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HOUSTON-A foreclosure sale has a happy ending as Abbey Residential Services Inc. steps up to acquire the 680-unit Bentworth Apartments from Bentworth Apartments Ltd. Sources say the complex’s value, set at $15 million by taxing authorities, could be as much as $20 million on the open market.

The complex, situated on 22.5 acres at 11655 Briar Forest Dr., was brought to market a little more than a year ago, according to David Wylie, vice president for ARA Realty Advisors in Houston. “When we took this deal to market, we got 25 offers and picked Abby Residential,” says Wylie, who with ARA principal Cliff McDaniel negotiated the transaction.

As the deal moved through escrow, the complex moved into foreclosure. “On the courthouse steps, we called the buyer, said the deal is going to the courthouse, and the buyer stepped up,” Wylie tells GlobeSt.com, adding Abbey Residential was able to quickly get the lender on board to help finance the property.

Despite the foreclosure, the local seller continues to be active in the market, Wylie continues, adding its constructing one or two other developments in the area. The Birmingham, AL-based Abbey Residential, which used 1031 exchange funds to help finance the purchase, will focus on fixing up and stabilizing the class C complex, currently at 70% occupancy.

Built in 1977, Bentworth Apartments has a one-, two- and three-bedroom mix. Units range from 604 sf to 1,227 sf; monthly rents go from $490 to $735.

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