Local Investor Scoops Up Property in Midwest Market with Attractive Potential

By Keat Foong Executive Editor St. Charles, Ill.—This market has seen some rent decreases in the past year, but that may just mean it is a good time to make apartment investments. St. Charles Place Apartments, a 126-unit apartment property built between 1968 and 1970, was purchased by a local investment group that owns other apartment properties in the area, says Bob Edminston, vice president of Inland Real Estate Sales, who was the broker for the buyer.  The property’s occupancy has been at about 93 to 95 percent, which is a “good” rental market, says Edminston. Residents have also stopped buying condos in the market, which implies an uptrend for rentals, he adds. The buyer, says Edminston, will improve the property and expects to raise rental rates in the next year or so. The property was purchased for $.8.35 million, or $66 per unit, which is a “very good price” in this market, says Edminston. Inland Real Estate also represented the sellers, through Rich Artman and Bill Goodwin, both of Inland Real Estate’s Yorkville office.   “The owner has many options in the future,” says Edminston. The units are distributed over smaller, multiple buildings located on two separate sites, which will give the owner flexibility to “sell off the buildings separately” in different configurations and at different times, he suggests. The apartments can also be converted to condominiums at a later date depending on the market.  “We took several offers in the first 30 days,” said Edminston. Working in their favor, the particular group of buyers had a strong track of purchasing properties, a good relationship with the lender, and a lender lined up.  “We were excited to get this property under contract so quickly with a no-nonsense buyer who has an established track record of performance in the area,” says Artman, who is vice president and managing broker of the Yorkville office. “Having a seller that was so financially sound helped the seller make the decision,” he adds. “The market has shifted towards tightened lending regulations,” comments Artman. “Fortunately for Bob’s buyers, they have a good track record with a lending institution and they were able to underwrite and secure a loan as a result.” Edminston says finding a buyer was not difficult as he worked from a database of buyers who wanted to purchase properties. Edminston, who has over 30 years’ experience in the multifamily business, has brokered other large apartment properties, including the 144-unit Main Park Apartments complex in West Chicago, Ill. for $9.36 million and Haymeadow Apartments in Peoria, Ill. for $8.3 million. Located at 100-207 North 15th Street and 1400-1620 West Indiana Avenue, St. Charles Place Apartments houses 21 one- and 105 two-bedroom units that range in size from 725 to 900 square feet. The property includes a swimming pool. There are not many similarly large apartment properties in this market in the area, says Artman.