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MESA-A Minnesota-based real estate investment firm has acquired the 206-unit Villages at Park Centre in a $10-million deal with private investor, Bill Dickey of Del Mar, CA.

Mercury Investments Co., headquartered in Duluth, is paying nearly $48,550 per unit for the complex at 930 N. Mesa Dr. The Villages at Park Centre are north of University Drive near the city’s downtown. Mesa, a suburb east of Phoenix, is the third largest city in the state.

The purchase represents a continued investment by Mercury in the Valley. In September, an affiliate of the company, had spent more than $29 million for the 388-unit University Green Apartments in Mesa and 252-unit Thunderbird Paseo Apartments in Glendale. With the latest purchase, Mercury now has 846 units in the Valley.

The Mesa apartment market has performed well in the past year. The vacancy rate has shrunk to 6.1%, compared to 6.3% Valleywide. A year ago, vacancy had been 6.8% in Mesa. Rent increases are averaging 3.7% while the Valley average is closer to 3.5%. The average rent for a Mesa apartment is $648 per month, compared to $682 per month Valleywide. The Phoenix office of Bernard/Allison Management Services, with broker Kim Bernard, has negotiated the sale.

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