just one-quarter mile away so it made sense,” Ratliff says of a deal that went full cycle in 60 days with hard money placed “Day 1″ on a purchase from Sabine Place Cal Group of San Jose, CA.

John Brownlee of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler’s Dallas office arranged financing for 85% of cost through Colonial Bank in Dallas, Ratliff says. AmeriSouth, led by Ruel M. Hamilton, had in-house broker, Brandon Rutledge, working the deal, which closed last Friday.

Rutledge brought the deal to the table. “They weren’t necessarily looking to sell,” Ratliff confides, adding it was the seller’s lone Texas asset in its multifamily portfolio. But, the seller did need a buyer experienced with HAP contracts.

The fully occupied, 34-year-old complex is equally divided into two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, averaging 950 sf. Rent averages 72 cents per sf. Ratliff says there is room to grow the rent by about $50 per month once the renovations are complete although the complex was in good condition at sale time. “Going in, the cap rate was 10% to 10.5%,” he says, quickly adding that will rise significantly post-renovation.

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