ARA Newmark Closes Largest Multi-Family Transaction in Colorado

Bell Partners expects its latest acquisition to be a solid deal for its investors.
Horizons_at_Rock_Creek_Lake View

Bell Partners has acquired Horizons at Rock Creek, a 1,206-unit, resort-style community in the town of Superior, Col., from Simpson Housing L.L.P. for approximately $250 million, and renamed the property Bell Flatirons.

“This acquisition is a great addition to our portfolio, and we expect it to be a solid investment for our investors,” Joseph Cannon, Bell Partners Inc.’s senior vice president of investments, told Commercial Property Executive. “Furthermore, it is consistent with our strategy to expand our footprint into high-growth, liquid and institutionally desirable markets that have compelling economic and apartment growth fundamentals.”

The deal was negotiated by ARA Newmark and is the largest multi-family transaction in Colorado history.

Originally constructed in four phases from 1997-1999, the community spans 80 acres with a 13-acre lake and a 24,000-square-foot clubhouse. Amenities include a private beach with sports dock, beach volleyball court, four swimming pools, a stadium-style movie theater, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, racquetball courts and a full health club complete with a day spa, dry heat sauna and indoor and outdoor hot tubs.

“It’s one of those irreplaceable assets and you’re not going to see too many like this built; diverse units plus an unmatched amenity package of what you’ll not typically find in an apartment building,” Terrance Hunt, ARA Newmark’s executive managing director, told CPE. “The physical asset itself is very appealing and the fact that it’s well located, yet it was a’90s product and there’s a lot of capital out there looking for ‘value add’ opportunities.”

According to Bell, the property’s position within the Technology Corridor along the Denver-Boulder Turnpike (US-36), an area often referred to as the “Silicon Valley of the Rockies” drove pricing, as well as its appeal to the area’s highly educated workforce.

According to Cannon, the purchase of Bell Flatirons provides the company with an excellent opportunity to continue its strategic expansion beyond its current East Coast and Southwest markets. Plus, he said, the building is one of the most unique properties in all of the Denver/Boulder market.

“The decision to acquire Bell Flatirons was made after a comprehensive review by the Bell management team, several of whom have direct experience in the Denver market,” he concluded. “Management concluded that not only did the acquisition advance the company’s goal of expanding its geographic footprint, but also that the Denver market itself, with its unique set of demand drivers, complements Bell’s existing portfolio.”

In Cannon’s view, the community’s timeless design, low density setting, high-quality construction features, and expansive amenity footprint are clear differentiators for the property and will serve to hold its value over the long term. The company is planning upgrades to apartment interiors, community amenities, and the overall exterior of the community.

The property was 96 percent occupied at the time of sale. According to ARA Newmark latest multi-family report, vacancy rate in the submarket during the first quarter of  2015 was 3.69 percent, a 25 percent year-over-year decrease. Overall, the submarket absorbed nearly 1,500 units over the last four quarters; more than any other in metro Denver.