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Tampa's Element tower sold to Miami firm

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Published:   |   Updated: October 22, 2013 at 06:53 PM

TAMPA — One of Tampa's downtown towers has changed hands, with a Miami-based real estate firm picking up the sleek, glassy Element apartment building for $98 million, clerk of court records show.

According to a deed filed Oct. 15, an entity tied to condo and apartment owner Crescent Heights purchased the 34-story apartment tower from its previous owner, ST Residential of Chicago.

Crescent Heights already owns several condo and apartment projects in the Tampa Bay area, including Islando Walk on Tampa's Harbour Island, The Slade in downtown Tampa, Lexington Park apartments in Tampa, Tuscany at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor and the Regatta Beach Club in Clearwater.

For a time in the mid-2000s, it also planned a 27-story condo tower across from the Times Forum in downtown Tampa, but eventually scrapped the project.

No one from the company was immediately available Tuesday.

Element got caught up in the 2009 collapse of Chicago-based Corus Bank, which had provided construction loans for Element and several other multifamily buildings. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and several private investors formed a public-private partnership to own the Element and other buildings in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and other cities, and tapped ST Residential, which was a new entity, to manage them.

The sale of Element had been expected, as ST Residential put it and 12 other properties for sale in January and put a prospective value on the properties of nearly $1 billion. This may be a good time to try to sell Element, because the property is 96-percent occupied, property manager Kevin Newman said.

Many such apartment towers may be converted to condos in the future, but for now there is no plan to do so, he said.

msasso@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7865

Twitter: @msasso

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