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PHOENIX-Three’s company for a joint venture looking to round out its multifamily portfolio in Phoenix. The buyer recently closed its third purchase this year, shelling out $33.5 million for the 440-unit Portofino Apartments in the Lakewood master-planned community.

“The Chandler/Ahwatukee area in South Phoenix is an area where we were very interested in owning a property,” says Ed Easley, president and CEO of Crown Pacific Properties LLC in San Diego. “This particular property was right on a lake and Chandler Boulevard, which has 40,000 cars a day. It’s got great visibility and a great ambiance on the lake.”

Crown Pacific and AEW Partners IV LP of Boston bought the holding at 3830 Lakewood Parkway East from Prometheus Real Estate Group Inc. of Redwood City, CA. Due diligence and closing lasted 30 days each, according to Easley.

With the exception of some additional signs, Crown Pacific plans no major renovations for the stabilized property, which boasted a 93% occupancy at closing. The buyer retained Prometheus Real Estate as the property manager.

One month of marketing garnered some 10 offers from potential buyers, among which the Crown Pacific/AEW’s bid was one of the highest, coming just below the $34-million asking price, Sean Cunningham with CB Richard Ellis Inc. in Phoenix tells GlobeSt.com. The joint venture’s recent purchases earlier this year made it a prime candidate for the Portofino deal, says Sean Cunningham, who along with CBRE’s Tyler Anderson brokered the sale.

The Portofino was built in 1995 on 18.5 acres. The 29-building complex features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 725 sf to 1,267 sf. The class A units have monthly rents averaging $854.

Portofino is not the end of the line for the joint venture’s 2004 acquisition activity around Phoenix. Easley says Crown Pacific and AEW are scouting a fourth multifamily purchase, zeroing in on Scottsdale in particular. Earlier this year, the JV bought the 244-unit Lakefront at West Bay in Tempe for $14.7 million and 255-unit Camelback Towers in Phoenix for $15 million.

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