LaPointe: u201cWe believe the u2018quality corridor' is an area that has more stability.u201d

IRVINE, CA-The area known as the “quality corridor,” above the 10 and in between the 15 and the 57 freeways is expected to have great stability, Jerry LaPointe, VP of Western National Real Estate Advisors, tells “In the properties we manage and own in that area, rents are beginning to improve, as well as occupancy. As the economy continues to improve, folks in that area will have a flight to quality, with higher rents on product in that area.”

LaPointe also tells that the development pipeline is still pretty much nonexistent for multifamily in the Inland Empire market, but there is demand.

As reported earlier today, WNRA, an affiliate of Western National Group, has acquired Ironwood and Fairway Palms, a 496-unit apartment community in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, from JP Morgan for $100.875 million. The property, which consists of two separate, adjacent multifamily properties, will be operated as one community and managed by Western National Property Management.

The community is made up of one-, two- and three-bedroom units with class-A features like 9-ft. ceilings, central air conditioning and in-unit washers and dryers. Each property also includes such amenities as a clubhouse, pool and spa, outdoor fireplace and seating areas, as well as a fitness center. Located close to the 10 and 15 freeways, the San Bernardino Metrolink line and the Ontario International Airport, the community is in the heart of the master-planned Rancho Cucamonga, across from Ontario Mills Mall and the Empire Lakes Golf Course.

LaPointe says that Ironwood and Fairway Palms is one of the few properties in the area that backs up against the golf course, and that it is low density, which he considers a plus. The acquisition is also close to better-quality retail and employment opportunities.

 “We anticipate a high performance outlook based on the location as well as the property’s already robust 95% occupancy rate,” said LaPointe in a prepared statement. “In addition, we expect increased renter demand for this type of class-A multifamily community as the economy makes a comeback, adding to the future profitability of this acquisition.” LaPointe added that the location and condition of Ironwood and Fairway Palms make it a strong fit within the existing Western National portfolio.

The acquisition marks the final transaction under Western National Realty Fund II L.P., WNRA’s second private-equity fund, according to Rex DeLong, president of WNRA.

“Under Fund II, Western National Group completed six acquisitions and five developments in Southern California, Colorado and Utah,” said DeLong in the statement. “We anticipate that Fund III will materialize in the coming months, which will fund additional acquisitions, development and growth for the company in 2013.”

Mike Murphy of Moran and Co. facilitated the transaction on behalf of the seller.

As previously reported, in January Western National Realty Advisors paid $46 million for a 206-unit apartment complex here. The development stands at 1613 Ximeno Ave., not far from the 405 Freeway and California State University, Long Beach. It has one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with a total of 145,000 square feet of rentable space.

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