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Lightning Creek sale gives glimpse of Oklahoma City apartment market

The buyers were attracted to the Oklahoma City market because of its growing economy and because they were unable to find comparable returns anywhere else in the country, broker Mike Buhl said.
by Richard Mize Published: July 21, 2012

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.

Growing economy

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.”

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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