The 474 unit Alara Farms apartments in Cool Springs TN sold yesterday for $59,250,000. The property name is changing from “Alara Farms” to “Farms at Cool Springs”.
The last time this Cool Springs TN apartment complex sold was back in 2000 for $37 million.
Real estate transfer tax alone for this multi family purchase was $219,225. No question that Williamson County coffers are smiling down upon this Cool Springs real estate transaction!
The sales price of Alara Farms at $125,000 per unit rivals the $127,700 per unit that Julian LeCraw & Co. paid for Wyndchase at Aspen Grove three years ago. Coincidentally the 560 unit Wyndchase at Aspen Grove, which sold for $71.5 million back in 2008, is currently being offered for sale.
CoolSprings.com spoke to Nashville multifamily broker Robert McCalla with Cumberland Commercial Partners who said, “This deal is a testament to the both strength and desirability of Middle Tennessee multifamily investment property in spite of challenges elsewhere in the market”.
The seller of Alara Farms was “Williamson Farms Corporation”, a Delaware corporation created to hold the property by the previous asset management company, American Realty Advisors. American Realty Advisors is a California corporation with $3.4 billion in assets currently under management. “Alara” is a registered service mark of American Realty Advisors, as they also are the asset managers for Alara Brooks, Alara Cool Springs and Alara River Oaks. The Grantor signature on the special warranty deed we examined was that of Scott Darling, listed as President of Williamson Farms Corporation. Scott Darling is also President and Executive Managing Director of Portfolio Management for American Realty Advisors.
The buyer is Farm Apartments Associates LLC, a Delaware limited liability company whose address is that of the Praedium Group, LLC. The Praedium Group, LLC is a New York based real estate investment company with over $7 billion in investments to date. They focus on middle market under-performing assets under $75 million. The Grantee signature on the deed is that of Mark Lippmann, listed on the deed as Vice President of Farms Apartments Managing Member LLC. Mark Lippmann is also Managing Director of The Praedium Group.
Carter-Haston Real Estate Services, Inc. has replaced RAM Partners LLC as the on-site property management company. Carter-Haston Real Estate Services, Inc. is a Nashville based multifamily investment and management company overseeing approximately $300 million in multi-family assets. Carter-Haston’s website lists 30 apartment properties they manage through out the South. In addition to Tennessee, they have a presence in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri. In Middle Tennessee they manage Abbington Heights in Antioch, Hunter’s Creek in Lebanon and Harper’s Point and Stones Creek, both in Murfreesboro. The acquisition and management of Alara Farms, now “Farms at Cool Springs” is most definitely a feather in the cap of Carter-Haston. The firm was founded by L. Marc Carter and C. Harris Haston.
Residents we spoke with living at Alara Farms, now “Farms at Cool Springs”, said they have been told the on-site staff will remain the same. The general sentiment from residents was a sigh of relief, since most everyone felt the staff and property at Alara Farms already ran like a well oiled machine.
A letter went out yesterday to residents informing them of the change in ownership and ensuring a smooth, seamless transition. The letter also said “In addition to our name change you will enjoy many exciting new renovations, upgrades and improvements to the building exteriors, grounds and amenity areas”.
A controversial Williamson County school rezoning recently changed the designated high school for these apartments from Ravenwood High School to Centennial High School starting in Fall 2011. The designated elementary and middle school have not changed and remain Kenrose Elementary and Woodland Middle. Farms at Cool Springs is located off Carothers Blvd on Gillepsie Dr along with two more apartment complexes Alara Cool Springs and Alara Brook. For the time being Alara Cool Springs and Alara Brook remain owned by American Realty Advisors and managed by RAM Partners.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how Farms at Cool Springs, Alara Cool Springs and Alara Brook compete against each other. This marks the first time in almost a decade that different ownership and property management exists between the three properties on Gillespie Dr. in Franklin, TN.
Congrats to the new owner and welcome “Farms at Cool Springs”!