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The recently completed Murano at Three Oaks apartment complex changed hands for $122.5 million, making it one of the highest-priced transactions of the year in Southwest Florida.

The 318-unit complex, on the southwest corner of the Interstate 75 and Alico Road exit in south Fort Myers, was developed by Miami investment group Cortelis Company. It sold at $385,220 per unit, with the average unit 903 square feet, an average of $426 per square foot.

Murano Cobblestone DE LLC is the new owner. It’s owned by Hercules Living, a Virginia Beach, Virginia-based company led by Todd Copeland, who could not be reached for comment. Tyler Minix, director of multifamily capital markets, and his team at Newmark brokered the deal.

Hercules Living owns 19 apartment complexes spread across Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Rents at Murano start at $1,695 per month for a studio and can go up to about $3,000 for a three-bedroom.

Courtelis Co. bought the then-vacant 17 acres at 17171 Three Oaks Parkway from Paul Freeman, a long-time Fort Myers and Three Oaks Parkway investor, for $5.8 million in July 2019. It spent about $56 million in developing the four-story, two-building complex, according to public records.

Amenities include a pool, a clubhouse, “Zen garden,” pickleball court, electric vehicle charging stations, dog park and an outdoor barbecue area.

Not even the combination of rising interest rates, a shaky stock market and whispers of an economic recession could scare off potential investors for this property, said Matt Simmons, a property appraiser with Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons.

“Alico and 75 will very soon be the absolute epicenter of Southwest Florida,” Simmons said. “The growth in that corridor, for an investor to be able to drop in and pick up a new-performing asset, for an apartment that’s stabilized—yeah. That’s exactly the kind of thing that’s going to push our price points. There are so many jobs that are coming into that corridor.

If investors begin to slow down with acquiring regional properties in the near future, they won’t with properties of high quality in locations like this one, Simmons said.

“If buyers are being discriminating with what they’re buying, this is an asset where you could see someone saying, ‘We’ve got a significant growth corridor,’” Simmons said. “You’ve got the university, the airport, all the activity happening at the northwest corner of I-75 and Alico. It’s probably about the safest multifamily bet you can make at the moment.”

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