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(To read more on the multifamily market, click here.)

TAMPA, FL-A strong condo conversion market in Central Florida was the driving motivation for Palm Coast-based Bay Communities to purchase the 315-unit, eight-year-old, 95%-leased Hamptons at Tampa Palms apartment community. The site traded for $54.6 million or $173,333 per unit.

San Antonio-based Internacional Realty sold the asset after owning it for the past two years. Developed in 1997 by Zom Inc. of Winter Park, the property at 15350 Amberly Dr. consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging about 1,400 sf each, according to CB Richard Ellis Inc. brokers Jim Bobbitt and John Selby who brokered the deal. They represented the buyer and seller. Wachovia funded the acquisition.

“The property was on the market for less than three months, start to finish,” Bobbitt tells GlobeSt.com. About a dozen bidders pursued the property. The deal took 30 days to complete, from contract signing to closing.

Bobbitt and Selby found the buyer, a private investment group which plans to convert the property this year to luxury condos. The average asking gross rent range at Hamptons at Tampa Palms is $860 to $1,530 per month.

Bobbitt and Selby have closed 14 deals so far this with a total sales volume about $385 million. They are part of CBRE’s Florida Multihousing Group and its real estate banking subsidiary, LJ Melody. The group closed more than 100 multifamily sales and financing transactions in Florida valued over $3.3 billion in 2004.

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