Rents to rise in over 20 apartment buildings after $97M sale

In April, Sentinel Real Estate acquired 30 buildings in Bay Harbor Islands and South Beach, including this one at 1135 Eighth St.

In April, Sentinel Real Estate acquired 30 buildings in Bay Harbor Islands and South Beach, including this one at 1135 Eighth St.; Multiple Listing Service

Residents in nearly 30 apartment buildings in South Beach and Bay Harbor Islands have a new landlord with plans to renovate the units. Rent increases will likely follow.

The New York City-based investment management firm Sentinel Real Estate purchased the 29 apartment buildings and one office building for $97 million from the Miami Beach-based Boardwalk Properties in April. The units are now under Sentinel Real Estate’s Helios Apartments collection.

Renovations in the 452 apartments may include upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms, according to Brian Ritter, the firm’s managing director. Once those are completed, “rents are expected to be dictated by prevailing market rates,” he said.

Current rates range from $900 per month for a 290-square-foot studio to about $2,000 per month for a 1,000-square-foot two bedroom, two bathroom, according to the Helios Apartments Miami Beach website.

“The Miami Beach portfolio was attractive to us and aligned with our proven investment strategy for a number of reasons,” Ritter said by email. “The properties lie within a densely populated and historically protected area with a rental market that is significantly supply constrained, due to the high conversion rate of apartment buildings to condos.”

Founded in 1969, Sentinel Real Estate is no stranger to South Florida. It acquired its first apartment rental building in Miami in 1976 and since invested in 15 buildings. With the Boardwalk acquisition complete, the firm is looking to acquire more rental buildings in South Florida.

Sentinel Real Estate manages 26,000 rental units across the United States, according to its website.

Current tenants of Helios Apartments Miami Beach consist of relative newcomers to the area, and in some cases, ones who don’t plan on staying long.

Others are long-term residents. A Spanish-speaking resident at a unit on Euclid Avenue, who asked to be identified only as Celso, did not appear to be aware there was a new owner. A restaurant worker, Celso said he had lived in his two-bedroom apartment for eight years and paid about $1,800 a month for his family of six.

One tenant of a unit on 15th Street said she would probably start looking elsewhere if her rent increased. Imani Steward, 30, works as a yoga instructor and has lived in her classic Art Deco building for the past three years, paying $1,475 for a one-bedroom apartment.

“It’s not a job that always pays the most,” she said.

Still, she acknowledged that her previous landlord had allowed some parts of the building, including the laundry, to go unfixed — and that the new owner had been more communicative.

“All of a sudden, we started to hear back,” Steward said.

Sentinel Real Estate will open a leasing office from 1211 Alton Road and manage the following buildings:

1606 West Ave.

1600 West Ave.

825 Alton Road

1135 Eighth St.

760-762 Lenox Ave.

705 Lenox Ave.

715 Michigan Ave.

710 Meridian Ave.

844-860 Euclid Ave.

948-952 Meridian Ave.

951 Jefferson Ave.

1017 Jefferson Ave.

1025 Meridian Ave.

1110 Pennsylvania Ave.

1226 Drexel Ave.

1251 Euclid Ave.

1326 Pennsylvania Ave.

1336 Pennsylvania Ave.

1348 Drexel Ave.

1440 Euclid Ave.

1455 Euclid Ave.

1567 Meridian Ave.

850 15th St.

700 Euclid Ave.

9270 E. Bay Harbor Drive

9200 E. Bay Harbor Drive

10190 E. Bay Harbor Drive

10150 E. Bay Harbor Drive

1075 101st St.

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Rebecca San Juan writes about the real estate industry, covering news about industrial, commercial, office projects, construction contracts and the intersection of real estate and law for industry professionals. She studied at Mount Holyoke College and is proud to be reporting on her hometown.
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