AREA Property Partners, a real estate investor and fund manager, and joint venture partner McDowell Properties, a real estate investment company, have acquired a portfolio of defaulted loans secured by 17 apartment complexes with 4,733 units located in four states.

The property portfolio has its greatest concentration in Austin, Texas with seven properties. There are three other properties in Dallas, two properties in Phoenix, three in Tulsa, Okla. and one each in Tampa, Fla., and Jacksonville Fla. The overall occupancy rate for the portfolio is 84%, providing strong upside potential when leased to market occupancy.

The properties in Austin, where job growth has been very strong and is projected as one of highest rental growth apartment markets in the nation, are located in two areas. One location serves the Northwest Austin corridor anchored by major corporations such as IBM, Apple, the PayPal unit of eBay and Freescale Semiconductor, and the other location serves Austin’s CBD and the University of Texas.

“The transaction represents the rare opportunity to acquire a portfolio of assets in this dynamic high growth market at an attractive discount to the current debt basis,” AREA Partner Steve Wolf said in a statement. “The business plan calls for taking fee title to the assets and repositioning each asset, including exterior renovations, landscaping improvements, amenity upgrades, and interior renovations. These assets will be able to compete with newer complexes in their submarkets while offering a much stronger value within their rent levels.”

Sabal Acquires $158M Loan Portfolio

Sabal Financial Group L.P., formerly Milestone Asset Resolution Company LLC, a diversified financial services management firm, announces the recent acquisition of a $158 million portfolio of performing and non-performing commercial real estate loans and commercial acquisition, development and construction loans and credit facilities.

The acquisition represents the first sale transaction under the FDIC’s pilot Small Investor Program (SIP) and represents the commercial loan component of a larger $297 million loan sale mandated by the FDIC for the assets of failed FirsTier Bank of Louisville, Colo., which was seized in January. The acquired portfolio includes 116 loans and is secured by a heavy concentration of properties in Colorado, including retail, industrial, office, apartments and undeveloped land.

“We are pleased to continue building on our existing relationship with the FDIC with the addition of this portfolio,” Sabal CEO R. Patterson Jackson said in a statement. “This portfolio is a blend of commercial real estate loans and acquisition, development and construction assets that uniquely matches the broad expertise of Sabal in the management of small balance distressed assets.”

The FDIC’s SIP is designed to increase investor access to smaller asset pools, widen participation in structured sales and maintain a level playing field for investors through a competitive bid process. A total of 13 bids were received for this first FDIC SIP portfolio sale.

Sabal Financial Group will perform management, servicing and disposition services for the loan pool.

CBL Acquires Northgate Mall in Auction

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. signed a definitive agreement to acquire Northgate Mall in the firm’s hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn., for $11.5 million, in cash. The mall was listed for sale through an online auction. CBL anticipates closing on the transaction by October 6th.

“This transaction represents a unique and special opportunity for us to grow our presence in our hometown,” CBL President & CEO Stephen Lebovitz said in a statement. “Since CBL was formed in 1978 we have time and again demonstrated our tremendous confidence in Chattanooga by investing in its growth. The acquisition of Northgate Mall is just another example of that commitment.”

Following the close of the acquisition, CBL plans to revitalize the property through redevelopment, which may include the addition of junior anchor stores and restaurants and repurposing the adjacent community center. CBL envisions creating a destination that will better serve the area north of the Tennessee River while complementing Hamilton Place Mall’s position as the dominant fashion outlet in the market.

Kennedy Wilson to Auction 70 Bank-Owned Properties

Real estate investment and services firm Kennedy Wilson will conduct an auction of 70 bank-owned properties located primarily throughout Oregon and California.

Property types include single family homes, condominiums, multifamily, retail, office and land. The auction will take place over two days—Saturday, October 15 at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront and Sunday, October 16 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina.

“With no starting bids and no buyer’s premiums, this auction provides an opportunity for homebuyers, investors and companies to purchase properties at excellent prices,” KW Auction Group Rhett Winchell said in a statement. “Additionally, these properties are in prime locations, including Sonoma, Sacramento, Portland, Lake Oswego, Bend and many other great markets.”

John Dixon & Associates Holding Phoenix Auction

John Dixon & Associates is conducting an auction of office/retail pads in Phoenix on Oct. 11.

Properties to be auctioned include 29 pads in Southgate Commerce Park in Mesa; a retail pad site adjacent to WalMart on MacDonald Road in Mesa; and a retail pad in Queen Creek, according to John Dixon, president of the auction company.

Other properties to be sold in the Phoenix auction will include a bank branch in Flagstaff, a number of residential lots, and several commercial land tracts. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Hilton Suites, 10 East Thomas Road.

The Phoenix event is the first of two auctions on consecutive days. On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the auction team will move to Las Vegas for the sale of approximately 10 office buildings, along with numerous tracts of commercial land, retail properties and other commercial and residential properties in Nevada and California. The Las Vegas event will be held at the Spring Hill Suites Las Vegas Convention Center.