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Clark Ventures Sells Sandy Springs Apartments To San Francisco Investment Firm

The clubhouse at Park at Abernathy Square, a renovated apartment community in Sandy Springs recently acquired by Stockbridge Capital Group.

Prompted by a multifamily bull market, an Atlanta investment firm is selling its vintage apartment portfolio sooner than it planned as it shops for new projects on the fringes of the metro area.

Clark Ventures has sold Park at Abernathy Square, a 484-unit complex in Sandy Springs, to Stockbridge Capital Group for $132.6M. Cushman & Wakefield Executive Vice Chairman Mike Kemether, Senior Director Travis Presnell and Senior Associate James Wilbur brokered the transaction, which traded for more than $274K per unit.

Clark Venture President Josh Mudd told Bisnow in an interview it sold Park at Abernathy Square five years before it intended to because demand from investors has pushed up pricing for multifamily.

Clark purchased the property, originally built in the 1970s by the storied Atlanta multifamily developer Post Properties, for $50M in 2015 and embarked on an $18M renovation campaign. At the time of the sale, the average asking rent was $1,600 per month, Mudd said.

“It was built in the '70s, but it looks and acts like something much newer. It's experiencing pretty tremendous rent growth,” he said. “To have invested $18M, our plan was to own it 10-plus years. But market demand caused us to reconsider our strategy.”

Mudd said Clark now is seeking to sell more of its older assets within Atlanta's inner suburban ring — it has holdings in Roswell, Peachtree Corners and in the Cumberland/Galleria submarket. The firm recently sold a circa-1970s apartment complex called Vinings RiverVue just north of Atlanta in Cobb County as part of its revised strategy, Mudd said. First Communities Management purchased the property for $76.2M in July, according to the Cobb County Board of Tax Assessors' records

With the proceeds from those sales, Clark is expanding its investment reach to the outer rings of Metro Atlanta, Mudd said. The firm bought Park at Main, a 132-unit apartment complex in Kennesaw from True North Cos. for $240K per unit, and Canyon Springs, a 223-unit complex in Henry County from Talon Development for $273K per unit, Mudd said. Both properties were newly developed.

“Our conviction is still centered around suburban,” Mudd said. "But what we're doing is going further out."

Clark's investment strategy is following a larger housing trend in Metro Atlanta, with homebuilders reaching farther out to the fringes of the area to build more affordable single-family housing, especially as housing prices and rents skyrocket closer into the city of Atlanta.