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HOUSTON-A Long Island, NY investment firm is holding title to the 312-unit Hawthorne Apartments after beating out the competition by placing an offer 15 days before the bid deadline that was too good for the seller to pass up. The property was tagged for sale at $16.5 million.

With the closing, buyer Cannon Development LLC takes another step in a goal to buy 4,000 apartments in the city before midyear 2004. The newest acquisition at 15770 Bellaire Blvd. sits at the far end of the western boundary near the 404-unit Westhollow Park, Cannon’s purchase about a month ago.

J. Todd Stewart, senior vice president in the local office of CB Richard Ellis Inc., tells GlobeSt.com that the seller, Wentwood Hawthorne LP, a low-key investor from the Pacific Northwest, had reached the end of its investment cycle and “wanted to take advantage of the active sales market here in Houston.” The class B complex recently underwent a $2-million exterior renovation.

Stewart says the 94%-leased complex is a family-oriented property in “excellent condition” with units that average is 1,016 sf and a median rent of 71 cents per sf. Only 32 of the 312 apartments are one-bedroom designs. Built in 1982, the development sits on 13 acres near Westpark toll road and Texas 6.

Stewart along with G. Craig LaFollette and Todd Marix, also CBRE senior vice presidents, represented the seller. Cannon was represented by its longtime broker, Tom Gregg with Gregg & Associates in Atlanta. LJ Melody’s Tom Fish and Holly Mintor arranged financing for the transaction.

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