Vista Realty Partners and Fairfield Residential have completed a more than $70 million portfolio deal that preserves hundreds of metro Atlanta affordable apartment units.
Fairfield Residential Co. bought two properties, Longwood Vista near Doraville and Lakeside Vista in Kennesaw, for just under $71 million, or about 114,000 per unit. Both apartment projects, which contained over 600 units, were about 100 percent leased and have been for years.
The transaction closed Aug. 14, according to property records.
“It speaks to the need for this type of housing,” Vista CEO Eduard De Guardiola told Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Vista Realty developed the projects about 15 years ago, with financing from low income housing tax credits. Vista Realty had the option to sell both properties to an investor in market rate apartments, and the units could have been converted to those higher price points as a period of compliance to remain affordable comes to an end, De Guardiola said.
Rents at the project average about $800 to $900 per month. Metro Atlanta, meanwhile, has seen rents for market rate apartments soar over the past several years. Average effective rents, or those that take concessions into account, were $1,168 per month at the end of the second quarter, according to the analyst Reis. Rents have increased 6% over the past year across the Atlanta area.
“We wanted to find a new owner that could continue operating the properties as affordable,” De Guardiola said. “I think it’s up to my colleagues in the private sector to do things on their own to try to solve the affordable housing crisis. You can’t just rely on government programs. Those wheels turn too slowly.”
Fairfield is majority owned by California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which has a large fund dedicated to affordable housing.