Recent News

  • Apr
    8

A Rising Multifamily Movement

April 8, 2016

via The Real Deal by Mike Seemuth

While sales of South Florida condominiums have begun to soften, the brisk pace of rental apartment construction appears unlikely to wind down any-
time soon.

The speed of such construction continues to accelerate in South Florida, especially in suburban locations in Broward County, as the pool of renters deepens amid population growth, new employment opportunities and reduced demand for home ownership.

The national real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap forecasts that 10,200 new apartments will come to market in the tri-county region this year, compared to 8,700 in 2015, marking a 17 percent increase. The firm expects 5,500 new apartments to open this year in Miami-Dade County alone, plus another 4,700 units in Broward County and Palm Beach County combined.

The Miami-based Related Group, one of the largest multifamily developers in the United States in recent years, has built 2,700 rental apartments — mostly in South Florida — since 2010. The firm’s rental development division, Related Development, has another 4,000 units in the pipeline.

“The whole notion of the great American dream meaning owning a home is over,” Related Development’s president and chief executive officer, Steve Patterson, told The Real Deal. “Financial independence and quality of life has become much more important.”

Most of the rental apartments that Related has built in the last six years are located in Fort Lauderdale and other Broward municipalities, including Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Pembroke Pines and Plantation. Broward County is one of the top three markets in the country for luxury rentals, Patterson noted. “I think there’s still a lot of depth there,” he said.

In South Florida market forecasts, based on data from CoStar Group and Real Capital Analytics, Marcus & Millichap said it expects apartment owners in Broward and Palm Beach to collect higher average rents than their counterparts in Miami-Dade this year — largely due to population growth and employment growth. The brokerage projected monthly rents in 2016 to average $1,476 in Palm Beach and $1,500 in Broward, compared to $1,355 in Miami-Dade, and expects those higher figures to encourage more apartment development in the two counties.

Amaray Las Olas, a 30-story rental building with 254 apartment units, is planned for an April opening in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The property will tower over a cluster of newer apartment buildings in the Flagler Village area just north of the city’s downtown.

“A lot of what you see is eight-story [buildings] or below, so 30 stories will offer city views, Intracoastal Waterway views and ocean views that are unmatched,” said Jeff McDonough, president of Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Residential Group, which is developing the property in a joint venture with the New York-based Rockefeller Group.

By early March, as construction neared completion, the developers had pre-leased about 30 percent of the apartments, which have monthly rents ranging from $2,000 to $5,800. McDonough said Stiles is scouting other urban locations in South Florida for a high-end rental development similar to Amaray Las Olas.

“There is a very strong demand for multifamily rentals,” he said, noting that one of the driving factors is a movement to live in “urban, walkable” locations.

That preference for rental apartments in lively, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods is also apparent in downtown West Palm Beach, where billionaire developer Jeff Greene plans to build a 12-story “micro-apartment” building with 400 units — each about 450 square feet. Those apartments are expected to rent for $995 to $1,200 a month.

A similar project opened last year after Palm Beach Gardens-based Ram Realty Services converted an old Southern Bell Telephone building in downtown West Palm Beach into an 85-unit rental building called Alexander Lofts. Apartments there go for $1,300 to $2,300 a month.

“Most of the units are fairly small,” said Hugo Pacanins, managing director of residential development at Ram Realty. “A lot of studios.”

Pacanins said Alexander Lofts appeals to millennials who prefer to rent because they value mobility. “I think that trend is going to continue for a while,” he added. “That younger crowd is more likely to rent for a longer period of time before getting into home ownership.”

The firm completed construction on the property early last year and now has fewer than 10 rental units on the market, according to the developer. Across the street, Ram Realty and West Palm Beach-based Kolter Group are building a pricier 16-story, 205-unit rental building similarly called the Alexander. That property will have one- and two-bedroom units only, with rents that start at $2,400 a month.

“There are a lot of people who are moving from the suburbs and selling their big houses and moving downtown,” Pacanins said. “It’s happening in Delray Beach, it’s happening in Boca Raton, it’s starting to happen in West Palm Beach, it’s even happening in downtown Boynton Beach.”

Demand for rental housing on the low end of the South Florida market is also strong. The Coconut Grove-based affordable-housing developer Housing Trust Group operates in an affordable-housing market where demand far outweighs the current supply.

Matthew Rieger, HTG’s CEO, said several of the company’s rental developments were 100 percent leased the day they opened and that most of them are located in Palm Beach County. Farther south, the need is even greater, he said.

