Lexington's Forty/57 apartment complex sells for $52.5 million

ssloan@herald-leader.comJanuary 3, 2013 

In one of Lexington's priciest real estate transactions in at least the past decade, a California-based company has paid $52.5 million to buy the Forty/57 apartment complex off Man o' War Boulevard near Nicholasville Road.

The 436-unit apartment complex is the first to be bought in Lexington by Steadfast Income REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust).

"We feel that Lexington occupies an important position in the state's economy and is the financial, retail, health care and cultural core of the entire region," President Ella Shaw Neyland said in a statement.

Lexington Property Valuation Administrator David O'Neill reviewed sales prices of apartment complexes dating to 2002 and said this was the highest. It's behind only two individual sales of the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort & Spa in terms of all property sales dating to 2002, he said.

The price per unit breaks down to around $120,000. O'Neill said that no other apartment complex in the city is assessed at more than $90,000 per unit.

The two property parcels that are part of the deal, O'Neill said, were most recently assessed by his office at more than $23 million.

"We are reassessing apartment complexes for 2013 anyway," he said. "We base reassessments on sales.

"Now we have a very recent, very comparable sale to use in our reassessments of other apartment complexes."

Construction on Forty/57 began in 2008 by RML Construction, which is owned by three of the principals of Ball Homes.

"It was all just about the opportunity," said James Parsons, chief financial officer of Ball Homes. "There was not a for-sale sign outside."

Construction was finished on the four-phase complex in September, he said. It is 88 percent occupied, according to a Steadfast statement.

With 19 three-story residential buildings, the complex offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhomes, according to the statement. Features include garages, 9-foot ceilings, and kitchens with black appliances, tile floors, wood cabinets and stone backsplashes.

The complex also includes a clubhouse with a coffee bar, a fitness center, a 40-seat movie theater, a volleyball court, a putting green and two resort-style pools.

This marks the sixth Kentucky property acquired by Steadfast, according to a statement. The company owns five apartment complexes in Louisville that were bought in 2011 and 2012.

With the acquisition of Forty/57, the company now owns more than 5,600 apartment units in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas.

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz

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