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PHOENIX-The 66-unit Mission Villa Apartments had been suffering from sluggish occupancy, but a Scottsdale couple who saw the property’s turnaround potential decided to take a chance, putting down $2.5 million to take over ownership.

Exchange buyers Chuck and Elsa Fong beat out five other investors to grab the keys to the recently renovated apartment community in a deal with Future AZ-1, a San Diego partnership that owned the property nearly 12 years. “Historically, the property has had good numbers,” Kevin Rille, with Sperry Van Ness’ Phoenix office, tells GlobeSt.com, explaining that a loss of interest by its previous owner caused occupancy rates to slide at the 3001 N. 32nd St. complex. “The Fongs felt they could get in there and run it properly.”

Rille says the two-story, four-building complex, which was on the market just two weeks, attracted five other bidders, but the Fongs, who were exchanging another Valley apartment complex, were the strongest buyers. “They were able to see the opportunities if they got in and turned it around,” Rille says of the owners of three smaller apartment properties in the Valley.

Built in 1970, the complex features 22 one-bedroom, 730-sf units and 44, two-bedroom, 1,000-sf units with rents ranging from $600 to $700 per month. Recent improvements to the complex’s roof, pool, parking area and plumbing systems made the complex an even more appealing buy for the new owners, Rille says.

Rille, along with Bill Hahn, also with Sperry Van Ness, represented the seller while Sperry Van Ness brokers Danny Lee and Neil Sherman handled the transaction for the buyers.

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