PUEBLO, CO-A Denver investment group has paid $7.495 million for the Preserve at Belmont, a 97-unit luxury apartment complex in this city south of Colorado Springs. The property, purchased by Pueblo Group LLC is the first and only luxury apartment community in Pueblo, says Garrette L. Matlock, who sold the property with fellow Marcus & Millichap broker Paul A. Delatorre.

The project was constructed in 2000 by a Pueblo-based real estate development partnership.

”It’s a very nice, upscale buildings,” Matlock tells GlobeSt.com. ”It’s not to the level of something JPI might build in the Denver area, but it has a clubhouse, high ceilings, a business office. Really, nothing new has been built in Pueblo for the last 20 years. It’s mostly ’60s and ’70s properties.”

It sold for about $77,000 a unit, while a comparable building in the Denver metro area would have sold for more than $100,000 per unit.

”Of course, the rents aren’t as high,” he tells GlobeSt.com. ”We’re getting 80 cents per sf, although we felt the market was actually 85 cents. But we are the market, so it’s hard to use comparables, when there’s nothing to compare it to.”

A similar product in the Denver area, depending on its location, would command rental rates of $1.10 to $1.30 per sf, he adds.

Pueblo is a largely blue-collar community of about 100,000 people south of Colorado Springs.

”By Pueblo standards, it is by far the best and only new contemporary apartment complex,” Matlock tells GlobeSt.com. ”There have been other guys who’ve talked about building other first-class apartments. But I’m not sure there’s the demand for more than one. I think this pretty much fills the demand.”

The project was 97% occupied at the time of sale, he says.

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