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Sale of properties could top $100 million

November 30, 1999|By TAMELA BAKER

Call it a mega-real estate transaction.

Hagerstown developer Ben Shaool is selling apartments ? lots of them.

Right now, he's got 885 apartments and town houses and a small shopping center for sale. The total asking price was $97.4 million, but offers have topped $100 million.

Seven offers were made on the portfolio, according to Cameron Manesh, vice president of Coldwell Banker Commercial Ideal Realty Group in Potomac, Md.

Manesh said the firm narrowed the choices to five of the offers, and one contract is pending for more than $100 million.

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All the potential buyers were from out of state, Manesh said.

The property sale is in addition to the 293 units Shaool just sold to York, Pa.-based MGM Properties for $22.9 million. Manesh said those units include Pinewood Apartments on Lynnhaven Drive and Foxwood Apartments on Robinwood Drive.

The units currently for sale include Edgewood Hill Apartments on Edgewood Hill Circle, along with the Edgewood Hill Shopping Center; Cortland Manor on Little Elliott Drive, which Manesh said includes 216 completed units and 216 to be built; Fountainview Apartments on Mesa Terrace; Fountainview Townhomes, also on Mesa Terrace; Brookmeade Apartments, currently under construction just off Interstate 81 near Hagerstown Regional Airport; and Southview Townhomes on Doub Way off South Potomac Street.

Manesh said all of the units must be purchased together, and that the buyer also must take over management of the properties. The sale includes both buildings and land.

He said he believed that altogether, the properties represent nearly a quarter of the local apartment rental market.

Shaool declined to comment on the sale until it is finalized, but Manesh said part of the reason for the sale is that Shaool is semi-retired.

If the sale goes through, Manesh said it likely will be completed "in multiple phases ... it's very complex."

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