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New York-based RockFarmer Properties LLC has acquired a 184-unit apartment complex in North Austin.

RockFarmer Properties teamed with Austin-based multifamily investor Wildhorn Capital LLC to acquire Enclave at Waters Edge, located at 12330 Metric Blvd., from Montgomery, Alabama-based Envolve Communities LLC.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It closed Oct. 14.

The transaction represents RockFarmer’s’ second venture into the Austin apartment market and fourth acquisition through its recently launched Opportunity Fund V. Money is still being raised for the fund, which has a focus on Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth.

Its prior Austin acquisition, completed in July, was SoNa Apartment Homes at 7900 San Felipe Blvd.

RockFarmer plans to renovate Enclave at Waters Edge, which was built in 1986. The complex features studio, one- and two-bedroom units on 6.62 acres. On-site amenities include a dog park, fitness center, outdoor lounge, game room and three swimming pools. It is near The Domain and Walnut Creek Metro Park.

“With major tech companies opening or relocating offices in Austin, the city is experiencing meteoric growth. Austin’s ample opportunities for employment attract people from across the country. We are bullish on value-add multifamily developments located in cities experiencing continued growth like Austin,” Brian Getzler, executive vice president and head of acquisitions at RockFarmer Properties, said in a statement.

Newmark represented the buyer and the seller in the transaction, and it helped secure financing.

A spokesperson for RockFarmer Properties said the firm “will continue to be aggressive in buying more units” and is expected to soon close on an apartment asset with about 250 units in Dallas. The firm is also under contract to purchase a Walgreens store in San Antonio.

RockFarmer Properties has purchased more than 1,000 apartment units since June, the spokesperson said.

RockFarmer Properties was founded by George Michelis and John Petras and has acquired, developed, renovated or repositioned more than 70 commercial and residential properties in New York and the Sun Belt.

Meanwhile, Envolve Communities still owns two other properties in metro Austin: Marshall Apartments at 1157 Salina St., Austin, and Red Hills Villas at 1401 South A.W. Grimes Blvd., Round Rock.

Metro-wide apartment occupancy was at 92.7% in September, according to an ApartmentData.com report — roughly in line with historical trends, but more than 4 percentage points higher than the decade-low mark of 88.1% in 2020.

Median rent, meanwhile, was $1,535 last month, ApartmentData.com reports.

Cindi Reed, vice president of sales and business development for ApartmentData.com, previously predicted rents could increase by 4% to 5% in 2022. Rents for class A apartments and new developments could increase by as much as 8% next year, she said.

But experts also have told Austin Business Journal that the rate of growth for those metrics is slowing. That, combined with normal seasonal trends — the real estate market in general slows down in the fall and winter months — could mean a coming cool down in the apartment market.

Publication: Austin Business Journal

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