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JACKSONVILLE, FL-Belle Rive Club Apartments, a 13-year-old, 104-unit community on Belle Rive Boulevard here, is under new ownership. Private investor Eric H. Coe paid Belle Rive General Partners Inc. $5 million or $48,077 per unit ($59.41 per sf) for the 104-unit, Southside Jacksonville property.

The apartments consist of 62 one-bedroom, one-bath units and 40 two-bedroom, two-bath units. The average living area is 809 sf per unit. Average monthly rents are $640. Mark D. Smith of Orlando-based Smith Equities Corp. brokered the transaction.

The sale comes as the apartment conversion-to-condo market heats up in Orlando, area brokers tell GlobeSt.com. “All the driving forces are in place and interest in condominium conversion projects is high right now,” says Jay Ballard, an associate in the Orlando office of Cushman & Wakefield’s Apartment Group division.

Ballard says, “Downtown Orlando is re-emerging as a desirable place to live. As values rise, more and more developers are looking to convert rental apartment communities into condominiums that can sell from the $100s to the $300s.”

The broker adds, “Historically, Orlando has not accommodated significant condominium development. But that’s changing as developers line up to build high-rise projects with high-rise price tags–more than $1 million per unit, in some cases.”

Ballard notes there were only 437 condo units built Downtown from 1975 to 2001. Now there are more than 1,000 units planned or under development. “Developers are eyeing twice that many apartments for potential conversion,” the broker says.

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