In the latest sign of a hot market, two more Richmond apartment complexes are up for sale and seeking deep-pocketed buyers.
The 232-unit Aspen Station complex in Henrico County was listed for sale last month with a $26 million asking price. And south of the river, another 232-unit property called Ashton Creek Apartments in Chester went up for grabs Wednesday with a $25 million price tag.
They’re the newest of at least 10 local apartment properties to hit the market since May, and the brokers working the two deals say sellers are looking to capitalize on the momentum.
“It’s a really hot market right now, and I think the Richmond market was pretty slow in product, so people feel that this is a good time,” said Wink Ewing, the ARA Newmark broker handling the Aspen Station sale. “People all around the country remain interested in Richmond. They find it to be a very stable market, and if they can get their foot in the door, they run hard after properties.”
Aspen Station, located at 1500 Forest Run Drive, is owned by Bell Partners of South Carolina, which purchased the property in 2008 for $18.7 million, county records indicate.
The 17-acre property houses one-, two-, and three-bedroom units with an average square footage of 770 square feet and average rental rate of $924. It is 94 percent leased, according to ARA.
Currently, 74 of Aspen Station’s 232 units are ready for upgrades – the others were renovated in 2009 and 2011. Ewing said those potential upgrades could increase the property’s overall value.
“There’s a potential value-add play for the next guy to come in and do upgrades that would cost maybe $5,000 a door and increase rent premiums by about $75 a month,” he said.
Down in Chester, Ashton Creek Apartments at 4201 Creek Way has enlisted Marcus & Millichap broker Chris Chadwick for its $25 million listing.
Sitting on 26 acres and consisting of 26 buildings, the complex contains one-, two- and three-bedroom units with an average size of 1,000 square feet.
“Generally speaking, it’s a great property, great location and great upside potential – generally a really solid deal,” Chadwick said. “The seller saw an opportunity to take advantage of the market condition.”
Chesterfield County records indicate that the property is owned by an entity called Ashton Creek Barnaby LLC, which purchased it in 2006 for $19.4 million. Chadwick declined to give any more details on the owners but said they were based in Washington, D.C.
Built in 1991, Ashton Creek is currently 97 percent leased. Chadwick said a buyer has an opportunity to come in and improve the units so rental rates can match others in the area. The current average rent in Ashton Creek is $971, and Chadwick said other properties in the area are renting for about 14 percent more.
Other properties that are currently testing the sale market include the Market Villas, a 31-unit apartment building at 15 N. 18th St. in Shockoe Bottom, Lee School Lofts at 3101 Kensington Ave. and the six-story One Monument Avenue.
And a handful of properties once owned by imprisoned local developer Billy Jefferson have been relisted by their new owners in recent weeks.