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Downtown St. Petersburg's Modera Prime apartment complex sells for $77.55 million

The sale of the 309-unit Modera Prime 235 complex to a Salt Lake City real estate firm is the latest in a rash of bay area big-ticket apartment transactions.
The sale of the 309-unit Modera Prime 235 complex to a Salt Lake City real estate firm is the latest in a rash of bay area big-ticket apartment transactions.
Published Jan. 3, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG — In yet another sign of downtown St. Petersburg's bustling apartment market, the 309-unit Modera Prime 235 has been sold for $77.55 million to a Salt Lake City real estate firm.

The sale, which closed Dec. 28, works out to $251,000 per unit, among the higher prices paid in recent years for a Tampa Bay apartment complex.

Built two years ago at 235 Third Ave. N, the eight-story Modera is within easy walking distance of Beach Drive and the Sundial entertainment plaza. While relatively small, its studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments — some of which have bay views — command the kind of rents once unheard of downtown. The 493-square-foot studios currently run as high as $1,585, Modera's website shows.

For those who want to escape their tight living quarters but stay on premises, Modera Prime boasts "remarkable amenities'' that include a rooftop terrace, cardio studio, resort-style pool with a sundeck and social lounge with billiards.

Bayway Apartments LLC sold the complex to a partnership of three newly formed limited liability companies connected to Utah-based Cottonwood Residential. Specializing in multifamily housing, Cottonwood owns or manages dozens of apartment projects in several states including Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.

Among its Florida holdings are the Twin Lakes Apartments in Palm Harbor and the Sanctuary at Highland Oaks in Tampa.

The bay area has seen a rash of big-ticket apartment transactions in the past few years as the demand for rentals drives up rates and lures investors.

In November, the year-old, 323-unit Skyhouse Channelside in Tampa sold to a New York company for $88-million, or $272,445 per unit. In 2015, St. Petersburg's Fusion 1560 on the fringe of downtown sold for $57.5 million, or $177,000 per unit, while the Beacon 430 at Fourth Street S and Third Avenue S went for $84.5 million, or $259,000 per unit.

Hundreds of apartments are currently under construction in both downtown Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg.

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

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