AUSTIN-Atlanta-based Lane Co. has made its first move in the area, acquiring the 290-unit Savannah Apartments in the Northwest Hills submarket. Similar class B properties in the market have traded for $85,000 to $87,000 per door.

Lane Co., which already has holdings in Dallas, plans to spend $2 million to $3 million to upgrade the 34-year-old complex at 7201 Hart Lane. According to Jeffrey Rogers, managing director of Transwestern’s Austin office, the buyer liked Savannah Apartments because of its upside of potential in rent increases and location in the Northwest Hills. He says the buyer is looking to buy more value-add, class B complexes in the city.

Rogers and Transwestern managing director Christopher Stutzman represented locally-based Falcon Southwest, which had performed exterior renovations during its hold of the asset. “Falcon owned the property for about three years. I think their plan when they bought it was to do a value-add through the exterior renovation,” Rogers says. “They did so and did it well enough to create good value over their holding period.”

As a result, the asset attracted about six offers when it came to market. Lane, which relied on in-house representation, had a competitive price as well as the ability to close the deal, Rogers tells

Lane will manage and lease the 98%-occupied complex, which has one and two-bedroom units from 750 sf to 950 sf. In-place rents range from $737 to $935 per month.

“The neat thing about Savannah is that it sits on a 10-acre tract that overlooks Austin. There are only a few apartment buildings in that area,” Rogers says, adding it is “surrounded by high-end residential.” In addition, he says the easy access to the University of Texas campus has made it attractive to college students.

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