Laramar Buys M-F near Houston, Washington, D.C.

Chicago-based Laramar Group has acquired two multi-family properties in different parts of the country totaling 664 units. The properties are the 356-unit Memorial Club Apartments in Houston and the 308-unit Hampton Court Apartments in Alexandria, Va.Nationally, the relative weakness of the for-sale housing market over the last year or so

Chicago-based Laramar Group has acquired two multi-family properties in different parts of the country totaling 664 units. The properties are the 356-unit Memorial Club Apartments in Houston and the 308-unit Hampton Court Apartments in Alexandria, Va.Nationally, the relative weakness of the for-sale housing market over the last year or so seems to be driving investors to multifamily properties. For example, total sales volume for US multifamily properties in the first three quarters of 2007 alone was roughly $52 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics — about $1 billion more than the entire multifamily investment sales volume in 2004.The two properties are the 11th and 12th acquisitions for Laramar Group’s multi-family value fund, which launched in December 2006. Laramar characterizes both properties as value-add opportunities, and said it plans to renovate the properties to the tune of as much as about $20,000 per unit. The Memorial Club, near Houston’s downtown and the city’s medical district as well, was built in 1969, and is a mixture of one- and two-bedroom apartments. Planned renovations include new flooring, countertops and lighting in all units, as well as replacing some roofs and balconies. Laramar will also increase the property management and on-site leasing staff. Hampton Court in suburban Washington, DC, consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Laramar plans to renovate all of its interiors, and add such amenities as a fitness center and an Internet cafe for resident use. The company also plans to rename the property “Bennington Crossing.”