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CHARLOTTE, NC-Roberts Realty Investors Inc. has sold its 319-unit Ballantyne Place apartment community here for $37.25 million. The new owner is Post Properties, which owns about 24,000 units in 60 communities. Both companies are publicly traded and based in Atlanta.The apartment community has one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units ranging in size from 814 sf to 2,060 sf. Construction was completed in late 2004. The property is still in its initial lease-up and is currently 77% leased, according to Post Properties, which has renamed the property Post Ballantyne. In addition to the purchase price, Post Properties paid an additional $690,000 to reimburse Roberts Realty for a previously paid loan commitment fee related to its $24-million construction loan, raising the total price to $118,934 per unit. “To the best of my knowledge, this is a record price for suburban garden apartments in Charlotte,” says Roberts Realty president Charles Roberts.The apartment community is located at 14205 Ballantyne Lake Rd. and is part of a 2,000-acre master planned community south of Charlotte’s central business district called Ballantyne. The master planned community includes a five-star resort and golf course, several hundred residences, 2.5 million sf of office space and 1.3 million sf of retail space.Roberts Realty plans to use its $14.47 million in net proceeds from the sale to fund the acquisition of existing properties in Atlanta or Florida or to fund its ground-up development activities in Atlanta. Charles Roberts says the company has 868 units in various phases of development in metropolitan Atlanta, including 220 apartments on Northridge Parkway, 292 apartments on Peachtree Parkway and 236 apartments and 120 condominiums on Peachtree Dunwoody Road.As a result of selling 1,479 units seven apartment communities over the past two years, the company has posted negative operating cash flow. Instead, it has distributed $5.05 per share in distributions. Roberts says the negative operating cash flow will continue until our new communities are constructed and leased, which at least will extend through 2006. Instead of making additional distributions in 2005 and 2006, however, sale proceeds will be reinvested in development, he says.

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