Two Durham apartment complexes sold to out-of-town investors for $40 million each

·2 min read

Hundreds of apartments in Durham have been purchased by out-of-state real estate investment firms in two different acquisitions that total over $80 million.

The University Apartments complex near Duke University is the latest acquisition by Magma Equities, a California real estate investment firm from the Los Angeles area, which announced that it bought the complex for $42.4 million last week in an off-market acquisition.

The historic 359-unit complex at the intersection of Duke University and Chapel Hill roads has 20 buildings across 12 acres and was built in 1938.

And in north Durham, the Meriwether Place Apartments on Meriwether Drive sold this month for $42 million to Virginia Beach-based Featherstone Partners, according to Durham County records.

Featherstone plans to invest in interior renovations, new amenities and new management, a spokesperson said in an email.

The purchase, first reported by the Triangle Business Journal, is the first in the region by this firm, which previously purchased similar apartment communities in Greensboro.

An active Triangle housing investor

University Apartments is the fifth addition to Magma Equities’ Triangle apartment portfolio this year alone, and its 12th in the area since 2019. Through the firm’s bullish activity in the market, it now owns over 3,600 apartment units in the area, according to the company.

“We’ve cultivated strong relationships with brokers and property owners in the market which has enhanced our ability to rapidly expand our footprint in the market over the last two years,” said Ryan Hall, managing principal at Magma Equities, in a news release. “The infusion of new businesses into the area has created a growing need for quality housing which is why we continue to seek out and acquire assets in this market.”

Focused on investing in older apartments with less expensive rents, the firm plans to include University Apartments in millions of dollars of improvements and renovations for its Triangle properties.

“We are targeting the folks that are getting priced out of the brand new luxury apartment complexes,” said Hall, in a previous interview. “No one’s typically building in today’s market a very cookie-cutter, garden style, two-story, walk-up apartment. When you’re building at much higher specs, you’re having to demand much higher rent.”

The Triangle apartment communities owned by Magma Equities reflect over $100 million in investments.

Those also include the communities of Crabtree North, Arbor Crest and University Apartments at Ryan Court in Raleigh, Independence Park and Stonesthrow in Durham, Pine Ridge in Cary, Maple Ridge in Holly Springs, Park Place in Knightdale, The Chateau in Carrboro, Chapel View in Chapel Hill and Eastbrooke in Burlington.

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