N.J. firm buys Majestic Oaks

Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.

Teaneck, N.J.-based The Aspen Companies has purchased the Majestic Oaks apartment complex in southwest Gainesville for $6.5 million.

The Aspen Companies bought the apartments at 5800 SW 20th Ave. from CWCapital Asset Management, according to county records.

The 172-unit complex was in foreclosure, said Adam Mermelstein, a principal of The Aspen Companies.

Mermelstein said they will "absolutely" still offer Section 8 housing at the complex, which has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and a pool.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office refers to the area where Majestic Oaks is located as "Mike Zone," which includes some of the area's poorest neighborhoods and a high incidence of crime.

Yet, The Aspen Companies is looking to purchase another apartment complex near Majestic Oaks. Mermelstein declined to name the property, citing a pending contract.

Mermelstein said The Aspen Companies hired a security company that will work in conjunction with law enforcement at Majestic Oaks.

A major reason for the recent purchase, Mermelstein said, is the consistent, good growth of the University of Florida.

"There's commerce in Gainesville due to the university and so we've been trying to position our purchases in and around these types of areas, which we feel will have future growth as well," he said.

Mermelstein met with Majestic Oaks' tenants in September to specify what will be expected of them, such as paying their rent on time and not harboring criminals or dealing drugs.

Improvements to the property will include adding new roofs and upgrading playground equipment, according to a press release.

But first, Mermelstein said, a physical walk-through of every unit will be done to identify and make needed interior repairs.

The apartments were built in 1981, according to county records.

The Aspen Companies invests in affordable rental properties throughout the country and has more than 700 apartments in its portfolio.

Jennifer Waters is a Gainesville Sun correspondent.

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