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RICHMOND, VA-Atlanta-based Miles Properties has paid $25 million to acquire a 720-unit complex of townhouses and apartments here from an undisclosed seller. Cushman and Wakefield negotiated the sale of the multi-building asset, called the Park at Lakewood Apartments, on behalf of the seller.

The class B multifamily complex, located at 3501 Meadowdale Blvd., off Chippenham Parkway, is around 80% occupied, according to Michael Marshall, a senior director of Cushman & Wakefield’s Apartment Brokerage Services Group.

“This transaction represents a value add opportunity for the buyer,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “Miles Properties plans on investing several million dollars in capital improvements and upgrades to the property, the units’ interiors and in the common area.” The buyer also liked the potential of positioning a multifamily property with this many units in the Richmond market, he adds.

Marshall reports that multifamily assets in general here are well positioned for growth, thanks to the area’s demographics and housing supply.

According to Cushman & Wakefield statistics, the average price per unit traded at a markedly higher price point in 2006 compared to the previous year–$81,649 per unit, or a 36% increase, despite a 11% drop in multifamily investment sales to $189 million. Average rents in the first six months in 2006 increased by 3%, from $735 to $761, the highest six-month increase in more than five years. Also, average occupancy grew by slightly more than one percentage point, to 94.8% from the year before.

Another large multifamily transaction closed in Richmond at the end of last year. Also brokered by Cushman & Wakefield, Honey Tree Apartments, a 388-unit complex traded for $34.4 million, as reported by GlobeSt.com.

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