CARROLL has acquired ARIUM Cypress Lakes, a 188-unit multifamily property in Oakland Park, Fla., for $49.4 million. As part of the deal, the buyer assumed $25.7 million in outstanding debt from the seller, Atlas Residential, according to documents filed with Broward County, taking on an additional $13.5 million in debt obligations.

The lender in the transaction, Invesco Real Estate, included the financing as part of a commercial real estate collateralized loan obligation, or CRE CLO. The vehicle had approximately $510.7 million in associated debt in early 2021.

Atlas had owned the community for nearly 15 years. Public records show that the investor paid The SCI Group $27.5 million in July 2007.

ARIUM Cypress Lakes, formerly known as Forest Park Apartments, has a mix of two- and three-bedroom units at 2829 S. Oakland Forest Drive, about 6 miles northwest of central Fort Lauderdale. Floor plans range from 1,140 to 1,450 square feet, and apartments include balconies, 10-foot ceilings, and in-unit washers and dryers. Community amenities include electric vehicle-charging stations, a fitness center, a swimming pool and grilling areas.

Florida’s Multifamily Strength

CARROLL’s acquisition increases its footprint in one of the markets reporting the fastest rent growth last year. A post from Arbor, citing Moody’s Analytics CRE data, states that Fort Lauderdale rents increased by 18.9% last year, one of the fastest paces nationwide for the year. However, this rate of growth was outpaced even by a number of other Florida markets: Jacksonville rents skyrocketed by an incredible 27.3%, and Tampa-St. Petersburg, neighboring Palm Beach, and Orlando also saw rents rise faster.

A third-quarter report from Marcus & Millichap could point to why, despite incredible growth, Fort Lauderdale lags a little behind some other Florida metros. One metric — the number of units under construction — could lead to rises in vacancy, thus relieving some of the pressure on rental rates. However, the market’s demand remains incredibly strong, particularly after pandemic-related relocations picked up, and these new units are thus likely to be rapidly absorbed.