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Feb. 14, 2014

Hartz Buys 266-Unit Apartment in Austin

Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

The WhitleyAustin, Tex.—Whitley, a 266-unit apartment building in Austin’s central business district, has been acquired by an entity controlled by Hartz Mountain Industries.  CBRE’s New York Institutional Group represented the buyer in the purchase.

“Hartz was attracted to the trophy property due to its long-term prospects for growth and increasing desirability in the Austin market,” CBRE Group Inc. vice chairman Jeffrey Dunne tells MHN.  “Hartz brings institutional quality ownership to the asset. This is extremely good for the residents, as [Hartz] will run the building with great professionalism.”

The 16-story apartment property was acquired for an undisclosed price.  The building has a walk score of 98 out of 100, reflecting its location within walking distance of several entertainment districts serving up local and national restaurants, specialty stores and live entertainment.  Downtown Austin is already home to more than nine million square feet of office space, and an additional 750,000 square feet of office space development is underway steps from Whitley.  The progressive Austin Convention Center is one block away.

In addition, a 1,000-room JW Marriott Hotel is being constructed adjacent to Whitley, and a 342-room Westin Hotel and 327-room Van Zandt Hotel have both broken ground within a scant five-minute walk of the property.

The seller was a joint venture between Principal and Riverside Resources, represented by Charles Cirar of CBRE’s Austin office.   Executive vice president James Gunning and vice president of CBRE Debt & Equity Finance team Donna Falzarano secured attractive financing for Hartz.

Whitley is the most recent property acquired by Hartz Mountain as it pursues an investment strategy of purchasing core multifamily properties at “Main and Main” locations nationwide.  The purchase follows the CBRE-represented Hartz Mountain purchase of Alto Apartments, a premier 17-story, 184-unit apartment community in downtown Seattle, which closed seven months ago.

“Hartz has acquired a trophy apartment property widely regarded as the most desirable new construction multifamily asset in Austin,“ says Dunne, who with Patrick Carino represented the buyer. “Its prime location and impressive amenity package offer an unparalleled option for renters in Austin’s burgeoning downtown.”

Adds Hartz Mountain COO and president Emanuel Stern, “Since entering the multifamily residential real estate market in 2010, Hartz has been strategic about choosing properties in markets that appeal to people who can afford to buy, but choose to rent because they want to be in or near vibrant urban communities. Austin is exactly where we want to be, and Whitley fits in with the rest of our portfolio, with its luxury amenities, location and pending LEED certification.”

CBRE New York Institutional Group specializes in the sale of investment properties in New York City’s suburban markets, as well as in select regional markets throughout the country.

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