A Canadian-based investment group has acquired Skyline Fifth Avenue Apartments, a 178-unit unit complex in St. Petersburg, Fla., in a lender-owned sale. The purchase price was $17.1 million, or $96,208 per unit and $101 per sq. ft.

Brokers Frank Carriera and Michael Regan in the Tampa office of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services represented both the buyer and seller.

“The lender began foreclosure proceedings in November 2010 with the intention of selling the loan,” explains Carriera. “However, there were some significant hurdles in the transaction and the buyer and seller eventually decided to make this a real estate transaction instead of a loan sale.”

The seller foreclosed in May 2011, and the buyer ended up financing the sale with a bridge loan at 68.6% loan-to-value. “The [Canadian] group plans to hold the building long term. This is its second commercial real estate purchase in Florida,” says Carriera.

The 169,286 sq. ft. property is located at 441 33rd St. North, approximately 2.5 miles west of downtown St. Petersburg and a few blocks west of Interstate 27.

According to skylinefifth.com, rents start at $875 per month for a one-bedroom unit at 758 sq. ft. and $1,200 for a two-bedroom unit at 1,150 sq. ft.

Built in 1962, Skyline Fifth Avenue Apartments underwent a $30 million renovation that was completed in 2007. The apartments feature vaulted ceilings, refinished kitchens, high-speed Internet access, stacked washer/dryers in the one-bedroom units and full-size washers and dryers in the two-bedroom units.

Shared amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center, business center and clubhouse.