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WINTER PARK, FL-A joint venture of Santa Monica, CA-based the Watt Cos. and Newport Beach, CA-based Buchanan Street Partners has acquired the 384-unit Semoran North Apartments for $69,000 per unit or approximately $24 million.

The property is comprised of 381,384 sf of residential space on 26 acres. Winter Park is a northern suburb of Orlando with strong demographics, which are supported by strong growth trends across the region.

Buchanan Street Partners CIO Timothy Ballard tells GlobeSt.com that the complex is typical of the type of class B apartment buildings the company acquires under its investment strategy. “The complex had an occupancy rate of 85% in the market that averages 95%,” Ballard says. “The owner hasn’t put any money into the property in a while.”

The partnership is planning to spend $10,000 per unit on capital improvements. Work will begin in the next few months. “We feel there is an opportunity to grow the income stream of the property,” Ballard says.

The transaction is one of Watt Cos.’ first in Florida and represents Buchanan’s fourth investment in Florida and second in Orlando. “Semoran’s proximity to desirable retail establishments together with its historically stable rent profile provides use with an exciting opportunity to reposition the asset,” says Watt Realty Advisors president John Wickser, who spearheads the investment program for the Watt Cos, in a prepared statement.

The joint venture comes on the heels of Watts’ planned joint venture with Centro Properties, Centro Watt, which in three years owned and operated more than 700 retail shopping centers in 38 states with more than 155 million sf of space.

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