“Over the last few years and going forward, we’ve been concentrating more on Dade and Broward to supplement that footprint we have in Palm Beach County,” Rieger told TRD.

Much like other affordable-housing developers around the country, HTG qualifies for 9 percent federal tax credits that it can sell to investors to raise funds for construction, as long as it charges affordable rents as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. But the supply of those highly valued tax credits is capped, while demand remains strong among those who invest in affordable housing, Rieger said.

Meanwhile, investor interest in market-rate rentals is heating up even more. A national survey by Ten-X.com, formerly known as Auction.com, ranked Fort Lauderdale as the third-best metro market for buyers of multifamily properties. The company projected that the monthly rent per unit there will increase from $970 in 2015 to $1,169 in 2019, marking a 20 percent growth. Ten-X ranked Miami as the third-best market in the nation for sellers of rental buildings and projected that the monthly rent per apartment there will increase from $1,240 in 2015 to $1,359 in 2019.

A portfolio of 15 apartment buildings in Miami Beach’s South Beach neighborhood sold in February for $59 million — one of the largest South Beach apartment portfolio sales to ever close. The local real estate firm Boardwalk Properties snapped up the 240 rental units from a Miami-based investment management firm led by Herve Barbera, according to CoStar.

“We got a tremendous amount of interest in that deal from local investors, a lot of people from New York, as well as people from overseas,” said Calum Weaver, a senior vice president at CBRE who represented the seller.

But those in search of smaller transactions are finding a limited supply. The number of buyers looking to invest less than $20 million in South Florida’s multifamily market outweighs the opportunities that are available right now, Weaver noted.

That imbalance has roots in the explosion of condo development during the 2000s before the housing market crashed and the financial crisis and recession hit. Many of the South Florida rental properties built from 1999 to 2005 were sold between 2004 and 2006 and converted to condos, said Robert Given, a South Florida-based vice chairman of CBRE.

“That’s about 35,000 units that were sold and converted to condominiums, which really decimated the Class A inventory leading into 2005,” Given said. “From 2006 to 2011, we were going through the recession, and there was no product built.”

In 2016, land values remain substantially higher in Miami-Dade County, in large part because condo development there has continued to boom in recent years.

“It’s very difficult for us to compete on land price with condominium developers,” Patterson of Related said, noting that his team even competes in-house. “At Related, there’s a lot of internal competition for capital,” he said.

Looking ahead, South Florida’s supply of rental housing may fall short of demand for years to come, even if the pace of new rental construction accelerates, according to industry sources. The region’s population of 6 million people has been growing by about 91,000 residents a year for the last four years, which translates to about 14,000 additional rental households a year, according to research from CBRE. That growth exceeds annual deliveries of about 11,000 new apartments there in recent years, the numbers show.

All obstacles accounted for, the most prolific multifamily investors in the Sunshine State’s tri-county region may see even greater returns in the years to come. Israel Schubert, who oversees the New Jersey and Florida offices at the national commercial mortgage brokerage Meridian Capital Group, said South Florida’s rental market has brighter days ahead. He, too, pointed to Fort Lauderdale and its growing number of young workers as a lower-cost alternative to Miami.

“Clearly the first movers back into multifamily after the downturn were rewarded with outsized returns, but the reality is that the deals we’re financing still have healthy upside potential,” Schubert told TRD. “The South Florida market is strong and just because something is selling now, doesn’t mean there is no more opportunity left for the new buyer.”

  • Apr
    1

Parking deck to be built at Design Center of the Carolinas

April 1, 2016

via The Charlotte Observer by Ely Portillo

The owner of the Design Center of the Carolinas in South End plans to start construction soon on a new parking deck at Hawkins and Doggett streets that’s meant to relieve long-standing parking struggles.

The deck will include 520 spaces, built on a surface parking lot that currently has a fraction of that total. Chris Kieffer of Ram Real Estate, the Design Center’s owner, said the company plans to break ground on the parking deck in May.

“Parking has been an issue at the DCC (Design Center) and in South End in general for some time, so we’re taking steps to alleviate that problem,” said Kieffer in an email.

  • Mar
    30

Developers break ground on 16-story apartment building downtown

March 30, 2016

via SFBJ by Brian Bandell

The 16-story Alexander apartment building broke ground in downtown West Palm Beach after securing a construction loan from Wells Fargo Bank.

SoDix Fern LLC, a joint venture between West Palm Beach-based Kolter Group and Palm Beach Gardens-based Ram Realty Services, got a $42.4 million advance on its mortgage to make it total $50.7 million. It’s building the 205-unit project at 333 Fern Street.

