CBRE Group Hired to Market Laketown Wharf

CBRE Group Inc. has been hired to market and sell the interests of ST Residential and its affiliates in Laketown Wharf, a Panama City Beach, Fla., Gulf-view resort property, with 399 units operating as apartments.
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Panama City Beach, Fla.—CBRE Group Inc. has been hired to market and sell the interests of ST Residential and its affiliates in Laketown Wharf, a Panama City Beach, Fla., Gulf-view resort property, with 399 units operating as apartments.

The offering consists of 699 units in the 765-unit property, 110,000 square feet of retail space and amenities including five pools, a separate sales center, putting green, arcade, security, dedicated beach access and a circular boardwalk surrounding an on-property lake. The 22-story property has recently undergone an extensive renovation and enhancement effort costing approximately $8 million. Of the 699 units, 300 are currently being operated as a hotel.

Laketown Wharf features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, all with full-size kitchen, and an average size of 1,248 square feet. The apartment units currently enjoy a 96 percent occupancy rate.

The property is poised for a new owner to continue to operate as a combined apartment community and hotel, or to convert to condominiums.

ST Residential is a manager of properties owned by a public-private partnership between the FDIC and a group of leading U.S. private real estate investors. This listing represents the latest example of ST Residential successfully repositioning the assets it manages of behalf of the public-private partnership.

CBRE officials believe Laketown Wharf has a great deal to offer the right buyer. “It’s directly across the street from the beach, with direct access to the beach, and has great views of the Gulf of Mexico,” Robert Given, multi-housing investment properties leader for CBRE Group in Miami, tells MHN.

“It’s a highly-amenitized building . . . So you have a property with the highest finishes in the market, great views of the Gulf of Mexico, direct access to the beach, and there’s nothing in the pipeline in Panama City Beach that compares to this from the standpoint of being a condominium project for sale,” Given says. “It would take [competitive developers] about four years to catch up.”

The property also benefits from a competitive Panama City Beach landscape in which all other apartment communities are garden-style properties with no view of the beach and Gulf of Mexico.

The only challenge Given envisions in marketing and selling the property is that it is a large asset in a mid-size market.

As a result, he comments, “It just needs to be financed right, and also have someone who isn’t normally looking in this market to buy in this market. It is probably three times the size of typical deals in this market.”

ST Residential chose CBRE Group to handle the sale based on the latter’s successful representation of a similar property located across the street, the Shores of Panama, about three years ago.

“I think it’s our expertise from working on that transaction that was foremost on their minds,” Given says. “Secondly, we’ve had a very long-standing relationship with that ownership group on an international scale. They needed a team with international scale to handle this transaction.”