CGI Strategies acquires troubled multifamily community in Orlando, Florida for $43 million

LA-based investment firm to remedy construction defects which forced property's closure  and return Class A Community to Market Within the Year


CGI Strategies has acquired Sola at Celebration, a vacant 306-unit luxury multifamily community in Celebration, FL. The property was purchased from Southstar Capital Group in a transaction valued at $43 million.

Developed by Hines in 2015, Sola was sold to Southstar at the end of 2016. Shortly after, construction defects were discovered which resulted in the property being vacated by order of the Osceola Building Department.

Los Angeles-based CGI, a real estate investment firm founded in 2013 to focus on strategically located multifamily and mixed-use development as well as the acquisition of special situation real estate, plans to correct the deficiencies and stabilize the asset, according to co-founder and CEO Gidi Cohen.

“I’m sure there were many who looked at Sola and were turned away by the size and scope of the corrections that needed to be made,” said Cohen. “Having successfully dealt with projects like this in the past, at our cost basis we were confident in our ability to remedy the problems and return a true Class A resort style project to a market that exhibits exceptionally strong multifamily fundamentals.”

With repairs for the property already engineered and approved by the county, CGI will immediately begin correcting the deficiencies and anticipates that the community will be back to normal operations by the end of 2019.

The community, which will be rebranded as Astoria at Celebration, features a mix of luxury one- two- and three-bedroom units located in six, four-story Art Deco inspired residential buildings, around a centralized clubhouse and pool area. The apartment homes, which range in size from 741 square feet to 1,371 square feet, feature nine-foot ceilings, fully equipped island kitchens with stainless steel appliances, 42-inch espresso cabinets, granite countertops, full-size washer and dryer, and large walk in closets. Common area amenities include an internet café, fitness studio, outdoor summer kitchens, and dog park.

With the addition Astoria at Celebration, CGI’s Florida portfolio now totals nearly 1,000 multifamily units all located within the greater Orlando MSA, according to CGI Managing Partner, Southeast Region Mark Cohen who led the acquisition team.

Acquisition financing was arranged by Los Angeles-based Dekel Capital, led by principal Shlomi Ronen.

Shelton Granade, Jr, and Luke Wickham in the Orlando office of CBRE represented the seller in the transaction.