ARLINGTON, TX-In a pre-emptive move, the next-door neighbor to a 330-unit, class C complex has grabbed the asset to amass a 730-unit block in southeast Arlington. To score the early win, the buyer has lobbed a bid within striking distance of a planned marketing at $7.5 million.

Arlington Park Apartments, a 92%-leased complex at 3101-121 E. Park Row Dr., has passed to Brett C. and Denise D. Heron of Los Angeles, who took the last local piece of real estate from 21-year owner, Phil Gray Lifetime Trust of San Luis Obispo, CA. The Herons, amassing the block in the past year, also own the 200-unit Brandon Oaks at 1415 Wiscasset Dr. and 200-unit Spanish Oaks at 3025 E. Park Row Dr. “His game plan is to pull all three properties together and utilize economies of scale,” Jay Gunn, senior investment adviser for Hendricks & Partners in Dallas, tells GlobeSt.com.

The acquisition’s location goes beyond the obvious. It’s positioned in a pocket being repositioned due to the projected impact from the under-construction Dallas Cowboys Stadium, set to come on line in time for the 2009 football season. Gunn says a majority of the multifamily assets in the corridor have changed hands in the last 18 months.

“We just think Arlington is well positioned to take off,” stresses Tom Burns, associate partner in Hendricks & Partners. Arlington Park is located just blocks from US Hwy. 360, a primary north-south freeway, and at the edge of the proposed $600-million GloryPark mixed-use development that will surround the Interstate 30-fronting stadium and its neighbor, Rangers Ballpark.

The seller acquired the 188-unit first phase to Arlington Park in 1979, one year after it delivered. The trust picked up the 142-unit second phase in 1986.

Burns says the 60-building complex, positioned on 9.9 acres, is a candidate for a water bill-back and minor rehab to add to the upside. In addition, there are 40 furnished units, with the furniture going along with the deed, which lease for a $60 up-charge. The mix of efficiencies and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments range from 350 sf to 1,160 sf. Monthly rents are $359 to $694.

The brokers confirm the Herons, using the last of 1031 exchange proceeds from a multifamily asset sale in Los Angles, secured new financing. Kirk Slimmer with Denver-based TransLending Corp. arranged the loan through Chicago’s LaSalle Bank. The couple’s anticipated hold is five to seven years, the brokers add.

Gunn called the Herons to gage their interest before the marketing began. “Sometimes, the most obvious buyer is right in front of you,” he says, “and interested in paying what we consider a really good price for the property.”

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