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South-end complex sold for $25M

By Stuart McCarthy, Business Editor, The Ottawa Sun

The largest residential real estate deal in the region in more than a decade will see two apartment buildings and more than 300 townhouses under new ownership.

The deal worth more than $25 million, has Kingston-based Homestead Land Holdings pick up the two Saratoga towers along with the Surrey Place and Hunters Point projects which run along Carousel Cres. in the Hunt Club Rd. and Bank St. area of Gloucester. "It is our first venture into row houses in Ottawa, said Britton Smith Sr., president of Homestead. "We like that part of town. ''With the Hunt Club Rd. extension it makes it convenient to the hi-tech community," he said. Smith said the opening of the airport expressway with new ramps at Hunt Club and the South Keys Shopping Centre is helping revitalize what became a heavy low-income neighborhood.

"The area has really stabilized," said Smith.

Homestead has quietly amassed a portfolio of more than 3,500 residential units in Ottawa making it one of the top property owners.

"We have a regular program of buying several hundred units a year and this was more than we would ordinarily think of buying," said Smith.

But Toronto-based Arcadia Group, representing a limited partnership of several hundred owners, wanted to sell all 533 units together.

The deal was brokered by Primecorp Commercial Realty Inc., which was formed in March by four partners who left existing firms.

Steve Lerner and Aik Aliferis came from the Regional Group, while Sam Firestone left Ventron Realty and Nick Pantieras came on board from District Realty.

In just four months, the team has acted as agents in deals worth more than $45 million. "This is the single largest residential real estate sale in a decade in Ottawa," said Aliferis. The benchmark is still the three apartment towers which make up the Prince of Wales project which sold for about $40 million in the mid 1980s.

Aliferis said Primecorp expects to close another multi-unit sale of 137 units within two weeks.

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