Habitat Group sells Little Havana apartments to LA investors for $15M

Habitat Group sold a recently completed Little Havana apartment project for $15 million shortly after offloading a Brickell redevelopment site for $23.5 million.

Four entities managed by Richard Gerber, Brett Talla and David Talla bought East River Living, an eight-story building with 34 apartments at 39 Northwest Seventh Avenue in Little Havana, property records show. The buyers paid about $441,000 per unit and financed the purchase with a $9 million mortgage from First Republic Bank.

The Tallas and Gerber are affiliated with Cochise Capital, a Los Angeles-based real estate firm with more than $800 million in multifamily properties across six states, including Florida, under management, according to the company’s website.

An affiliate of Habitat, led by founder, President and CEO Santiago Vanegas, paid $900,000 for the property in 2016 and completed East River Living four years later, records show. The building, near the Miami River, has a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments. A two-bedroom unit is currently listed for $2,950 a month, according to Apartments.com.

Another Habitat affiliate recently sold a five-story, 39-unit apartment building in Brickell for $23.5 million. The buyer, a joint venture between two Mexican firms, plans to redevelop the site at 143 Southwest Ninth Street into a Class A building with 350 rental units atop an eight-story podium with ground-floor retail and a garage.

Multifamily investors are swooping into Little Havana, looking to scoop up buildings offering renters more affordable rates than properties in neighboring Brickell and downtown Miami. Earlier this month, Lloyd Jones paid $92 million for First Apartments, a 194-unit building at 701 Southwest First Street.

In June, three apartment buildings in Little Havana traded for a total of $29 million in separate deals, including Andes Apartments, a 71-unit renovated building completed in 1929. The property sold for $9.2 million, or about $130,000 per unit.

In April, Oakland Park-based Rental Asset Management paid $30.1 million, or $301,000, for First & Sixth, a 13-story apartment building at 35 Southwest Sixth Avenue.