The recent sale of Lightning Creek Apartments, 8113 S Western Ave., an unusual multifamily property with a retail component, gives a snapshot of the fundamentals driving investor interest and pricing in the Oklahoma City apartment market.
Investors Peter Lukowitsch of California and Chris Williams of Nevada paid $3.85 million for the 28-year-old, 127-unit property.
It was their first acquisition in the Oklahoma City area, said Mike Buhl of Norman-based Commercial Realty Resources Co., who handled the transaction. The seller was Lightning Creek LLC, led by Douglas Coleman of Oklahoma City, who had owned the property for the past 21 years.
The buyers “were attracted to this market because of our growing economy and because they were unable to find these types of returns elsewhere in the country,” Buhl said.
The 85,444-square-foot property has six two-story and two single-story buildings. The multifamily-retail mix made the property somewhat unconventional, from an investor standpoint, Buhl said.
“Lightning Creek was one of the first mixed-use developments in Oklahoma City containing apartments on the upper lever and retail on the ground floor. Many of the lower-level retail spaces have been converted to apartments over the past 20 years, leaving a mix of 95 apartment units and 32 retail spaces,” Buhl said. “The retail consistently stays at 100 percent occupancy because of small-business owners who desire affordable rates along the high-traffic corridor of Western Avenue. Many of the retail tenants have occupied their spaces for 10 to 15 years.”
Buhl said the buyers secured financing from Arbor Commercial Funding through Fannie Mae at a 4.26 percent interest rate with an 82 percent loan-to-value ratio. The loan has a 30-year amortization period with a 10-year maturity date. Because the capitalization rate on the sale, on June 21, was 8.83, the resulting return to the investor will be more than 20 percent, he said.
“The buyer was able to underwrite this deal very favorably because of today's very low interest rate environment, which played an integral role in acquiring the property and structuring the sale,” Buhl said. “Literally, the financing made this sale possible. ... There are more buyers for this type of property than there is inventory, which is why we are seeing prices and sales volume increase.”