INDIO, CA-A joint venture between Buchanan Capital Partners of Newport Beach and a development group led by Coachella Valley developers Dennis French and Dick Oliphant will develop a $51 million, 420-unit apartment complex called the Victoria Palms Villas. The project will be the first class A apartment project built in Indio in more than 10 years.The development group plans to break ground in July and complete work in about 18 months on Victoria Palms, which it says “will meet an increasing demand for rental housing in the Coachella Valley.” The developers note that the Coachella Valley is growing by 1,000 new residents monthly. The development site is a 41-acre vacant parcel at Monroe Street and 49th Avenue.The complex will include a mix of two- and three-bedroom apartments that will range in size from 770 sf to 1,200 sf, with 20% of the units earmarked for affordable housing. It will feature multiple pools and spas, a recreation area, and a club house with a business center and conference room. Victoria Palms will be built among several hundred date palms that will serve as the signature landscaping element for the project.Buchanan Street’s investment was made through its Buchanan Capital Partners division, the group that directs the firm’s equity and mezzanine investing. Buchanan Capital Partners invested $9.7 million in joint venture equity for the development, and projects a four-year horizon for its investment. The Buchanan Capital Partners team of Steve Blue and Bob Dougherty directed the investment.Dennis French heads Equity Directions Inc., a Palm desert-based development company formed in 1975. Partner Dick Oliphant is a longtime Coachella Valley resident who has been active as a developer and civic leader.Buchanan Capital Partners, which plans to invest in $500 million worth of real estate in 2004, specializes in the acquisition, development and repositioning of commercial and multifamily assets, typically investing equity in the $5 million to $20 million range on total project capitalizations of up to $100 million. It is a division of Newport Beach-based Buchanan Street Partners, a real estate investment bank that provides capital for owners and developers.

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