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DALLAS-Summit Properties Inc. of Charlotte, NC, is hanging a $21-million price tag on a trophy multifamily product to show the market that it’s serious about finding a buyer for the last of seven properties in a retreat from Texas that began seven months ago.

But, it’s not just any property that’s coming to market today: It’s 222 high-end units standing in the shadow of the Galleria Mall in North Dallas. The eight-building community at 14181 Noel Rd. sits in a pocket with four million sf of retail within a three-minute drive and 4.8 million sf of office space in a half-mile radius.

There is no other site quite like it in Dallas, Will Balthrope, director for the Cushman & Wakefield Texas Multi Housing Group, tells GlobeSt.com. “And it’s one of the only ones in the US that’s surrounded by that critical mass of both (retail and office space),” he contends. “Sometimes there is one and sometimes the other, but rarely do you find a trophy asset like this in the middle of both.”

The Summit San Raphael’s niche is a 4.9-acre tract with a courtyard design and two structured parking garages. Summit acquired the 97%-leased asset July 1, 2002, paying $17.7 million in cash to Boca Raton, FL-based Gables Residential. Then, Summit’s corporate chiefs decided it was in the REIT’s best interest to tell Texas goodbye. Since the year began, Summit has let go of one complex in San Antonio, two in Austin and three in Dallas-Fort Worth. The REIT’s adjusted attitude is a hard focus on its core markets of Washington, DC, Southeast Florida, Atlanta, Raleigh, NC, and its homeport of Charlotte.

Balthrope says the $95,000 per door tag shows Summit’s sincerity to exit Texas. “They’re not testing the market; they’re selling the asset,” he says.

Dallas Central Appraisal District has attached a $15 million assessment for 2003 to the property. Last year, the assessed value stood at nearly $13.7 million.

Balthrope and partner, Don Ostroff, hold the listing along with C&W’s Susie Kakos. Summit spread the wealth with its listings, but this is the second one that will be hawked by the C&W team. In San Antonio, Summit Turtle Rock was under contract in three days. Balthrope expects that could happen as well with Summit San Raphael, where units average 900 sf and the median rent is $1,000 per month or $1.11 per sf for one- and two-bedroom designs.

The sweet spot is that the deal’s not laced with a debt assumption. Balthrope says most buyers these days hail from deep-pocketed private circles because they can massage debt for 80% of the loan to value to gain the upper hand over institutional buyers, which are limited to 50% and 60%. “With that said,” Balthrope adds, “this deal will have both private and institutional buyers interested for its irreplaceable, close-in location.” As for the neighboring competitors, Balthrope says there is just one other property of the same caliber and it’s a high-rise with considerably steeper rents.

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