Advertisement
  1. Business

Two more big Tampa Bay condo communities are becoming rentals

Robbins Property Associates and LEM Capital have bought 312 of the units in Arbors at Carrollwood in north Tampa. (Courtesy of Robbins Property Associates.)
Published Jun. 25

TAMPA — As the demand for apartments continues to grow, two more Tampa Bay condo communities are on track to become exclusively rentals.

Last week, a New York-based company paid $7.3 million for 109 of the 240 condos in Enclave at Sable Point in St. Petersburg's Pinellas Point area.

And on June 7, Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates and a partner obtained financing to buy 312 of the 390 condos in Arbors at Carrollwood in north Tampa.

The transactions are the latest in a trend that caused an uproar a few years ago and led to changes in state law to better protect individual condo owners from so-called "bulk buyers.''

Termination of a condo association used to require approval of 100 percent of unit owners. But as foreclosures and two active hurricane seasons left many units damaged and vacant, the Florida Legislature in 2007 amended the law so that 80 percent of owners could terminate an association if no more than 10 percent of owners were opposed.

Investors, realizing that the new law could help them convert condos to apartments, began buying up units by the score and renting them out. Demand for rentals was great because many people had lost their homes to storms or, starting in 2009, foreclosure. But the bulk purchases led to "fractured'' communities — half rental and half condo — and complaints from individual owners that their units were plunging in value.

READ MORE: Tampa Bay couple in 'awful situation,' forced to sell as condo converted to rental

Owners in several Tampa Bay communities including the Slade at Channelside alleged that they were being bullied into selling to investors. The outcry prompted lawmakers to enact changes in 2017 that enabled just 5 percent of owners to block conversion and required owners to be paid 100 percent of fair market value for their units.

READ MORE: Condo owners in Tampa's the Slade At Channelside battle to keep it from going all rental

"A lot of communities are stabilized now, but there still communities out there that are very fractured and challenged by the disparity in value between what the units sold for and what they are worth today,'' said Darron Kattan of the brokerage Franklin Street, which arranged the sale of Enclave at Sable Point.

Kattan said that about 10 percent of the unit owners have homestead exemptions, indicating that is their primary residence. Since the deal closed, the buyer, Axonic Properties, has purchased another 22 units, although it is not clear how many of those were homesteaded.

Both Enclave and Arbors at Carrollwood began as rentals that converted to condos and now are being reconverted to apartments.

At Arbors, built in 1999 on more than 56 acres, Robbins and partner LEM Capital want "to assemble as many units as possible,'' said Mitch Sinberg of Berkadia, the mortgage company that arranged the loan." The more they have, the more they can create value at the property. But if they don't assemble all of them, it by no means derails the business plan.'' The loan amount was not disclosed.

Property appraiser records show that only six of the Arbor's individually owned units have homesteads. Should any owners decide to sell, they could do so to either Robbins or a third party.

While condos in fractured communities often lose their value, Sinberg said Robbins is planning improvements that will make the Arbors more desirable.

"If you look at the property now, it looks tired,'' he said. "Robbins is planing an overhaul to make sure that both exteriors and interiors look like fresh, clean new assets and I think that will benefit the unit owners.''

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A total of 131 employees are scheduled to be laid off in January as Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina close at the Sundial to make way for a new food hall created by the developers of the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works in Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES
    In a notice to the state of Florida, Sundial owner Bill Edwards said the layoffs are expected to take place the first week of January.
  2. WeWork is opening Tampa offices at 501 E Kennedy Blvd. despite company struggles, including $1.25 billion in losses over 2019. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    WeWork has 200 planned coworking space openings as leadership tries to manage $1.25 billion in losses.
  3. Florida's unemployment rate was unchanged in October at 3.2 percent, according to numbers released Friday. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    The latest numbers were released Friday morning.
  4. Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share for Tech Data's stock in an acquisition worth $5.4 billion. If regulators shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County, where it employs 2,000 of its 14,000 workers. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private equity firms like Apollo create wealth for pension funds, financial institutions and individual investors by buying assets that typically are sold later at a profit.
  5. Some of Tampa Bay's largest companies are being sold or are up for sale. Times files and Bloomin' Brands
    Tech Data is just the latest in a growing list of public companies bought up by out-of-state firms.
  6. Hillsborough Community College solicited "non-binding letters of interest or intent” last month from developers interested in purchasing the Dr. Gwendolyn W. Stephenson District Administration Center on Davis Islands. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Developers have eyed the 3.7 acre waterfront parcel for years, but recent interest has prompted the college’s trustees to finally start the conversation.
  7. Tampa International Airport looking north. The Wall Street Journal ranked it the best midsize airport in America. [Times files]
    TPA took first place in the Wall Street Journal’s annual survey of U.S. airports.
  8. Tech Data's CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with former CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky earlier this year. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
    A private equity firm has agreed to buy Tech Data.
  9. Joseph Erickson, 53, looks out the window at the gulf-[front condo he thought he won at a foreclosure auction last year.t JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    "There have been serious allegations,'' Judge Keith Meyer said.
  10. Sam's Club fulfillment center manager Nick Barbieri explains to a shopper how the new Scan & Go shop works at 5135 S Dale Mabry Highway. SARA DINATALE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Shoppers in Tampa Bay can now skip the line and cash out alcohol on their own phones.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement