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TAMPA, FL-Two metro area apartment communities have changed hands after being on the market for only four weeks.

Orlando-based Tarragon South Development paid Preserve at Tampa Palms LLC $58.5 million, or $154,762 per unit, for the 19-building, 378-unit Preserve at Tampa Palms. The transaction’s trailing cap rate was 2.2%. Tampa Palms LLC is owned by Antheus Capital LLC, a New York-based company headed by Eli Ungar.

The three-story buildings and a 7,800-sf clubhouse on a 32-acre site are at 17220 Heart of Palms Dr. within the mixed-use Tampa Palms planned unit development. Average monthly rents at the three-year-old property range from $900 for a one-bedroom, one-bath unit to $1,635 for a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment. The property was built in 2002.

Naples Realty Group LLC bought the six-year-old, 228-unit, three-story Hawthorne Place in suburban Brandon from GDC Properties Inc. of Hawthorne, NY for $22.25 million, or $97,588 per unit. The trailing cap rate was 5.06%. The eight frame stucco buildings sit on 17 acres at 10208 Hawthorne Place Dr. The average monthly rent range is $714 for a one-bedroom, one-bath unit to $1,064 for a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment.

The New York office of Boston-based Tremont Realty Capital provided a total $16.8 million in financing to Naples Realty for the acquisition, according to John Raggio, a Tremont managing director. “The 10-year, non-recourse loan provided for roughly an 83% loan-to-value with a competitive interest rate,” Raggio says in a prepared statement. The loan was funded through the company’s Tremont-GRE Mezzanine Loan Program. The funding included a $2-million mezzanine loan. The senior loan was for $14.8 million.<pThe property was 97% occupied at closing. Raggio says the operating expense ratio "was in excess of 55%. Similar properties in the market were operating at considerably lower expenses." However, "the sponsor had other properties in the market and presented a concise business plan to reduce expenses," he says. "In recognition of that, Tremont was able to structure the loan with an accrual feature and interest-only for the first 24 months."

The Florida office of Apartment Realty Advisors brokered both sales. “The condo conversion market in Tampa remains very strong as it is throughout the state,” notes ARA principal Richard Donnellan. “With many people priced out of the single-family home market, condominiums are filling the gap in providing affordable housing to the market.”

The broker adds, “The dynamics are shifting to the positive for apartment owners as many communities in the Tampa Bay area are slated for [condo] conversions.”

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