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PHOENIX-A Las Vegas property owner has pulled $9.9 million for one of its two multifamily complexes from a buyer in its hometown. Bigelow Cos. is the seller and FLM Enterprises is the buyer of Sunplace Apartments, a 22-year-old, 483-unit complex at 1950 N. 43rd Ave. in Phoenix.

Brad Goff, Insignia/ESG managing director in Phoenix, says the buyer “was looking to add to its Arizona apartment portfolio. This complex gives them five in the Valley now.” Momar Properties LLC is the buyer of record. Its parent firm, FLM, also owns the Arbor Village, Mountain Vista, Place One and North Palms multifamily properties.

Goff says Sunplace is the company’s largest property in the Phoenix area. The complex has some unique attributes, such as an average unit size of 393 sf and average lease rates of $431 per month. The rent gives the buyer an opportunity for some upside potential in rent pricing. “This complex has one of the lowest aggregate rents in the Valley,” he adds. FLM intends to immediately add value by installing gates and lighted parking at the class C holding.

Goff says Bigelow has sold 2,700 units in Phoenix in the last two years. He says the proceeds are being reinvested in Bigelow’s hotel sites, which include four Phoenix-area properties.

Sunplace’s sister property, the Desert Star at 1106 Westbell Rd. has 437 units with the same average unit size. Its units lease for an average of $468 per month. And it too is on the market, for $11.9 million. Goff says the higher ticket is due to the better location. Like Sunplace, Desert Star is 92% occupied.

Goff says 2002 has been a good year for buyers. He anticipates rent increases will begin to hit the market in 2003 and 2004 as the nation and the market recover from the recession. “We have seen some signs of life in the market,” he says, noting job growth and higher occupancies are beginning to show.

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