Jonesboro investors pay $12.8 million for apartment complex in Rogers

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 1,913 views 

The Frisco Apartments on Walnut, an 8-acre multifamily development that recently opened at 1603 W. Walnut St. in Rogers, has sold to a pair of investors from northeast Arkansas for $12.8 million.

Ray Osment and Randy Woodard, both of Jonesboro, bought the 128-unit property on May 1, according to county property records. The purchase price equals $100,000 per unit.

A real estate development group led by investor John Schmelzle of Rogers was the previous owner.

Premier Bank of Arkansas, headquartered in Jonesboro, backed the deal with a $10.24 million loan.

The deal involved a 1031 exchange after Osment and his wife sold a property in Jonesboro. It’s a move that allows investors to avoid capital gains taxes when selling a property, as long as the purchaser buys a similar property with the profits.

Schmelzle said the transaction underscores Northwest Arkansas’ growing reputation as a “safe and stable” market for long-term investments.

“We aimed to build a quality housing community with amenities such as a pool, clubhouse, fitness center and dog park, but to do it at a more affordable rate,” Schmelzle said, noting the rental range of $725 to $995.

Osment has business interests in Jonesboro, Little Rock and Memphis including auto dealerships and multifamily properties. Woodard works in the farming and seed business.

In the past year, Osment and his wife have bought an apartment complex in Bentonville and a portfolio of condos in Rogers. He’s bullish on the market and believes in the vision to make Northwest Arkansas’ quality of life and amenities attractive for job seekers.

“Fortunately, you’ve got enough families [in Northwest Arkansas] who are willing to invest in quality of life,” Osment said. “I used to laugh at [the phrase] quality of life, and I thought it was some kind of liberal agenda. But I get it. I go up there, and I get it. It’s just cool. I get the vision that they want to [attract] a kid from Stanford or MIT or Harvard to come find a job in Northwest Arkansas working for Walmart.

“We’ve got a lot going on in Jonesboro, too, but it’s different [in Northwest Arkansas]. We want to grow up there in the future.”

Osment said he expects the occupancy at The Frisco Apartments on Walnut to rise to 95% by late summer.

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