Five downtown Chattanooga apartment buildings have been sold by their longtime owners for $3.9 million.
The properties, holding 72 units, stand within four blocks of one another and walking distance of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The structures were sold by Thomas Van Cleave and Jack McDonald to a Chattanooga investment group, RCB LLC, said Marcus Lyons of Real Estate Partners LLC, who marketed the properties.
Van Cleave and McDonald had operated the sites that they had held for more than 30 years, he said.
"The rental market is good," said Lyons about why the pair decided to sell. "The time was right."
Darlene Brown, co-owner of Real Estate Partners, said strong demand exists for apartments, citing the location of such companies as Volkswagen, Amazon and Wacker in recent years.
Four or five years ago, the market was hot for condominiums and now has swung to apartments, she said
The structures are "historically significant," with the properties having been built between 1915 and 1928, Lyons said.
The buyer plans to upgrade the units, which offer monthly rents of between $495 and $800 and are fully leased, he said.
Van Cleave, who moved away from the city a few years ago, and McDonald weren't available for comment. The principals behind RCB LLC weren't identified.
Lyons said there had been 24 prospective buyers for the five structures.
"That's a lot for a deal like this," he said.
Downtown Chattanooga has at least a couple of new apartment complexes on the drawing board.
Chattanooga developer John Clark is leading a group to build a proposed 100-unit, $11 million apartment building off Walnut Street. It would be the biggest for the central city in a generation.
There's a proposal to remake the landmark Chattanooga Bank Building downtown into a 74-unit apartment complex at Eighth and Market streets. Ray Moss Development unveiled plans to invest $7 million in the project if it is able to obtain financing.