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Avana Apartments sale sets record for downtown OKC

The Avana Arts Apartments, built in 2007, no longer feature a stucco facade. The apartments have set a sales record for downtown Oklahoma City. [Steve Lackmeyer, The Oklahoman]
The Avana Arts Apartments, built in 2007, no longer feature a stucco facade. The apartments have set a sales record for downtown Oklahoma City. [Steve Lackmeyer, The Oklahoman]

A new record sale price has been set for downtown rental properties with the recent purchase of the Avana Arts Apartments.

Washington-based Weidner Apartment Homes, which set the prior record of $193,905 per unit at the Metropolitan Apartments, 800 N Oklahoma Ave., in 2017, paid $194,389 per unit at Avana for a total price of $58.9 million.

The 303-unit Avana at 301 N Walker Ave. was an Urban Renewal project built by developer Mike Henderson. It opened in 2007 to some critical reviews of the facade that consisted of white stucco — a design Henderson eventually came to regret.

After buying the complex for $48.75 million ($161,000 per unit) in 2013, Greystar renamed the complex and replaced the facade with a darker mix of wood and stone and changed the vinyl awnings along the storefronts to modern steel overhangs.

Greg Cerbana, vice president public relations with Weidner, said the company was excited to invest further in downtown Oklahoma City.

“We are encouraged by the emphasis that is being put on downtown revitalization efforts,” Cerbana said. “The coordination of and commitment to these types of urban renewal projects is something we don’t see in many other cities and makes capital investments in multifamily projects much more attractive. We believe that these will only continue to make Oklahoma City a great place to live, work and play and are excited to be a part of the dynamic Oklahoma landscape.”

Cerbana said Weidner plans to continue its investments in Oklahoma. Avana is Weidner’s 13th Oklahoma property purchase, which includes more than 5,000 multifamily units that it owns and manages statewide.

The Avana transaction was represented by Newmark senior managing directors Tim McKay, Justin Wilson and Brandon Lamb, and associates Ted Prince and Ben McKay.

The Avana is within walking distance of the Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, John W. Rex Elementary, the Myriad Gardens and Midtown. It is also one block away from the closest Oklahoma City Streetcar stop.

McKay said the location, quality of the property and potential for improvements made Avana an extremely attractive among potential buyers.

“The value-add potential at the property is tremendous,” McKay said. “It was built to the highest standards and features large unit sizes, especially for a downtown property. While it’s still very nice on the inside, there is a real potential to invest in upgrades to each unit and see the return in more attractive rents for the buyer.”

Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›