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WASHINGTON, DC-Charlotte, NC-based Summit Properties Inc. has revealed a big new change in its ongoing effort to respond to the challenges of the currently sluggish economic climate with the recent announcement that it will abandon its stake in Texas and redirect those proceeds to Washington, DC. The company expects to see $175 million to $195 million from its Texas exodus. The move also involves the Southeast Florida region, where the luxury apartment community development and management company will also focus a significant portion of the Texas proceeds. Summit’s Lone Star State portfolio accounts for 2,687 apartment units among seven properties in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.

“Our strategy is to be the market leading developer and operator of class A apartments in seven core markets,” Summit president and CEO Steven LeBlanc says in statements during the company’s third quarter conference call in October. Including the Texas locations, the company now has a 10-market portfolio, after abandoning the Columbus, OH, Richmond, VA, and Wilmington, DE markets this year. “Since 1998, we pursued this strategy by selling our older, bottom quartile communities and non-core markets and redeployed that capital into new market leading developments and acquisitions in our core markets particularly Washington, South Florida and Atlanta.” According to the National Association of Realtors two Metropolitan Washington, DC markets were among the “hottest multifamily markets in the third quarter.” Rent growth in Baltimore increased by 3.7% and in Norfolk, VA rents increased by 6.5%. LeBlanc adds that Summit expects to wrap up the consolidation plan by the end of 2003.

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