In The Pines Apartments rising from foreclosure


Published: Monday, August 5, 2013 at 5:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.

Correction: Work on the roofs at In the Pines Apartments is about 75 percent complete, with additional exterior upgrades expected to be done in 60 to 90 days. A Tuesday article was incorrect about the extent of work already done.

Three years ago, In the Pines Apartments was being foreclosed upon while facing $7 million worth of fines on unresolved code violations and 32 liens, mostly from maintenance contractors who hadn't been paid.

Today, the 41-year-old apartment complex at 205 SE 16th Ave. between South Main Street and Williston Road has a new owner and is in the midst of more than $4 million in upgrades.

Strategic Properties of North America, a New York-based private capital firm, acquired the complex for $5.3 million on July 5 from Colony Capital in a deal brokered by Colliers International.

Colony Capital owned the mortgage and took possession following a foreclosure judgment in 2011 against Francesco Mileto of Fort Lauderdale, who owed $58 million combined on the complex and three others in Jacksonville. Mileto bought In the Pines in 2004 for $11.3 million.

A lot of repairs were completed in 2011 and Gainesville Code Enforcement Manager Chris Cooper said the code violations were resolved.

The complex has 242 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. At 28 percent occupancy, about 200 are empty.

Chief Financial Officer Julian Blumenthal said Strategic Properties is “rehabbing the entire property” to bring it up in class and raise rental rates.

“This is going to become the premier apartment complex on this side of town,” he said.

He said work on the roofs is about 75 percent done with additional exterior upgrades to the clubhouse, pool and landscaping expected to be done in 60 to 90 days before doing full interior upgrades building by building, with each building opened to new residents as it is completed.

Blumenthal said Strategic Properties plans to hold onto the complex and perhaps pick up more properties in Gainesville.

“We see a high occupancy market,” he said. “We see it as a growth market and we want a piece of that.”

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