(Read more on the multifamily market.)

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AUSTIN-A partnership of Atlanta-based Post Properties Inc. andlocally based Ardent Residential has closed on the second of twoadjoining apartment complexes that they plan to demolish andreplace with a single multifamily project about twice as large. Thejust-closed deal is the 32-unit Kingswood Apartments.

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The partners earlier had acquired the 140-unit Bull CreekApartments at 4320 Bull Creek Rd. Chris Stutzman, a managingdirector in the Central Texas multifamily group at Transwestern inAustin who represented the seller of Bull Creek and buyer ofKingswood at 4318 Bull Creek Rd., would not disclose prices foreither deal. But, the larger property has an appraised value of$2.58 million and the smaller one is assessed at $1.56 million byTravis County. Jeff Rogers, also a managing director atTranswestern, worked with Stutzman on both deals.

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"These have been the only sales for land value alone in thispart of Austin," Stutzman tells GlobeSt.com. "But land prices arenot as high as Downtown or the West Campus area, where propertygarnishes $100 a sf. Multifamily investment properties in theneighborhood are getting around $50,000 a unit."

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According to Stutzman, Post and Ardent were in escrow on BullCreek when Kingswood became available. Purchase of the secondproperty enabled them to add 0.92 acre to the original 3.84 acres,creating a 4.76-acre development site. Stutzman says Post plans tobuild about 300 units. The existing properties are about 40 yearsold.

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A Post spokeswoman says the company is not ready to releasedetails about the project, but earlier press reports indicated thedeveloper planned to spend $30 million to develop the Bull Creeksite with a four-story building containing up to 250 units. Thecity approved the property's rezoning to allow greater density. Arequest to rezone the Kingswood site is pending.

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Although some developers have faced community opposition intheir attempts to build denser projects, Stutzman says this projectgenerated little controversy. He attributes the lack of oppositionto Ardent's legwork in gathering neighborhood support.

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"Ardent has a lot of experience involving neighbors in theirdevelopments," Stutzman says. "They're very up front about theirplans. In some areas, affordable housing issues come up, but nottoo much here. Generally people are in favor of replacing olderproperties with newer and higher-class developments."

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