The Alexander is slated for completion in the third quarter of 2017. It will include a 377-space parking garage, a 24-hour fitness center, a pool deck with spa, an outdoor kitchen, a meeting room, and a public park. Units will range from one bedroom in 832 square feet to two bedrooms in 1,419 square feet.

Kast Construction Co. is the general contractor for the Alexander, which was previously called the Isis before changing its name for political reasons.

The developers acquired the 1.45-acre site for $5.1 million in 2012. It’s next to the Alexander Lofts, a historic building that Ram Realty Services renovated into 84 units.

There’s been an influx of development proposals in downtown West Palm Beach recently, including mixed-use projects by Jeff Greene and the Related Cos.

  • Mar
    15

Ram Realty Acquires Apartment Development Site in Boynton Beach

March 15, 2016

via The South Florida Business Journal by Brian Bandell

Ram Realty Services acquired an apartment development site in Boynton Beach for $15.75 million.

BR Cortina Acquisition, an affiliate Blackrock, sold the 14.4-acre site to RRPIV Cortina, a subsidiary of Palm Beach Garden-based Ram Realty. It’s located on the east side of Renaissance Commons Boulevard, just east of North Congress Avenue between Gateway Boulevard and Old Boynton Road.

ARA Newmark’s Troy Ballard, Avery Klann and Dick Donnellan represented the seller in the deal.

“The site was part of a larger assemblage that our client purchased in phases and reprogrammed to mirror today’s market needs,” Ballard said. “It is very rare for a garden multihousing development to offer this much walkability. There are numerous restaurants and retail facilities just steps away, and countless others within a five minute drive.”

The city recently approved the Cortina property for 350 apartments and executed a land swap to create public park space, which was funded by the developer. The developer plans to break ground in May 2016 and complete the project in spring 2017.

Ram Realty would build seven apartment buildings of four stories each, plus a clubhouse, fitness center, business center, outdoor kitchen, playground and a pool.

“This is a rare opportunity to acquire a true “shovel ready” parcel in a suburban infill location,” said Ram Realty Managing Director of Multifamily Development Hugo Pacanins. “The area is ideal for high quality rental housing; the site is less than a mile from the Quantum Corporate Park and walking distance to dozens of major retailers and restaurants.”

Ram Realty owns and operates 3,440 apartments in Florida and North Carolina.

  • Mar
    10

Ram Closes on Land Deal in Boynton, Plans New Project

March 10, 2016

via The Real Deal by Sean Stewart-Muniz

Ram Realty Services just closed on a $15.75 million land deal in Boynton Beach, where the firm is planning a new Class A apartment community.

The deal covers roughly 14.4 acres of development turf to the east of Renaissance Commons Boulevard, between Old Boynton Road and East Gateway Boulevard.

Ram now plans to build seven four-story buildings on the site with a combined 350 luxury apartments, according to a news release.

Construction on the gated community is expected to begin in May with a completion date slated for spring 2017. Its amenities will include a clubhouse, fitness center, business center, outdoor kitchen, children’s playground and a community pool.

“This is a rare opportunity to acquire a true ‘shovel ready’ parcel in a suburban infill location,” Ram’s Managing Director of Multifamily Development Hugo Pacanins said in a statement. “This project is part of our continued effort to create high quality apartment communities in locations that are walkable or near public transit.”

The seller was BR Cortina Acquisition, a Florida company managed by investment manager Blackrock.

According to the release, BR Cortina bought a large assemblage of land over time — including this site — and repositioned them for new development to “mirror today’s market needs.”

Troy Ballard, Avery Klann and Dick Donnellan of ARA Newmark brokered the deal on behalf of Blackrock and Waypoint.

Ram’s apartment project will be part of the larger Cortina at Boynton Village mixed-use development, which city officials approved last year with 1,108 residences, according to the Palm Beach Post. That breaks down to 350 apartments, 115 single-family homes and 643 condos, plus a public park that’s being funded by the developers.

  • Dec
    3

Ram Expands Durham Footprint Through Acquisition and Development

December 3, 2015

Developer to transform 5 acres into 263-unit luxury apartment community

adjacent to Class A mixed-use building

Durham, N.C., December 3, 2015 – An affiliate of Ram Realty Services has acquired Pavilion East – a 97,000 square foot Class A mixed-use building – an adjacent 700 space parking structure, and 5 acres of adjoining land located at 2608 Erwin Road in Durham, NC. The mixed-use complex is adjacent to Duke University’s main campus and is walkable to a variety of medical and educational facilities, including the Durham VA Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center.

