CREC Senior Vice President Arranges $36.2M Deal
A one-page flyer would not explain this deal.
When Peter Mekras began marketing three residential buildings in Miami Gardens, he launched a broad campaign that went beyond distributing “For Sale” flyers.
Mekras, who is senior vice president at CREC in Coral Gables, was tapped to sell 347 units in a 412-unit community called The Ellington. The residential complex is home to two apartment buildings and one fractured condominium.
It was Mekras’ job to find a buyer for 260 apartments in two rental buildings and 87 unsold condos in a 150-unit building that went through an unsuccessful condo conversion.
On paper, the deal may have appeared as a messy, convoluted transaction.
“When you’re dealing with a transaction that’s more complex, some people may see the property and think it’s not for them,” Mekras said. “It’s only through a conversation that you open their eyes.”
While Mekras sent out several flyers and email campaigns, he picked up the phone more often.
CREC takes a more boutique approach when representing its clients, he said. Mekras routinely calls dozens of potential buyers when he receives an assignment to create a broader candidate pool. He realizes that without that personalized call, the probability of catching an investor’s attention is significantly less.
When RAIT Financial Trust handed Mekras the listing, the seller asked for a closing by year-end. The Philadelphia-based real estate investment trust purchased the community for $32 million in 2011.
The Ellington was built in 1974 on County Line Road near the border of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
Mekras said finding a large-scale investment opportunity in Miami-Dade has become increasingly difficult, especially one with a value-add component. When The Ellington’s units hit the market, hundreds of groups were drawn to the property.
Over 200 signed confidentiality agreements to learn more about the deal.
“That was our goal,” he said. “We went wide and broad and deep to not miss out on the anomaly buyer.”
Mekras said the level of interest generated and the subsequent sale price speak to the depth of demand from investors seeking stable cash flow in South Florida.