(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real Estate Florida.)

POMPANO BEACH, FL-Miami Lakes-based Centennial Management Corp. has acquired Banyan Village East, a 180-unit garden-style condo conversion, for $7.6 million. The community, located at 1880 NE 48ath St., was purchased from a local private investor in an all-cash transaction. Vice president of investments Tal Frydman and investment specialist Chad Bishop of the Fort Lauderdale office of Marcus & Millichap represented the seller and secured the buyer for the transaction.

“The seller of the property had owned it since the 1970s and elected to convert to condos at the end of 2004,” says Frydman. The private investor needed to sell now because of a loan coming due and “there was no rental amount they could charge to break even,” explains Frydman, adding that these situations are happening more frequently with condo conversions in the region.

Only 33 of the one-, two- and three-bedroom units had been sold for prices ranging from $99,900 to $189,000, and only 23 units were being leased at the time of sale, according to Frydman. Despite having less than 20% occupancy, there were more than 12 all-cash offers that came in for the community within two weeks of going on the market, he says, adding that this buyer was chosen on its ability to close within 30 days.

Alberto Urrechaga and Lewis Swezy of Centennial Management Corp. say they plan to revamp the property and solidify it again as a rental community with rents at $800, $925 and $1,050 per month. Vacant units at the property are unfinished, without appliances or carpeting, and the new owner plans to fix those down units to be rented.

“It was a diamond in the rough,” says Urrechaga of Banyan Village East, which once boasted over 95% occupancy as a rental community. Amenities include three laundry room facilities, a pool area with a clubhouse and off street parking.