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RICHMOND, VA-A 52-property multifamily portfolio has gotten snapped up in a $175 million deal between seller F&W Management Corp. and buyer the Lightstone Group. The apartments, which account for 6,500 residential units, are located in the Virginia cities of Richmond and Roanoke; however, one of the 50-plus communities crosses the border into North Carolina. The transaction is threefold, with Lightstone taking on 19 of the 52 complexes in the first phase. “Virginia is for lovers…and great real estate, too,” Lightstone chairman and principal David Lichtenstein says, quoting one of the state’s mottos. “We have fallen in love with the state, its people, its pride and its properties.”

All garden-style or low-rise apartment buildings make up the F&W portfolio, which currently boasts an average occupancy level of approximately 90%. Lightstone spent the last five years pursuing the properties, carefully making its way through a series of intricate issues. Among the complexities was the necessary attainment of approvals from relevant agencies for ownership changes on the portion of the portfolio that contains affordable housing units.

“Lightstone thought that with Virginia being so close to Washington, DC, it is a solid market to be in,” Ideal Realty Group president Allen Manesh tells GlobeSt.com. Ideal Realty, the largest exclusively multifamily real estate services group in the area surrounding its Potomac, MD headquarters, represented Lightstone in the transaction. “Lightstone was the most aggressive of the buyers, successfully dissecting the multiple deals involved. This kind of portfolio takes a lot of energy for a lot of companies.” Lightstone is scheduled to take over the remaining 33 properties in 2004.

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