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California Investor Enters Hot Lake County Market

The Atworth at Mellody Farm

Lake County may have the strongest multifamily market in the Chicago area, and Passco Cos. is ready to take advantage. The Irvine, California-based investor bought for an undisclosed price The Atworth at Mellody Farm, a 260-unit community on 7 acres in the affluent north suburb of Vernon Hills, from Focus, Atlantic Residential and AEW Capital Management.  

It is the firm's first acquisition in Lake County. 

Focus and Atlantic developed the upscale apartment community in 2018. It is near the intersection of Route 21 and Route 60 at 1111 North Milwaukee Ave., adjacent to Mellody Farm, a restaurant and retail center recently developed by Regency Centers.  

“High demand for this community was demonstrated by an unprecedented 10-month lease-up,” Passco Cos. Director of Acquisitions Jake Niles said. “Residents benefit from exceptional walkability to various destinations, including Whole Foods and other popular retail options, as well as frequent Metra rail services.”

According to Marcus & Millichap's Q4 market report, Lake County's vacancy rate dropped 60 basis points in the past year, ending at 3%, the lowest in the region. 

Niles said the region's vibrant economy, coupled with a limited development pipeline, made the deal even more attractive.

“The county added more than 20,000 jobs over the last four years, and is a large hub for employers in the continuously growing technology, manufacturing and healthcare industries.”

Peter Evans and Richard Evans of Moran & Company Midwest represented both sides in the transaction.