Westside Capital’s Tampa Expansion Continues

The company’s $29.5 million acquisition of a 337-unit garden-style community marks its second investment in the metro’s Wellswood submarket.

Watermans Crossing Apartments

Westside Capital Group, a Miami-based diversified real estate investment firm, has acquired Watermans Crossing Apartments in Tampa for $29.5 million and plans to spend another $5 million in capital improvements at the 13.4-acre, 337-unit garden-style community. The property will be rebranded as Westshore Crossing.

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Berkadia has arranged a $26.3 million five-year, floating-rate loan from Bridge Investment Group for Westside. Senior Managing Director Charles Foschini and Managing Director Chris Apone of Berkadia’s Miami office secured the loan for Westside. Neil Rollnick, a partner in Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP’s Miami office, advised Westside on the acquisition. The transaction was brokered by Luis Elorza and Brad Capas of Cushman & Wakefield.

The seller was not identified by Westside or Berkadia, but Yardi Matrix data lists the most recent owner of the property at 4515 Rome Ave. as Atlantic Housing Foundation, a non-profit community housing organization that owns and operates an affordable housing portfolio of approximately 7,600 apartments across more than 30 multifamily properties in about 22 cities. Atlantic Housing Foundation acquired Watermans Crossing Apartments from Reliance Housing Foundation in November 2005, as part of a $95.7 million, five-property portfolio transaction, according to Yardi Matrix. Built in 1973, previous owners included The Praedium Group, Aetna Insurance Co., Charles F. McCannon and Gary Jacobson.

Well-located site allows for expansion

As part of the acquisition, Westside has removed all Land Use Restriction Agreement (LURA) limitations that were on the property, giving the new owner the potential to develop up to 72 new units at a cost of about $8 million.

Located on the Hillsborough River, Watermans Crossing is near Al Lopez Park, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and Raymond James Stadium, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play their home games. It is off Highway 17A and 176 and about a mile to a Wal-Mart Supercenter, Lowe’s, Rite Aid and numerous restaurants, Interstate 26 and Northwoods Mall.

The property has 20 buildings featuring a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with an average size of 895 square feet. Rents range from $711 to $1,268, with an average of $1,007, according to Yardi Matrix. Community amenities include a clubhouse, a fitness center, three swimming pools, a playground and 876 parking spaces. Unit amenities include ceramic tile in select units, full-size washer and dryer connections, large walk-in closets, extra storage and river views from some apartments. Westside plans to update common areas and perform targeted interior upgrades.

Westside investments

The property is Westside’s second investment in Tampa’s Wellswood submarket. Last year, the firm acquired Buena Vista, a 240-unit community less than a mile from Watermans Crossing, for $21.3 million. Berkadia secured $19.4 million in financing for Westside to acquire Buena Vista.

Jakub Hejl, Westside founder & president, said the firm has now invested about $70 million in the Wellswood area, between the acquisitions and planned capital improvements. Hejl said in a prepared statement that the firm expects to continue growing its Tampa portfolio with another investment that would bring the total value of its assets in the metro to about $100 million.

Other multifamily properties the company owns in Florida include Creekwood Apartment Homes, a 22-building, 176-unit Class B community in Jacksonville, Fla., acquired in February for $13.2 million from a private investor. Westside, which rebranded the asset as Creekwood Club, also planned to renovate common areas and update some of the apartments.

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