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WOODINVILLE, WA-Archstone Communities Trust’s sale of the 352-unit Waterford Place apartment complex here netted the highest price paid thus far this year for an Eastside property. Katahdin Properties LP is paying $30.7 million for the 12-year-old garden-style complex located just east of the Sammamish River at 13305 NE 171st St. Archstone paid $27.5 million for the property in 1997.

As to what prompted the Englewood, CO-based REIT (NYSE: ASN) to sell Waterford, a company source says she can’t say for certain, but “there are a lot of great opportunities to sell (apartment) properties in Seattle. Those buyers may have come along and made a great unsolicited offer.”

Archstone’s portfolio of Seattle area properties is valued in the vicinity of $300 million. Campbell says Archstone has concentrated its garden-style properties in the Eastside sub-market, and will continue to do so to minimize the company’s exposure to Boeing layoffs. Its 11 complexes here represent more than 3,000 units, with five properties in Bothell, three in Redmond and a single complex in Newcastle. Campbell stressed that the sale of Waterford in no way forebodes Archstone’s abandonment of the Puget Sound market.

In May, the Englewood, Colo.-based REIT agreed to acquire urban high-rise operator Charles E. Smith Residential Realty Inc., a Maryland corporation. That deal catapulted Archstone to the position of the second largest apartment real estate trust in the U.S. Says Campbell, “With the merger, we will now be able to target the high-rise urban market in downtown Seattle. With market dominance here, Archstone brings the presence, and Smith brings the high-rise expertise necessary for the entitlement process and development that type of property. We will always be in the business of garden-style apartments—it’s our bread and butter—but now we can enter the high-rise market as well. That will create a huge market for us.”

Archstone operates, develops and acquires apartment communities in 31 of United States’ 50 largest metropolitan markets. As of December 31, 2000, its portfolio consisted of 229 properties, representing 70,685 units. At that time, it also had 8,176 units under construction to the tune of $475.2 million. Under the terms of the May merger with Smith, Archstone will be reorganized into an umbrella partnership real estate investment trust. The UPREIT structure known will be known as New Archstone and will become a holding company of Archstone Communities Trust.

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