Posted By: Admin DreamingCode

TAMPA, FL - The latest in a string of Class "A" multifamily buys, Boston-based Panther Properties has acquired Lakeland's Victoria Manor Apartments for $36.5 million. Built in 2006 and offering 352 units, the property sits on 23.31 acres between Tampa and Orlando.

Cushman & Wakefield's Orlando Apartment Brokerage Services team represented the seller, the original developer of the property. The firm could not immediately be reached for comment. Panther Properties secured a 10-year Freddie Mac CME loan through Bethesda, MD-headquartered Walker & Dunlop Real Estate Financial Services.

"We are confident this will be a successful acquisition due to the stringent evaluation standards, strong operating fundamentals and best class multifamily property in this submarket," says David Masse, co-founder of Panther Properties. "This acquisition aligns with our overall strategy of acquiring investment grade Class "A" core multifamily assets constructed within the last five to seven years located in the Southeastern United States."

Victoria Manor Apartments is less than one mile south of Interstate 4, central Florida's primary transportation hub. The newly acquired property features one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury apartments in a gated community with amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor basketball court, an air conditioned racquetball court, car wash, two off-leash pet walks, pet wash, Tiki bar, resort style pool, spa, and private cabanas. Panther plans to make numerous upgrades to the property including several interior apartment upgrades as well as exterior improvements including landscaping.

Jack McCabe, principal at Deerfield Beach-based McCabe Consulting, tells that it's hard to find apartments built between five to seven years ago that weren't scooped up at premium prices and converted during the condo boom. Newer properties like Victoria Manor Apartments have been selling from between $85,000 and $120,000 a door, McCabe says, making this deal fairly priced.

"There are a lot of companies sitting on piles of cash that they need to disperse or return," McCabe says. "With a number of institutionals and private equity firms running out of time on making acquisitions, we'll see the apartment transactions escalate in 2011."