COVINGTON FINDS A NEW HOME

Weidner Apartment Homes strikes again. The Kirkland, Wash.-based company this week paid $48.6 million for the Covington Apartments, a 250-unit apartment complex near the intersection of Hwy. 100 and Interstate 494 in Bloomington.

Weidner has been on a buying spree in the Twin Cities metro. In just two years, the company has acquired a dozen upscale apartment buildings with about 2,200 units in the Twin Cities, including a record-setting price for the 222 Hennepin Av. apartments in Minneapolis.

Weidner also has an interest in several development projects, including a sprawling multi-acre site near the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul and part of a block in downtown Minneapolis where the company wants to build a six-story apartment building.

Greg Cerbana, Weidner’s director of public relations, was in town last week for the Real Estate Journal’s annual Apartment Summit in Golden Valley. During a discussion about the Twin Cities apartment market, he said the company’s founder, Dean Weidner, has deep confidence in it because the local economy is so much less volatile than other metropolitan regions of its size. He said the company’s acquisitions, which have been among the company’s most expensive on a per-unit basis nationwide, are considered something of an economic hedge against instability in other areas.

In addition to the company’s building acquisitions, it has about 2,400 units in the development pipeline. Those projects, which are being developed with local partners, and all of its acquisitions have been picked because they represent Weidner’s belief that today’s renters, regardless of their age or demographic group, want a mixed-use environment with access to places to work and play.

Covington’s seller was Norman X, LLC. Bryan Beltrand, Julie Lux, Kevin Doyle, and Ted Bickel from Colliers International represented WhiteStar Advisors.

The six-building complex, which opened in 2014, offers multiple floor plans and the kinds of contemporary finishes that are common today.

In a statement, Lux said there are “little-to-no Class A suburban assets currently available for sale. This was a unique investment opportunity for Weidner Apartment Homes to continue their growth in the Twin Cities market.”

Jim Buchta