Germany’s Union Investment Pays $227M for Fort Lauderdale Rental

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Europeans are getting into the multifamily buying frenzy in South Florida. 

German real estate heavyweight Union Investment Real Estate purchased a Fort Lauderdale rental complex for $226.5 million, marking the firm’s first multifamily acquisition in the U.S.

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The two-building EON Squared rental property stands near Route One in the Flagler Village neighborhood at 421 NE 6th Street

Union Investment, the real estate investment arm of Germany’s DZ Bank Group, paid $129 million for the 270-unit tower and $97.5 million for the adjacent 206-unit property, which are overall 93 percent leased, the firm said. The sale equates to $475,840 per apartment.

The seller, Miami-based Alta Developer, completed the 429,000-square-foot complex this summer after spending $2.7 million for the two parcels in 2016 and an estimated $43.5 million for the construction of the smaller building, according to property records. (A record of the construction for the larger property is not available.) 

A representative for Alta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Walker & Dunlop’s South Florida team, led by Still Hunter, represented the buyer.

South Florida rental properties have become a sought-after asset class among investors thanks to the region’s recent population growth and soaring rental rates. This month alone, social media darling Grant Cardone paid $740 million on four residential complexes and AECOM-Canyon Partners spent $255 million for a Doral property. 

“The rental growth in Fort Lauderdale is just exploding, reaching almost 20 percent over the past year and is expected to remain well above inflation for years to come,” Tal Peri, Union Investment’s head of East Coast and Latin America operations, said in a statement. 

The portfolio of Union Investment totals roughly $6.5 billion assets under management in the U.S. and $44.5 billion globally as of June, according to the company headquartered in Hamburg. 

Among those properties is a Publix-anchored shopping center in Boynton Beach, which Union Investment bought for $79.5 million earlier this month. 

Julia Echikson can be reached at Jechikson@commercialobserver.com.