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TULSA-Somerset Partners LLC of New York City has sold the 424-unit Somerset Park at Union apartments for $17 million. The listing broker claims it’s the largest multifamily sale in the state so far this year.

The 98%-leased complex at 9416 E. 65th St., which opened in 1984, features a mix of one- and two-bedroom townhouses and loft-style units in 16 buildings. Rents range from $470 to $669 per month for units of 700 sf to 1,050 sf.

The Somerset Park deal was brokered by Aaron Hargrove, an associate partner with Hendricks & Partners’ new Tulsa office. According to Hargrove, Somerset offers an ideal location in the active 71st Street retail corridor.

Somerset Park’s buyer is a group headed by investor Chandler Wonderly of Bakersfield, CA, who made two previous multifamily acquisitions in the city. In August 2007, a group led by Wonderly paid $8.6 million for the 240-unit Southport Apartments at 6326 S. 107th East Ave. The following September, another Wonderly group paid $12.6 million for the 432-unit Riverchase Apartments at 7901 S. Riverside Dr.

Wonderly and his brother Anthony Wonderly own Olympus Property Management. The company, headquartered in Bakersfield, makes the majority of its purchases from its larger office in Pantego, TX in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

“We feel it’s a strong economy there, not just Tulsa but Oklahoma in general,” Anthony Wonderly tells GlobeSt.com about its aggressive interest in the Tulsa market. “Oklahoma is an untouched market by the institutional buyers. It still has a lot of opportunity to grow.”

According to Wonderly, the buyer isn’t planning any dramatic changes to the property, but will make improvements to individual units as they turn over. “As units become available, we’ll put in an upgrade package,” he says, spending anywhere from $300 to $1,500 per unit, depending on which upgrades make the strongest impact on the market in terms of demand and rents.

“We like to do a slow upgrade and see how the market drives changes,” Wonderly explains. “We want to see what changes are most popular with tenants.”

The buyer assumed an existing loan, which Wonderly says stretched the closing time. “We’ve been under contract for this one for quite awhile,” he says. “The banks are making it tough right now.”

Despite the struggle over financing, Wonderly says he and his brother continue to look for opportunities in the Tulsa and Oklahoma in general. “We’re continuing to look at all times,” he remarks. “We feel Oklahoma is a great place to invest.”

With the sale, Somerset Partners has exited the Oklahoma market. Last year, the company sold its only other Sooner State property, the Deep Deuce at Bricktown, a four-story building at 314 N.E. 2nd St. in Oklahoma City, for $26.9 million.

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