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HOUSTON-Making its third buy in the past year and its largest acquisition to date, local investor HM-Equity Management has closed on the 384-unit Casa Verde Apartments. The transaction sends the buyer’s portfolio to 751 units, with potentially more investments to come.

Tre T. Banks, vice president with CB Richard Ellis’ Houston office says Dallas-Fort Worth selling partnership LSF 5 Phoenix Crossing LP had bought Casa Verde’s paper some time ago, then obtained ownership of the real estate itself at 2 Goodson Dr. “They put a little money into it, stabilized it, then turned around and sold it,” says Banks, who teamed with CBRE’s executive vice presidents G. Craig LaFollette and J. Todd Stewart and senior vice president M. Todd Marix on behalf of the seller.

Banks tells GlobeSt.com that the CBRE team took the property to HM-Equity first, before considering a limited marketing campaign. He says the buyer’s knowledge of the Greenspoint submarket was a point in its favor with the seller, which ended up providing part of the financing. “The buyer had already purchased a couple of assets in that market, so he knew it very well,” Banks comments.

The sales price was kept confidential, though Banks says the asset traded at market prices. The Harris County Assessment District values the 1970s property at $4.5 million. The complex has one-to-four bedroom apartments, measuring from 525 square feet to 1,696 square feet. Rents are between $475 and $900 per month.

HM-Equity also owns the 239-unit Vineyard Trace at 15414 Kuykendahl Rd. on the far north side and the 128-unit Tidwell Park at 9400 Bauman Rd., in central Houston. Both complexes were acquired in the past year.

Banks says the buyer’s business model involves “significant rehab” into Casa Verde to the tune about $5,000 per unit. Once rehab is competed, “I think their intent is to own it for awhile,” Banks notes. “I don’t think they’re flippers.” He adds that HM-Equity is likely to buy more, but will wait until improvements have been completed on the current assets.

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