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ATLANTA-An affiliate of locally based ECI Capital Inc. has acquired the 400-unit Veranda Apartments at 2383 Akers Mill Rd. for $32 million. The seller was Norfolk, VA-based Harbor Group International, which had acquired the property in 2005.

“The seller is return driven. Harbor Group International had increased the performance of the property considerably, with income growth of 15%,” Kevin Geiger, of CB Richard Ellis, tells GlobeSt.com. “Harbor felt it was a good time to sell and achieve a good return on their investment.” Geiger and his CBRE colleagues Malcolm McComb and Paul Berry represented the seller.

Constructed in the early 1970s, the property was renovated in 1994. Among property amenities are views of the Chattahoochee River and National Forest, a gated entryway, leasing center with fitness center, pool and playground. At the time of the sale, it was 96% occupied. The average size of the units within the complex is 964 sf.

The buyer plans to invest more than $2 million to conduct interior and exterior upgrades. The property will be renamed the Columns at Akers Mill. “Although Harbor had done some improvements to the property, the buyer felt there was still an opportunity to do more work and achieve more growth,” Geiger says.

The property is located within an area known as the “Platinum Triangle,” which has more than 20 million sf of office. It is located within one-quarter mile from the interchange of Interstate 75 and 285 and has visibility from Akers Mill Road, Interstate 285 and Powers Ferry Road.

“We are drawn to the dynamic growth at Cumberland Mall and the Galleria office market,” says ECI Capital Inc. president Seth Greenberg, in a released statement. “This acquisition also diversifies our portfolio in Atlanta as most of our other communities are suburban in nature. We think the metro area will continue to see solid rent growth and this property fits well into our future plans.”

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