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DALLAS-In a pre-emptive strike, a Los Angles-based investment group has taken title to the 332-unit Highland Road Village Apartments in Oak Cliff. The 97%-leased asset has rung up $8.9 million.

The 11-building complex at 2704 S. Cockrell Hill Rd. had been under contract one year ago, but the seller changed his mind, according to Peter J. Hartnett, associate partner in Dallas for Phoenix-based Hendricks & Partners. As the plan gelled to reintroduce it, Hartnett tells GlobeSt.com that he “made one phone call and sold it before it went back to the market.”

The quick-moving buyer was Lagovent Real Estate Group Inc. The seller is Highland Village Apartments LLC, led by Jason Morash, who is holding a contract to sell the last of 15 properties for a three-year disposition.

Hartnett says the seller spent the past year building in more revenue to the play for a new owner. The electricity contract was redone, adding $45,000 to the net operating income, and the laundry lease was renegotiated at an 80% increase plus the seller put in a new chiller system, according to Hartnett. And, there was final step to ready it for sale once again. “He raised rents across the board in lieu of a continuing rise in the utility bill-back system, with very little resistance,” he says, adding the asset’s income jumped $55,000 per year.

Hartnett explains the seller’s initiatives set up a surefire sale, with additional fuel from nearby new shopping centers. “It’s hard to lose on that,” he says. To make the close, though, the buyer assumed a $7.07-million loan at 6.81% fixed-rate interest and 30-year amortization through Miami Beach, FL-based LNR Corp.

The 22.4-acre complex, developed in 1968, consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, averaging 905 sf. The average monthly rent is $640 or 71 cents per sf. And, Hartnett is quick to point out, “it has a high historical occupancy.”

In early May, Lagovent bought the 350-unit Park Village Apartments at 7575 S. Westmoreland Rd., which is four miles to the south of its newest pickup. The two purchases play right to the buyer’s sweet spot as an opportunistic and value-add investor for private and institutional capital, predominately targeting the multifamily sector.

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