PLANO, TX-In acquiring the 548-unit Bella Vida at Ridgeview Country Club Apartments from Virtu Investments, Atlas Real Estate Partners plans upgrades, renovation and branding in what it calls a value-add transaction. Specifically, the New York City buyer and partner Blue Whale Enterprises will upgrade many of the units with new flooring, appliances and fixtures, overhaul the clubhouse and rebrand the multifamily property under the name Bella Vida Estates.

“It’ll be a new look,” says Atlas Real Estate managing principal Arvind Chary. “The former owner had started an upgrade program, and left us a significant number of units to go in and improve.” Chary tells that the property at 9601 Custer Rd. is doing very well and already is performing above projections. “We’ll take it over and continue creating value there,” he adds. Atlas Real Estate has called in Greystar to handle the property’s leasing and management activities.

According to Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Service’s Norman A. Eastwood, Bella Vida was built by Western Rim and originally called Mansions at Ridgeview Country club. Eastwood, who is senior director of the company’s National Multifamily Group, represented Western Rim when it sold Bella Vida to Virtu Investments in 2005. He also marketed the property when Virtu Investments was ready to sell.

Eastwood tells that during the marketing process, he received almost 150 confidentiality agreements and 20 strong offers on the class A property. Though he was not involved in the direct deal between Virtu Investments and Atlas, Eastwood says he was unsurprised at the interest generated by the complex. “When you look at all the amenities the deal has, as well as its golf course location and Frisco schools, it an heirloom deal with a suburban core location,” Eastwood comments. “In my opinion, Atlas will do very well with this one.”

From the buyer’s perspective, however, such “heirloom deals” coming to market are becoming fewer and farther in between. Chary says it’s becoming more difficult to find quality properties; Atlas is attempting to do so by dealing directly with owners and sellers. In addition to competition for quality assets, another reason for the difficulty in closing deals is because of rising interest rates. Chary says Atlas was able to lock interest rates in advance for the purchase of Bella Vida, but sellers, in general, haven’t been reacting as quickly to interest rate fluctuations.

As a result, “it’s getting tougher and tougher to find deals that make sense,” Chary observes. “Going forward, finding quality deals will be difficult. Buyers and sellers have to come to a meeting of the minds based on the ‘new normal’ of interest rates.”