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    Florida investor makes debut in Valley; scoops up 2 multifamily properties

    Zamir Kazi is hungry for apartments in metro Phoenix.

    The founder and CEO of Tampa-based ZMR Capital LLC has purchased two apartment communities and is hunting for more.

    “We are actively looking,” he said. “We love the market. There have genuinely been some strong tailwinds behind the Phoenix market. The population growth and job growth is real and there to stay. We love the market and want to get more involved.”

    Spending nearly $60 million for 352 units for two properties, Kazi said he plans to invest $250 million in metro Phoenix over the next 24 to 36 months.

    “Phoenix is legitimately the hottest market in the country,” Kazi said. “Phoenix has reached double digit-growth rent faster than anywhere in the country, a trend that is projected to continue for the next five years.”

    Until his Phoenix debut, Kazi had been buying properties in Florida, Texas and Georgia.

    “We’ve bought and sold about 3,500 units,” he said. “We own about 4,500 units totaling around $500 million in assets.”

    Peter O’Neil, research director for NorthMarq, said he has seen a definite spike in the amount of multifamily sales activity so far this year.

    Huge demand

    Through the first half of the year, his team has tracked about 110 sales of properties consisting of 50 units or more — usually selling for at least $10 million each — totaling more than 23,000 apartment units.

    “The transaction activity levels spiked by nearly 50% from the first quarter to the second quarter this year,” O’Neil said. “There’s a lot of demand out there — renter demand for units has surged during the past four quarters, and investor demand for apartment complexes is on an upswing as well.”

    Out-of-state investors like Kamir are playing a big role in activity levels, O’Neil said, but not many have come from Florida.

    “In the first half of this year, about 45% of the buyers were from California, about 25% were from Arizona and the rest of the states — a mix of Washington, Utah, Texas and others — accounted for the other 30% or so,” O’Neil said. “These trends are pretty similar to levels from 2020, when the prevalence of California buyers was a bit more pronounced. In 2020, California-based buyers accounted for more than half of the acquisitions in the Phoenix market.”

    Sean Kia is one of those California investors who has been busy buying properties in metro Phoenix.

    The co-founder and principal of Los Angeles-based Tides Equities LLC has been focusing on class B and C multifamily properties and spending millions to renovate and upgrade interiors and exteriors of the properties, rebranding each of the properties with the name Tides.

    In fact, he sold Tides on 25th to ZMR for $40.625 million.

    “Sean is a good buddy of mine,” said Kazi, who is rebranding the 240-unit property at 15620 N. 25th Ave. in Deer Valley to The Nightingale.

    Kia said his firm is still one of the most active buyers in Phoenix because of a strong relationship with brokers and sellers.

    “We’ve transacted on 18,000 units across Phoenix, Dallas and Vegas and currently own 9,000 units in Phoenix,” Kia said. “Deals are definitely getting harder to find as investors are starting to understand the strong fundaments of Phoenix, such as job growth, wage growth, population growth, etc.”

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