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HOUSTON-A New York City-based investment group has pushed into the metro with an off-market transaction for the 387-unit Cheval Apartments. The buyer has secured a $26.5-million loan to close the deal.

Abacus Capital Group LLC has bought the two-year-old, class A complex at 7105 Old Katy Rd. from A.G. Spanos Corp. of Austin. The complex is assessed at $41.8 million by Harris Central Appraisal District.

“We’ve done multiple deals with Spanos in the past, which is how we found out about this,” explains Gregory S. Lydon, executive vice president of Abacus Capital Group. “At this moment, we believe this property is one of the best ‘amenitized’ properties in the marketplace. As the midtown region continues to gentrify, the property will increase in value.”

Lydon tells GlobeSt.com that Abacus is looking for other buys in Houston. Unlike Cheval Apartments, however, Abacus’ next purchases most likely will be value-add plays. “Cheval was a really unique opportunity to own something class A in the area,” he says. “The others we’re looking at right now are different.”

Lydon points out that Houston isn’t the only targeted market, but the company does really like the city’s fundamentals. “Everything’s been improving significantly over the last six months,” he adds.

Situated on 10.2 acres, the 94%-occupied Cheval Apartments has one- and two-bedroom floor plans averaging 928 sf. Rents range from $865 to $1495 per month.

The buyer secured a six-year loan from Freddie Mac. Mona K. Carlton, senior managing director in Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP’s Dallas office, arranged financing.

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