UNIVERSITY PARK -- A nationwide investor in apartment properties has purchased one of the largest apartment complexes near the new Mall at University Town Center in the biggest Manatee County real estate transaction of 2014.
TGM Associates of New York, bought the former Turnbury Park at Palm Aire Apartments at 6104 Turnbury Park Dr. for $45.15 million last week, according to Manatee County property records. The seller, a subsidiary of Boston-based TA Associates Realty, moves the 286-unit, 32-acre property development out of its inventory after having owned it for about four years.
TGM, which owns 50 properties and 13,000 housing units across the nation, including TGM Yacht Club at Heritage Harbor Apartments in East Manatee, paid far more than the $27.6 million TA Associates put into its 2010 buy.
"High growth" in the University Park area, including the new mall, led his company to see a good deal of value in the apartment complex, said John Gochberg, a partner and chief operating officer with TGM. He said the previous purchase price is "absolutely irrelevant" to what TGM paid.
The high sales price is in keeping with second-quarter multifamily sales statistics published Tuesday by the Sarasota office of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT. Janet Robinson, the office's commercial director, said low vacancies combined with a growing demand for apartments from new Florida residents is heating the multifamily market.
The vacancy rate for apartments sized between studio and three bedrooms is at or under 2 percent in Manatee and Sarasota counties, according to the sales statis
tics. Monthly rental rates are at their highest in five years. Consequently, multifamily property buyers are paying an average of $45,344 per unit in Manatee County and $92,733 in Sarasota County.
TGM paid the equivalent of $157,867 per unit at the Turnbury Park property.
Located at the northeast corner of Whitfield Avenue and University Boulevard, TGM's new complex has immediate access to a fast-growing retail market and other services, Gochberg said.
Renamed TGM Palm Aire as of last week's sale, the complex stands to benefit from the new ownership. Gochberg said his company has plans to renovate the interiors of all the apartment units. New touches will include replacing all appliances, installing new flooring, replacing fixtures and lighting, and installing updated kitchen counter tops.
TGM is a long-term owner of multifamily rental properties. Gochberg said the company typically holds properties between 10 and 15 years.
The apartment complex has had a turbulent ownership history. In November 2005, Turnbury Park Acquisitions, bought the then- 7-year-old property for $53.8 million. Run by Coconut Grove condo converters Peter Wenzel and Gary Burman, the company took out a $46.6 million mortgage from now-defunct California lender Freemont Investment and Loan, according to court records. Freemont began foreclosure proceedings on the property in 2007. The property eventually went into receivership and was sold in 2008.
With the new property in its portfolio, TGM now owns six properties in Florida. In addition to TGM Palm Aire and TGM Yacht Club, the company has two apartment complexes in Jupiter and two in Naples.
The company's property ownership also makes it a big property taxpayer. TGM Yacht Club paid the 14th highest amount of property taxes in Manatee County in 2013 -- about $578,000 -- and the most for any residential property, according to the Manatee County Property Appraiser's Office. The former Turnbury Park property was 30th on the list, paying just over $358,000.
TGM Palm Aire's former website was inactive as of this week. Gochberg said TGM will put up a new site within 10 days.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.