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PORTLAND, ME-Continuing a flurry of multifamily sales thus far this year in Maine’s Casco region, Equity Residential has traded three apartment communities to a Philadelphia-based investment group, Resource Real Estate. Totaling 309 units, the portfolio fetched $35.05 million for Equity Residential, which has embraced a strategy to focus on core markets.

“We had good interest,” reports Cushman & Wakefield executive director Simon Butler, a member of C&W’s multifamily sales team that marketed the apartments for Equity. Private capital was especially attracted to the opportunity, says Butler, who characterizes the portfolio as a value-added play. Butler was joined by C&W executive director Biria St. John and Capital Markets Group chief Robert Griffin Jr., in brokering the sale for Equity and procuring the buyer.

The largest of the three assets changing hands is Tamarlane, a 115-unit community comprised of both flats and townhomes and a range of one and two-bedroom units. Tamarlane has two dozen wood-frame buildings on its 19-acre campus, with a leasing center and 23 two-story residential structures consisting of vinyl clapboard siding and asphalt shingle roofs. The apartments feature fully applianced kitchens, washer/dryers and substantial closet space, while Tamarlane also offers residents such amenities as a basketball court, swimming pool and tennis courts.

The remaining two properties are Coach Lantern and Foxcroft. Both are located just south of Portland in Scarborough and each is made up entirely of townhouse apartments, a design that Butler says is common in Maine’s apartment stock. Situated near Scarborough’s Prouts Neck area, Coach Lantern has 90 units, all of which are either two or three-bedroom units in 21 wood-frame buildings. Amenities include two playground areas and what Butler terms “outstanding waterfront access.” The 104-unit Foxcroft also offers multiple playground options, while the apartments have individual exterior entranceways and private patios. All of the units there are two-bedrooms. Situated just off Route One, the complex has 14 residential buildings and a stand-alone leasing center.

Efforts to contact Equity Residential were unsuccessful, while officials at Resource Real Estate declined comment. Industry observers say they believe this is Resource’s first venture into Maine and possibly into New England. A wholly owned subsidiary of NASDAQ-traded Resource America, Resource Real Estate owns and manages properties valued in excess of $1.5 billion, including 9,000 apartments and 1.3 million sf of commercial space. According to the company’s website, Resource Real Estate is presently focused on securing income-generating multifamily in growing markets, with a deal size generally from $10 million to $60 million.

Butler deferred questions about the buyer and seller to the parties themselves, but acknowledges that the sale is in line with Equity’s previously announced plan to retrench from tertiary regions. Having earlier this year traded two other Portland-area assets, as first reported by GlobeSt.com, Equity is now bereft of any properties there, confirms Butler, whose team also negotiated those transactions. Despite Equity’s defection, Butler says he is impressed by Maine’s multifamily sector. “It’s a very steady market with limited new supply,” conditions, he says, could enhance Resource’s effort to increase income from the properties.

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