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Amaray Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale Sold for Record Price

New York-based Rock-French Quarter LLC, a joint venture of Rockefeller Group and Stiles, has sold Amaray Las Olas, a 30-story luxury apartment tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale, for $133.55 million, or $525,787 per unit, according to public records. The transaction closed yesterday.

The price is a record per unit, according to Robert E. Given, vice chairman of Cushman & Wakefield in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who brokered the deal. He said that the previous record price per unit was for the sale of The Mile Coral Gables, which traded at $400,000 per unit.

The buyer, Boston-based Amaray Las Olas by Windsor LLC, is an affiliate of General Investment & Development Cos. (GID), a privately held real estate organization that has developed or acquired over 73,000 apartments and over 16 million square feet of commercial space since it was founded in 1960. The firm also acts as a real-estate investment advisor to major institutional investors, including some of the nation’s largest pension funds.

Given said the project received a lot of interest from firms interested in converting it to condominiums, and that although he doesn’t know GID’s specific plans, “GID does not normally convert to condos.”

Amaray, located at 215 SE Eighth Ave. was completed by Stiles, a Fort Lauderdale developer, and Rockefeller, in 2016.

The 254-unit building includes studios as well as one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with city and ocean views. Building amenities include a pool with cabanas, fitness center, clubroom, beverage lounge, conference and business center, bike storage, outdoor lanai with fire pit, dog spa and park.

Current rents for available units range from $2,300 for a one-bedroom to $5,500 for three bedrooms. Penthouses rent for more.

“We do not see high-rise apartment buildings trade very often in the state of Florida,” said Given. “What’s unique about this transaction is not only the price but also the fact that out of all the multifamily developments that have occurred in this real estate cycle, since 2011, these developers—Terry Stiles and the Rockefeller Group—hit a very unique sector of the rental market, which is the luxury renter.”

The developers also opted to target baby boomers, rather than Millennials, Given said. “Baby boomers have a much higher average household income and disposable income,” he said. “It’s a segment of the market that everyone else overlooked.”

In addition to Given, Cushman & Wakefield's Zach Sackley, Troy Ballard and Neal Victor represented the seller in the transaction. Cushman’s Robert Kaplan, Chris Lentz and Mark Rutherford placed the debt for the buyer.

“It’s been the mode of operation for a lot of developers to build a property and sell it to an institution or large investor upon completion and stabilization,” said Jack McCabe, a real estate consultant in Deerfield Beach, Fla. “They usually flip them for excellent prices.”

(c) 2017 Robyn A. Friedman

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