Harbor Group Sells Suburban DC Apartment Complex to County for $90M
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
After a competitive bidding process, an affiliate of Harbor Group International Group has sold Hamptons at Town Center, a 768-residence apartment community in Germantown, Md., for approximately $90.3 million. Montgomery County is the new owner of the property, which Harbor had acquired in 2007 for $82 million
It’s not as though traditional investors were not interested in the asset, which sits on 37 acres roughly 12 miles from Washington, D.C., and holds the distinction of being one of the largest garden-style apartment communities in the Virginia-Maryland area.
“It was a competitive process and given the overall rental trends at our property and in the submarket there was a lot of interest,” T. Richard Litton, Jr., president of Harbor, told Commercial Property Executive. “For institutional investors, it was a chance to place a meaningful amount of equity in a strong submarket.”
However, despite high interest among traditional multi-family investors, Montgomery County emerged victorious because it, quite literally, had a right to do so. Montgomery County has the first right of refusal to acquire apartment properties in the county and it exercised its right. Harbor had agreed to a contract price with a third-party buyer and the county met that price.
“The concept allows the county to make sure there’s a sufficient supply of workforce housing,” Litton explained.
For Harbor, the timing was right to sell Hamptons, which currently boasts a 95 percent occupancy level.
“The property has performed extremely well, particularly over the last several years so given the income levels and [the fact that we had] already held it for five years, which is our normal holding period, it just made sense to exit.”