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ORLANDO-Tarragon Corp. of New York has contracted to purchase four high-end townhouse and apartment communities totaling 1,123 units in Florida at an aggregate price of $190 million or an average $47.5 million per property and $155,355 per unit.

Tarragon chairman and CEO William S. Friedman says he expects the acquisition will generate gross aggregate condo unit sales of “more than $250 million” over the next two years after the properties are converted to condominiums. The deals are scheduled to close between Dec. 29 and Jan. 28.

Friedman says the acquisitions, from separate unrelated sellers, will be financed with the company’s working capital and separate first mortgage acquisition loans from undisclosed lenders.

The properties are Arlington Park Town Homes at Westchase in Tampa, completed this month, 76 units; the Madison at Deerwood in Jacksonville, built in 2003, 344 units; the Yacht Club at Hypoloxo, a West Palm Beach suburb, built in 1996, 388 units ; and Georgetown at North Village in Celebration, completed in 2002, 315 units.

Tarragon isn’t budgeting a lofty sum for renovations. The properties are “in excellent condition and we expect only relatively minor renovation and interior work in the majority of units, prior to putting them on the market,” Friedman says. He expects condo prices in the four properties to range from $160,000 to $400,000, “depending on all the usual variables.” The Yacht Club, for example, has over 40 boat slips in its private marina on the Intracoastal Waterway, he tells GlobeSt.com.

Friedman anticipates demand by condo buyers will remain strong in 2005. “We are continuing to see strong demand for reasonably priced condominium units throughout Florida and [we] anticipate an excellent return on investment for our shareholders,” he says. The Tarragon chief is shooting for a first-quarter start on sales at his new acquisitions.

In October, Tarragon purchased and converted the Lincoln at Delaney Square apartments to condominium units under the Grande flag at 300 E. South St. in Downtown Orlando. Friedman tells GlobeSt.com Tarragon has sold 325 of the 364 Grande units since mid-October at average prices of $185,000 for an estimated aggregate total of $65 million. Tarragon and Sunvest Communities LLC of Hollywood jointly paid Lincoln Property Co. $42.2 million or $115,934 per unit in October.

In Celebration, the city Walt Disney World Co. built nine years ago 20 miles south of Downtown Orlando, Tarragon has a second conversion project under way called WaterStreet at Celebration. Tarragon has increased its Florida multifamily portfolio in the last three years to about $250 million, according to GlobeSt.com research.

“The condo market in Florida is a sophisticated, product-driven market where prospective buyers have choices,” Friedman tells Globest.com. “For high-quality communities, the market is strong.” He says “most our buyers are not choosing a condominium because a single-family home would be more costly. They want a location and a life-style that meets their needs.”

Friedman adds: “Our competition is usually other condominium projects, not single-family homes.”

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