The Harbor Heights Manor apartment complex at 801 Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara has been sold to an undisclosed investor for $33 million, setting a new price record for the city, according to commercial real estate experts.
Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments said the sale of the 97-unit complex, which “occupies a sizable footprint on the doorstep of Santa Barbara City College,” marks the largest-ever sale of a multifamily property in the city. It also represents the biggest apartment deal on the South Coast since the Tropicana Gardens complex in Isla Vista changed hands for $64.5 million in 2010.
The property, built in 1971, was put up for sale in August. It attracted more than a dozen offers from prospective buyers around the country, Radius said.
Radius brokers Steve Golis and Brian Johnson represented both the buyer and the sellers, members of the Schulte family in Santa Barbara.
“Everything about this offering was desirable. The market, the location, the quality of property,” Golis said in a news release. “The existing market fundamentals for apartments continue to be extremely attractive to investors.”
Golis noted that the South Coast apartment market enjoys a vacancy rate of less than 1 percent. “Population density, particularly in Isla Vista, is one of the tightest in the country, rivaling Manhattan,” he said. “This adds up to incredible opportunity for substantial return on long-term investments in the area.”
Multifamily deals on the South Coast reached a six-year high in 2013 with 22 sales of properties larger than five units and seven sales in the fourth quarter alone, Radius said.
Other large apartment deals over the past year have included the sale of the 63-unit New Tahitian Apartments in Isla Vista in June 2013 for $14.3 million and the September sale of the luxury complex The Loop, also in the UC Santa Barbara student community, for $29.3 million.