The property was acquired on behalf of one of Ram’s discretionary private equity funds, Ram Realty Partners III. The seller was the original development partnership led by Jim Anthony, the founder and owner of AACRE Properties, and current CEO and Principal for Colliers International Raleigh, which acted as agent for the Seller. The project was developed in phases beginning in 2004 and culminating in the 2008 completion of the Pavilion East component. Pavilion East is a four-story, Class A, mixed-use building comprising restaurants, retail, medical offices and 28 residential condominiums.  The acquisition did not include the residential condominiums.  The commercial component is 100% occupied with strong national and regional tenants including Duke University Health Systems, TGI Fridays, Chipotle, Smashburger, UPS Store and Another Broken Egg Cafe.

As part of the acquisition, Ram is planning to develop a new luxury rental apartment community that will be fully integrated into the existing mixed-use project.  The new project will include 263 luxury apartments in a unique three-building configuration, creating a variety of living environments at varied price levels.  The residences will be luxuriously appointed with open concept kitchens and wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, solid surface countertops, wood plank flooring, ample storage, and a full-size washer and dryer. Community amenities will include a 24-hour fitness center, co-work and creative meeting spaces with state-of-the-art technology, two courtyards with cabanas, pool and sundeck areas, and an outdoor kitchen.

“With over 12,000 students and 36,000 employees at our doorstep, demand for high-quality rental housing remains strong,” said Jennifer Stull, Ram Managing Director of Asset Management. “Our planned improvements to the existing complex, coupled with the introduction of new and unique residential options, will further enhance the vibrant walkable lifestyle along the Erwin Road corridor.”

Pavilion East and the future apartment development are part of Ram Realty Partners III, a $150 million private equity fund that has enabled over $450 million of investments. The acquisition is Ram’s second in Durham, having purchased Durham Festival, a 134,000 square foot Kroger-anchored shopping center, in 2009.  Ram has been an active investor and developer in the Triangle since 2001.  Most notably, Ram developed 140 West Franklin, a mixed-use project in downtown Chapel Hill.

“We continue to believe in the Triangle’s long-term growth prospects.  The region has one of the strongest and most diverse economies in the country.  The expansion of our investments in Durham reflects our confidence in the city’s future,” commented Ram CEO Casey Cummings. “It’s rare to secure a quality infill location with potential for further development in such a high-growth market.  We are particularly attracted by the influence that Duke University and the growing health and technology related fields have on the local economy.”

Cline Design is the architect for the residential development. Ram will break ground in the spring of 2016 and final delivery is planned for the summer of 2017.

  • Oct
    22

ARA Newmark Announces the Sale of a 260-Unit, Core Plus Community in Jensen Beach, FL

October 22, 2015

Jensen Beach, FL (October 2015) — ARA, A Newmark Company (ARA Newmark) announced the sale of Pineapple Cove, a 260-unit, luxury, garden-style apartment community located in Jensen Beach, Florida in Martin County. The property sold for an undisclosed price and was approximately 97 percent occupied at the time of sale.

The seller, Ram Realty Services (Ram) was represented by the ARA Newmark team of Executive Managing Directors Avery Klann and Hampton Beebe, Transaction Manager Jonathan Senn and Vice Chairmen Dick Donnellan and Marc deBaptiste, in the transaction.

Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Ram is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail as well as residential properties in the Southeast. Ram has notable history in Martin County, having developed Martin Downs, Martin Downs Town Center, Martin Square Mall, Pineapple Commons, Coquina Cove and Willoughby Cove. Currently, Ram has an active pipeline of over 2,500 units throughout the Southeast including exciting urban infill projects in West Palm Beach, Hollywood, and Doral, Florida.

PCCP, LLC (PCCP), in a joint venture with Silverpeak Real Estate Partners (Silverpeak) and Atlanta, Georgia-based Carroll Organization (Carroll) were the buyers. Carroll is a privately held owner and operator of multifamily real estate with approximately $2 billion of assets under management, and 18,000 units owned and operated. PCCP is a premier real estate finance and investment management firm focused on commercial real estate investments. Silverpeak is a full-service, diversified real estate investment and advisory business with over $10 billion of gross real estate assets under management. The company also manages real estate on behalf of commingled funds, separate accounts and for its own account.

