Published: Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 1:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 6:13 p.m.
The more than $131,000 per unit that Nashville, Tennessee-based Carter-Haston Real Estate Services Inc. paid in late March to acquire the 306-unit Whitepalm Apartments complex at 5400 S. Williamson Blvd. in Port Orange could be the highest amount ever paid for an apartment property in Volusia County, according to local real estate observers.
The sale closed March 20, according to Morgan Gilreath, Volusia County property appraiser.
The previous high was $125,000 per unit for the 360-unit Andros Isles luxury apartment complex in Daytona Beach. That sale to Tampa-based Landmark Apartment Trust included a performance clause that over the next few years could raise the final overall price for Andros Isles from $45 million to $49 million, or $136,000 per unit.
The Andros Isles sale was not a typical transaction as it was also part of a larger deal that included other real estate holdings.
The sale of Whitepalm, on the other hand, was a standard arms-length transaction, confirmed Shelton Granade, an executive vice president with CBRE Capital Markets in Orlando.
Granade and two other CBRE agents — Luke Wickham and Justin Basquill — helped negotiate the sale of Whitepalm on behalf of the sellers: the apartment complex’s developer, Birmingham, Alabama-based LIV Development, and land owner CBL & Associates Properties.
Chattanooga, Tennessee-based CBL is the developer/owner of the Pavilion at Port Orange shopping center across the street from Whitepalm as well as Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach.
“To pay more than $131,000 per unit, that’s major metropolitan rates,” said Roy Akins, vice president and manager of the commercial division for Adams, Cameron & Co. Realtors in Daytona Beach. Akins was not involved in the Whitepalm deal.
“To pay that kind of money, the purchaser (Carter-Haston) must believe in the strength of the Port Orange market.”
Whitepalm was developed at an estimated cost of approximately $30 million. Carter-Haston took over its operation on March 20, according to Ilia Wolf, the apartment complex’s property manager. The new owners retained Wolf and the four other workers who maintain the property, she said.
All but 37 of the Whitepalm’s units — 88 percent — are now leased, Wolf said.
Rental rates for the remaining 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units at Whitepalm range from $915 to $1,583 a month, which is slightly higher than when the complex’s first units became available in May of last year.
“Rents have continued to move up as demand has increased,” Wolf said.
Granade said Whitepalm’s high occupancy, and the “good rents” it is generating, were among the factors that prompted Carter-Haston to acquire the property.
“They’re getting a fair number of residents from the medical field who work at nearby hospitals,” he said, adding that “it’s a nice property and it’s great that there’s retail across the street.”