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COSTA MESA, CA-A Costa Mesa multifamily complex has been sold for $9.9 million to a Palo Alto-based investor, as the Orange County apartment market continues to tighten.

The 104-unit property, formerly known as Rancho Palisades Apartments, has been acquired by Pacific Property Co. The new owner has renamed the complex Missions at Back Bay and has already started renovations, which are valued at more than $1.3 million. The renovation project, which is expected to take between 12 to 18 months to complete, will include exterior and interior improvements, according to Phillip Shuster, the managing director of Pacific Property’s Southern California operations.

Interior refurbishments have already begun on areas including bathrooms, kitchens and lighting. Exterior renovations will include changes to the pool, landscaping and roofs. A fitness center will be added, Shuster says.

The seller, Rancho Palisades LLC, was represented by Randall Lee of Lily Enterprises. Pacific Property Co. was represented by John Thomas of Providence Realty Group.

“We see Orange County as one of the better areas to invest in California, especially Southern California,” Shuster says. Apparently other investors agree, as the county’s apartment market is expected to remain tight in upcoming months, according to a newly released report by Marcus & Millichap.

Developers are expected to start construction on a mere 2,200 units this year, which will keep the market tight, according to the report. Rents, which have already risen 28% from the first quarter of 1998 through the first quarter of 2001, are expected to increase another 6% this year.

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