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

PLANT CITY, FL-PUIG Development of Hialeah is joining the horde of condo converters in this state with its $7.61-million purchase of the 18-year-old, 112-unit Lake Walden Townhomes in this Central Florida city which calls itself the Strawberry Capital of the US. Plant City is 60 miles south of Downtown Orlando.

PUIG paid Tampa-based Lake Walden Apartments LLC $68,000 per unit, or $71.85 per sf, for the 106,000-sf, 100%-occupied property at 2302 S. Maki Rd. The property was on the market for only two weeks before the Goldfinger-Johnson-Crotty Group of Marcus & Millichap in Tampa found a buyer. The seller had owned the property less than a year.

The transaction took another 90 days to complete, from contract signing to closing. The deal was done at this time because “the seller decided to capitalize on a strong sellers’ market,” broker Bob Goldfinger tells GlobeSt.com. The average asking gross rent range at the property is $750 per month for an average 1,000-sf, two-bedroom, 1.5-bath townhouse and $550 per month for an average 550-sf efficiency unit.

Broker Jay Crotty tells GlobeSt.com the $68,000-per-unit price is “above average” for an 18-year-old comparable property but notes, “This is the first significant condo conversion sale in this submarket.”

The Goldfinger-Johnson-Crotty Group closed about $150 million in apartment property sales in 2004 and expects to close over $400 million in 2005, broker Tim Johnson tells GlobeSt.com.

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