Built in 2004, Pineapple Cove features lush, tropical landscaping and Spanish-style architecture surrounded by more than 55 acres of pristine wetlands. Community amenities include a tiki bar, a sparkling saltwater pool, a spa, a business center and a fitness center. Apartments are thoughtfully appointed with washers and dryers, spacious balconies, walk-in closets, wood plank flooring and vaulted ceilings.

“The acquisition of Pineapple Cove represents a unique opportunity for Carroll to own one of the top performing assets along Florida’s Treasure Coast, also known as Florida’s Research Coast, which consists of Martin, Indian River, Okeechobee and St. Lucie Counties,” said Klann. “We have seen a strong trend of South Floridian’s moving north along the coast, resulting in stellar growth in the area. The population within the Research Coast has increased nearly 37% in the last five years, attracting investment with the construction of new retail, entertainment and housing opportunities. Furthermore, incomes in the area are 14% higher than the state average – an excellent economic indicator for the area’s future potential.”

“We are very pleased with the outcome and what it means for our institutional partners; Pineapple Cove was one of Ram’s longest held and best performing assets,” commented Jennifer Stull, Ram Managing Director of Asset Management. “This is a bittersweet moment for us. Ram’s roots are in Martin County, but today we are focused primarily on urban infill projects like The Mark (Boca Raton, FL) and The Alexander (West Palm Beach, FL). To have achieved so much success in Martin County is a great affirmation of our vision, strategy and execution.”

About ARA, A Newmark Company 

ARA, A Newmark Company is the largest full-service investment advisory firm in the nation that focuses exclusively on the brokerage, financing and capital sourcing of multihousing properties including conventional, affordable, distressed assets, notes sales, seniors, student & manufactured housing and multihousing land. ARA Newmark comprises the country’s top investment professionals who leverage a unique and fully integrated cooperative business platform of shared information, relationships and technology driven solutions. ARA Newmark’s unified enterprise approach ensures that clients are delivered the broadest asset exposure, effective matching of buyers and sellers, and the shortest transaction timeframes in the industry. The combination of global resources, unparalleled market expertise and nationwide presence in the multihousing marketplace has resulted in an annual production volume of more than $12.4 billion in real estate transactions in 2014. For detailed information on ARA Newmark’s extensive multihousing investment services, visit www.aranewmark.com.

About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank 

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 12,800 professionals operate from more than 370 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.

With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage

services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.

NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.

About Ram 

Founded in 1978, Ram is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail and residential properties in the Southeast. The group also selectively acquires debt secured by retail and residential properties. Ram is currently investing Ram Realty Partners III LP, a value-added fund targeting retail and multifamily properties in select high growth markets in the Southeast. Since 1996, the company has deployed in excess of $2.0 billion of capital. Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ramrealestate.com.

About Carroll Organization 

Carroll Organization is among the leading privately-held real estate companies in the United States. Founded in 2004 and based in Atlanta, Carroll Organization focuses on multifamily properties, including acquisitions, property and asset management services, and fund management. The firm provides investment vehicles for a broad range of investors to access the multifamily real estate asset class and has raised over $700 million of equity through Carroll Organization sponsored funds and joint ventures. Carroll has successfully purchased and developed over $2 billion of real estate. Carroll Organization’s regional offices are located in Houston and Miami. Today, the company manages approximately 18,000 multifamily units in six states and has purchased other multifamily owner/operators throughout the U.S. The firm has also developed student housing, single-family residential and retail properties, and has overseen $50 million of construction management for both its owned and fee partners. From due diligence to execution, Carroll Organization has the internal capabilities and the external relationships to identify, underwrite, and close transactions. For more info, visit www.carrollorganization.com.

  • Oct
    6

Ram Acquires Doral Site

October 6, 2015

via The Real Deal, by Katherine Kallergis

On the heels of selling a newly completed apartment community in downtown Boca Raton, Ram, a real estate development, management and investment company, has closed on a new development site, records show. And the seller is tied to a Salvadoran billionaire family.

Ram Columbia Doral, an affiliate of the Palm Beach Gardens-based company, paid $19 million for the 17-acre property at 2520 and 2611 Northwest 84th Avenue. Avante Limited, tied to Transal Corp., was the seller, according to Miami-Dade County records. Eduardo Poma is listed on the seller’s corporate records.

The Poma family of El Salvador owns Grupo Poma, an automotive, real estate, industrial and hotel company. Salvadoran billionaire Ricardo Poma was an original investor in Bain Capital.

Ram, which operates in the Southeastern United States, also closed on $48 million in financing for the parcels. PNC Bank is the lender. The firm has plans for a 332-unit, Class-A garden apartment community on the site, according to a press release. The one, two and three-bedroom units will be spread throughout 13 three-story buildings. Amenities will include two pools, green space, a gym, business lounge and condo-quality finishes.

