ATLANTA-Locally based Roberts Realty Investors Inc. has closed on a $109.2-million sale of five area apartment communities to Birmingham, AL-based Colonial Properties Trust. Colonial paid an average $100,045 per unit for Bradford Creek, Plantation Trace, Preston Oaks, River Oaks and Veranda Chase communities, the company reveals. The portfolio boasts average unit size of 1,300 sf.Roberts intends to pay a distribution of $4.50 per share June 18 to holders of record on June 14. The company has paid shareholders $8.84 in dividends and distributions since 1996, says Roberts founder and CEO Charles R. Roberts. “This sale maximizes the value of our older appreciated assets and rewards our shareholders with a substantial distribution,” Roberts says.The buy dovetails nicely with Colonial’s reallocation strategy, according to chairman and CEO Thomas H. Lowder. “We’ve been focused on reallocating assets into the multifamily sector,” he explains. “This allows us to fast-forward this strategy with class-A communities.”This is particularly true in what he describes as a “dynamic” market: “The multifamily sector is poised to recover from this economic cycle, and the Atlanta market has significant upside potential.” Roberts adds that the deal with Colonial “allows management to continue to create shareholder value by focusing on its newer assets.” These include three apartment communities totaling 922 homes, a 220-unit apartment community under development, a 42,090-sf retail center and a 39,907-sf office building.

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