HOUSTON-Camden Property Trust has sold 11 of its apartment projects for $137.2 million. The apartment projects, located in several cities in the Southwest, have a combined total of 3,599 units.

The Houston-based REIT said it will realize a gain of $17 million on the sales. Last year the firm announced a plan to sell off some of its older properties, using the proceeds to repurchase its own common shares and reduce debt, says Rick Campo, Camden chairman and CEO. In late 1999 and early 2000 the firm repurchased $76.1 worth of its stock at an average price of $26.29 per share.

The 11 projects that have been sold off are located in Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas, St. Louis and El Paso. The projects are older properties, with an average age of 19 years.

The sales also have enabled the company to move toward its goal of having a more geographically balanced portfolio. “We plan to continue disposing of slower-growth assets, exiting secondary markets and reducing concentrations in others in order to achieve that objective,” says Keith Oden, president of Camden.

Sale of the older properties also clears the way for Camden to pursue construction of new apartments in those cities without getting its portfolio too heavily invested in one city. Camden has purchased three acres of land in the Fourth Ward area near downtown Houston for a proposed mid-rise or high-rise residential development, according to Campo. Camden owns and operates 145 apartment complexes containing a total of 51,336 units in the Sunbelt and Midwestern markets from Florida to California.

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