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OKLAHOMA CITY-Beating out 15 other bids, a Boston investor has become the new owner of the 192-unit Lakeview Towers, one of the city’s few high-rise apartment complexes. The 1950s asset was the last one to be sold from a 775-unit, three-property tax-exempt bond portfolio.

VVT Management Inc. paid $3.2 million to Baltimore-based Municipal Mortgage & Equity LLC for the 72%-leased high-rise and plans to invest another $8.5 million to renovate it. “On the surface, the price per unit they paid for the building is well below the market averages for a high-rise residential. But the building would likely be classified as in fair condition, at best, at the time of sale,” says Jason Little, senior adviser in the Oklahoma City office of Sperry Van Ness. He and Sperry Van Ness adviser Andrew Burnett and managing director Gary Gregory represented the seller.

Little says the new owner will replace the entire HVAC system, which has boilers and chillers that are more than 50 years old. Also on tap are electrical and plumbing renovations and exterior facade work.

Although it requires a substantial renovation, the 15-story Lakeview Towers attracted many investors because there are not many high-rise residences in the city. “This is an important part of the Oklahoma City skyline and there are only a handful, if that, of high-rise residential buildings in Oklahoma City. They’re somewhat of a rare commodity,” Little tells GlobeSt.com.

Lakeview Towers was the last piece of a three-property portfolio that Municipal Mortgage & Equity acquired through a foreclosure. The 294-unit Park View Apartments at 8401 E. Reno Ave. and 287-unit Courtyard Village Apartments at 3834 N. Oak Grove were sold in 2007 to two different buyers. Both complexes are in Midwest City, OK.

The three assets had affordable housing restrictions as collateral for tax-exempt bonds. Little says that, after the bonds were foreclosed, Municipal Mortgage & Equity took title to the properties and then put them up for sale.

With the affordable housing restrictions gone from Lakeview Towers, Little says the new owner can charge market rate rents. “The new owner can bring in a fresh perspective and return this back to a highly sought-after apartment community and get occupancy back up to near 100% level,” he adds.

Lakeview Towers has a one- and two-bedroom mix. Units range from 600 sf to 975 sf, with in-place rents of $640 to $1,080 per month.

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