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HOUSTON-The 318-unit AMLI at Western Ridge in the Westchase submarket of Houston has gone to a New York City investor for $24.6 million. So far this year, AMLI has sold 1,072 units around town.

Allan J. Sweet, president of Chicago-based AMLI Residential Properties Trust, tells GlobeSt.com that the Western Ridge was tied to a secured financing pool with seven other AMLI assets outside of Houston. To sell the property, AMLI released the mortgage by substituting the debt with the wholly owned 334-unit AMLI at the Medical Center at 7009 Almeda Rd. in Houston.

In 2000 when Western Ridge delivered, AMLI paid $20 million for the Westchase holding. The holding currently is assessed for $20 million, according to the Harris County Appraisal District.

“AMLI’s view of Houston is less aggressive than some,” Sweet said in a press release. “We used this opportunity to reduce our exposure to this market and recognize a nice profit.” AMLI has sold five complexes this year in Texas: 590 units in Dallas and 1,072 in Houston.

“Each of these dispositions was consistent with our strategies of improving the overall quality of our portfolio,” says Sweet, “and redeploying the proceeds into new investment opportunities.” He says Western Ridge was never taken to the open market, but instead sold through direct negotiations between seller and buyer.

None of AMLI’s other Houston properties are under contract at this time, but Sweet emphasizes they are “contrarian players.” As investors clamor to get into the relatively healthy Houston apartment market, AMLI is bracing for a down cycle and directing its attention to markets, such as Dallas, where he believes an upswing is due.

In Houston, AMLI still owns a 431-unit complex in Midtown at 2350 Bagby St. near Montrose and Westheimer streets; 380-unit Town Square at 2210 W. Dallas St. in the Allen Parkway submarket near the CBD; and 300-unit Kings Harbor at 4630 Magnolia Dr. in the Kingwood area.

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