Investor Gamla-Cedron buys Arbors condo conversion at discount

Published June 17, 2009
Tampa Bay Business Journal

Israel-based Gamla-Cedron Group bought 149 units at the Arbors at Carrollwood for $5.8 million, or $39,000 per unit — a $96,000 discount per unit from what ABBA Real Estate Development Group paid in 2005.

“It’s a very low price,” said Byron Moger, executive director of apartment brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield of Florida Inc. “It’s a reflection of what we see in the market.”

Miami-based ABBA, whose principals are Abbey Berkowitz and Barry Appel, paid $47.5 million four years ago and obtained a $47 million loan from Corus Bank NA, official records state.

A Corus Bank representative said the Chicago-based bank sold the loan to Gamla-Cedron five days prior to the June 15 deed transfer between Gamla-Cedron and ABBA. He declined to say how much Corus sold the loan for, but he said “other considerations were involved in the sale” as far as the lender is concerned.

In December, ABBA announced it was selling Arbors at Carrollwood on Ehrlich Road, the Falls at New Tampa on Arbor Isle Drive and the Grand Oasis on North Himes Avenue.

The listing broker said at the time that ABBA was hoping to get 63 cents on the dollar.

Gamla-Cedron didn’t buy all the units at the complex since some were previously sold to individuals.

The gated complex is one of the nicest in the Tampa area with many amenities, said Moger, who was not involved in the sale. The complex was built in 2001 by Orlando-based Zom Inc., which sold to ABBA.

Gamla-Cedron is expected to try to resell the units for about $80,000 each. Moger said investors are typically paying half of what they determine is the retail value.

As far as foreign investors, Moger said there’s renewed interest in investing in Florida commercial real estate since the dollar is soft again.