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FORT WORTH-A Pennsylvania investor, pushing past nine other offers, has claimed the 220-unit Crescent Oaks Apartment Homes for close to the $4.35-million ask. The 55%-leased asset in West Fort Worth is part of a nationwide foreclosure of MBS Cos. of Metairie, LA.

TJ Shan of Harleysville, PA, backed by equity from a Highland Park, TX family, scored the win of the 3001 W. Normandale St. property with an all-cash offer. “Given the market, we elected to go with the second highest bidder because of his history, reputation and ability to perform,” Peter Hartnett, associate partner in Dallas for Phoenix-based Hendricks & Partners, tells GlobeSt.com. “The key right now is trying to find people who can carry their own paper.”

The sweet spot to the acquisition is the buyer got the deed for 60% of the loan balance, according to Hartnett, who was selling the deal for Miami-based LNR Properties Inc. “It’s hard to lose on that,” he adds. MBS filed for bankruptcy in late 2007. About two weeks ago, two more complexes were sold in Houston after being pulled from receivership, but Hartnett says Crescent Oaks possibly is the first actual foreclosure in the stack to sell in Texas.

Hartnett says the Crescent Oaks’ new owner expects to invest up to $500,000 to get the 23-building complex, built in 1978 on 11.25 acres, in tip-top shape. “There was very little deferred maintenance,” the broker adds, saying the capital infusion is directed toward bumping the class C plus to a class B with the redo. He says LNR had spent at least $250,000 on repairs on its make-ready plan for the sale.

The immediate upside lies in “getting occupancy where it should be,” Hartnett says. When occupancy gets close to 85%, profits will start adding up, he predicts. The Western Hills submarket’s average is 87.3% for assets of the same era, according to Carrollton, TX-based M/PF YieldStar’s market research.

The mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments range from 535 sf to 1,280 sf. Rents are $379 to $490 per month. Encore Management Co. of Arlington has been put on the ground as overseer.

Hartnett is up to five foreclosure sales this year, with three more listings in hand for a market strapped by fewer closings. “I welcome this type of market. I am not going to make as much money, but it’s a great filtering market,” he says. “It’s a cleansing process not only for brokers, but investors. It gets back to the core players.”

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