The development site surrounds a cul de sac. The InterContinental at Doral Miami Hotel, at 2505 Northwest 87th Avenue, is sandwiched by the two properties. The hotel was not included in the sale. Previous sales information for the properties was not available.

KAST Construction will break ground this month. Units will be delivered in early 2017, according to Ram.

“The whole purpose of this project is to provide Class-A apartment opportunities for people who work in Doral,” Hugo Pacanins, managing director of residential development at Ram, said in a statement. “People commute from all corners of south Florida to work in Doral, creating immense traffic problems. Intercontinental Village will help alleviate those issues.”

Doral has seen an influx of big name tenants and new developments this cycle. Its urban transformation includes the of addition two mixed-use, master-planned communities: Downtown Doral, developed by Codina Partners, and CityPlace Doral, developed by the Related Group, Shoma Homes and Prudential. Sergio Pino’s Century Homebuilders Group is also planning a mixed-use development, Midtown Doral, a four-phase development near the corner of Northwest 107th Avenue and Northwest 74th Street.

Last week, Ram sold the Mark at Cityscape, a 12-story apartment complex with retail and parking, for nearly $82 million.

  • Sep
    30

Ram Sells Newly Built Boca Apartments

September 30, 2015

via The Real Deal, by Sean Stewart-Muniz

Ram Realty Services, a development company based in Palm Beach Gardens, just closed on the $81.74 million sale of its newly built apartment community in downtown Boca Raton.

The community is called the Mark at Cityscape, at 11 Plaza Real South. It’s a 12-story apartment complex with 208 units, 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and an attached parking garage with 686 spaces.

Ram, which finished construction on the complex this month, sold the community to the Monogram Residential Trust, according to Palm Beach County records.

Monogram is a real estate investment trust based in Texas. It specializes in buying and operating multifamily companies and has a portfolio of 54 properties spread throughout 11 states, according to the REIT’s website.

The deal breaks down to $393,788 per unit and $426 per square foot. Both prices set state records for a multifamily rental sale, according to data from commercial brokerage CBRE, which represented Monogram for the sale.

Asking rents at the building are also some of the highest in Palm Beach County, averaging $2,320 per unit. At the time of the sale, Ram said the apartments were nearly 80 percent leased.

The Mark is part of a 4.5-acre development site in the heart of downtown Boca, which Ram has owned for the last nine years. It’s split into three parts: a roughly one-acre parcel where the Kolter Group is building a Hyatt-branded hotel, another one-acre parcel where the Palmetto Park office building sits, and the 2.3-acre site where Ram built the Mark apartments.

Ram first purchased the property for $42 million in 2006 on behalf of a private equity fund, Ram Realty Partners II. The company’s plans to redevelop the property were halted when the recession hit, but Ram re-launched its apartment project in 2013.

This year, the company re-platted the 4.5 acres into three sections and beginning selling them off. In March, Kolter paid $5.5 million for its one-acre parcel where the Hyatt Place Hotel will be built. And in September, Ram sold the office building for $25.7 million to Kireland Management LLC.

“This investment reflects the benefits of being patient and focusing only on high quality real estate. As a direct result of that focus and a conservative capitalization structure, we were able to hold the asset through a difficult economic environment and ultimately deliver a project that benefited our investors and the community,” Ram CEO Casey Cummings said in a statement. “While we have a high level of confidence in the long-term prospects for Boca Raton, we were fortunate to have received a compelling inquiry from a high quality institution like Monogram. We continue to look for other similar opportunities throughout South Florida.”

  • Sep
    25

Florida Firm Completes Second Phase at South Charlotte Apartment Complex

September 25, 2015

via Charlotte Business Journal, by Will Boye

Ram Realty Services has completed and leased the second phase of its Rock Creek at Ballantyne Commons apartment complex in south Charlotte.

The Florida-based development and real estate investment company bought the former Piper Station complex, near the intersection of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Rea Road, in late 2012 for $23.5 million. In 2013, it bought an adjacent 6.6-acre parcel for $4.1 million.

The adjacent parcel became the site for a four-building, 118-unit second phase of apartments. The development firm started construction on the second phase in December 2013 and started preleasing the units last November. The second phase is now fully leased.

Ram also renovated the existing 212 units, clubhouse and pool deck, and it built a new freestanding fitness center. Occupancy for the entire complex is 97%.