New Orleans-based Bruno, Inc. has acquired the 336 unit Oakmont Apartments on the Westbank. Joshua Bruno, President/CEO of Bruno, Inc., partnered with Raj Pandit, managing member of Pandit Law Firm, LLC to buy the property.
The two recently purchased Oakmont Apartments from a Chicago-based real estate investment trust with an eye toward its future potential. According to city records, the seller was a subsidiary of Chicago-based Inland Group.
Mr. Bruno told CanalStreetBeat, “Raj and I are pleased to add this asset to our portfolio due to its proximity to downtown New Orleans for members of the service industry and employees of the burgeoning Tulane Avenue medical corridor. This acquisition is ripe for repositioning at a time where New Orleans is under increased housing demands with an inadequate supply for the metro area work force.”
Bruno’s wholly owned property management firm, MetroWide Apartments, has been retained to manage Oakmont. Metrowide manages over 2200 units across the greater New Orleans area.
The developers plan to upgrade Oakmont by adding modern amenities, including energy efficient LED lighting, free wi-fi, enclosed and secure playgrounds, covered bike racks and community gathering areas with BBQ grills and sitting areas designed to encourage a community-focused neighborhood. They also will be adding hundreds of trees and shrubs throughout the property.
Bruno told CanalStreetBeat that the property currently averages $1.65/sf in rent, with that number likely to increase as improvements are made.
“Though we already have a strong resident base and actually have a waiting list for units, we are committed to increasing Oakmont’s curb appeal with these resident-focused improvements, which we believe will help transform the surrounding neighborhood into what it could become,” Bruno states.
Bruno is part of a crop of up and coming developers in the city. He recently planned a $20 million residential tower in the Warehouse District, which was shot down by the City Council.
Financing for the Oakmont acquisition was provided by First NBC. According to city records, the transaction closed September 30, 2014.
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