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AUSTIN-A Los Angeles-based investment group has emerged victorious in its bidding war, snagging the 312-unit Balcones Club Apartments in its first Austin buy. The buyer, which has done previous business with seller Equity Residential Properties Trust, plans to renovate the class B complex.

Apartment Realty Advisors’ sales director Pat Jones in Austin says the Chicago REIT received 21 offers for the 97%-leased complex at 9218 Balcones Club Dr. Although the final sales price was kept quiet, Travis Central Appraisal District values Balcones Club Apartments at $13.9 million. On the sales front, similar assets have traded for $70,000 to $75,000 per door.

“Most of the guys looking were private investors wanting a value-add in a good location that was popular,” says Jones, who partnered with ARA principal Jerry Lamm in Dallas to represent the seller. “Value-add is very popular right now. People are seeing it as a way to get increased yield.” And, he tells GlobeSt.com, the buyer’s previous relationship with the seller was the deciding factor for the win.

Jones says Equity Residential did some upgrades to Balcones Club, putting new siding on the buildings, painting exteriors and sealing the parking lot. He says the new owner will continue with renovations, upgrading interiors eyeing higher rents as the outcome. “That’s their business model, buying mid-1980s properties for value-add opportunities,” Jones says.

The 23-year-old complex is situated near Austin’s Tech Triangle, with retail close by. “This was the perfect storm as far as jobs and retail being in close proximity,” Jones remarks. “The other cool benefit to the property is that the whole south side is bordered by Balcones Country Club Golf Course.”

Situated on 12.9 acres, Balcones Club Apartments has one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 464 sf to 1,150 sf. Monthly rents are $506 to $859.

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