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Wednesday, Jan 16, 2019
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AER apartment tower in St. Petersburg sold for record $127 million

ST. PETERSBURG — AER, a newly built apartment tower in downtown St. Petersburg, has been sold for $127 million in Tampa Bay’s biggest ever apartment deal.

Camden, one of the country’s largest owners of multi-family rental communities, said it will rename the 17-story, 358-unit building Camden Pier District.

"We are pleased to announce the acquisition of this premier asset in one of our core markets," Richard Campo, Camden’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "We believe the purchase price is 5 to 10 percent below the current replacement cost."

The sale works out to $354,745 per unit. That is more than for any other multi-family apartment transaction in the bay area, said Darron Kattan, managing director of Tampa’s Franklin Street brokerage.

Although AER opened barely over a year ago, Kattan said it is not unusual for an apartment developer like American Land Venture to sell so soon after completing a project.

"That’s what developers do — develop and sell,’’ he said Friday. "I think the most interesting thing here is that Camden is the buyer. They have a long track record through real estate cycles as to when to buy and sell and it’s a pretty interesting statement that they’re making a big bet on downtown St. Petersburg."

Since the end of the Great Recession, the city’s downtown has been in the midst of an unprecedented boom in new apartments. On Wednesday, Miami’s Related Group broke ground for a 368-unit, 15-story apartment tower in the 800 block of Central Avenue. That and four other projects, either underway or planned, will add more than 1,500 units to the 1,340 finished in the last three years.

Camden, whose shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange at about $85 currently, has 153 apartment communities across the nation — including several in the Tampa Bay area.

The privately held American Land Ventures finished AER St. Petersburg in 2016 and said last week that it had closed on a nearby parcel on which it will build a 20 story, 210-unit apartment tower.

The company also plans to start construction late this year on a 34-story, 272-unit apartment building on Cass Street near the David S. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@Tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

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