South Florida’s booming population is helping one real estate firm to buy, flip and sell residential communities for millions.
In its latest sale, the real estate development and asset management firm BAR Invest Group sold its townhouse community Serramar at 6701 W. Oakland Park Blvd. for $58 million to the New York-based real estate management firm Milbrook Properties on Thursday, according to Herve Barbera, executive vice president of BAR Invest Group. The community totals 307,690 square feet with 302, garden-style units and has a 95% occupancy. The firm bought Serramar for $44 million in 2016.
BAR Invest Group rented each unit at $120 per square foot in 2016 and $158 per square foot after it completed renovations, an increase of over 30%, Barbera said.
“With an increase in population, we are able to increase the rent and people are always looking for a better project to live in. That’s why we are always doing these types of renovations,” Barbera said.
BAR Invest Group spent about $10,000 per unit, or a total of approximately $3 million, to renovate all of the town homes over a two-to-three year span, Barbera said. The units range from a one bedroom, one bath spanning 800 square feet to a two bedroom, two bathroom measuring 1,200 square feet.
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Each unit got its carpets replaced with tile and had its bathrooms and kitchens updated. Other renovations include a fresh coat of paint for each town home, updated rooftops, landscaping and a security gate.
The community has several amenities, including two pools, a playground, park, basketball court and an outdoor and indoor gym.
“People are willing to rent in our properties because they know the quality and management that they are going to receive,” Barbera said. “We have monthly events, like breakfast on the go and pool parties.”
Serramar was built in 1988. The location, a 13-minute drive to Plantation, is a draw, Barbera said. Most residents, he said, are middle-class and work in the neighborhood.
BAR Invest Group will reinvest the $58 million into another similar garden-style community in West Palm Beach with over 300 units.
“We are looking to duplicate the same business plan that we did in Serramar,” Barbera said.
BAR Invest Group launched in Miami, opening its South Florida headquarters in Brickell, in 2001. It has developed and managed several projects, including Mary Brickell Village. The firm is expected to expand its team by the end of the year and, in seeking a larger space, will close its Brickell office and move to Coral Gables.