Acento Real Estate Partners Buys DC-Area Apartments

A newly-formed brokerage team from KLNB facilitated the transaction.

Governor Square

Governor Square Apartments. Image courtesy of Yardi Matrix

Acento Real Estate Partners has completed its purchase of Governor Square Apartments, a 17-building community in Gaithersburg, Md.

The Bethesda-based buyer acquired the 238-unit property at 409 Muddy Branch Road in an off-market transaction. Its seller is listed by Yardi Matrix as Kay Apartment Communities.

A KLNB team, formerly of EDGE Commercial Real Estate, represented Acento in the transaction. The sale of Governor Square Apartments marks the expanded brokerage’s first deal since its acquisition by KLNB in February.

Governor Square’s Statistics

Governor Square Apartments were built in 1987 and were originally owned by Kay Apartment Communities and Douglas W. Sherman, Yardi Matrix shows. Homes within the community are sectioned into one-, two- and three-bedroom living arrangements ranging between 720 and 1,290 square feet and feature centralized HVAC systems, dining spaces, walk-in closets and covered private patios and balconies. Across the property, residents have access to on-site laundry facilities, a swimming pool, playgrounds and event programming.

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Situated within two miles of central Gaithersburg, the community offers quick access to many of the town’s largest employers including AstraZeneca and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. A tangle of on-ramps to Interstate 270 and I-370 and Route 200 are nearby, giving divers highway access to much of the Washington, DC metro, including Arlington and Baltimore. Capitol Hill is 21 miles away.

The KLNB brokerage team, formerly of Edge Commercial, was led by Partner Rawles Wilcox, Senior Vice President Jared Emery and Vice President Dutch Seitz. The brokers joined 15 other team members as part of the merger.

DC’s demand holds steady

Despite hiccups in its rent growth and transaction volumes, the DC metro remains a solid hub of investment, driven in part by sizeable private sector investment and infrastructure projects. According to data from a February 2023 Yardi Matrix report, the city’s occupancy rate has held stable, with an incremental 20 basis-point decrease to 95.3 percent through November of 2022. Over the last year, the city had $5.8 billion in asset trades, an anticipated lull from the record-high of $9.2 billion in 2021.

Wilcox sees the sale as emblematic of the city’s market stability. “The sale of Governor Square really speaks to the opportunities that exist in the D.C. region no matter where we are in the cycle. Any group that knows the Washington, D.C. Metro knows that it is one of, if not the most, resilient markets in the country, especially for real estate investment and, particularly, the apartment sector,” he told Multi-Housing News.

Recent investments in the area include 29th Street Capital’s $64 million purchase of Solaire Apartments, a 232-unit transit-oriented community. In January, Dart Interests acquired NOVEL South Capitol, a 539-unit luxury high-rise, from Crescent Communities.

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