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PHOENIX-Marking an inroad into the market, a St. Louis developer is ready to go on a 224-unit development of high-end apartments after closing a 15-acre purchase in the northwest submarket. The plan is to cut the ribbon on the Adobe Ridge Apartments in December 2005.

MLP Investments LLC paid $2.8 million to Skunk Creek Land Holdings Inc. of Phoenix for land at the intersection of 47th Avenue and Beardsley Road. “This took well over a year because of city approvals and working with neighbors. It’s not unusual for a land site,” Mark Forrester, a principal with Phoenix-based Hendricks & Partners, tells GlobeSt.com.

The buyer got equity funding from Real Estate Capital Partners of New York City, to secure construction financing from LaSalle Bank of Chicago for the $18.4-million development, MLP’s first foray into the Phoenix metro. “We liked the Phoenix market, we like the visibility it gives you from the (Loop 101) highway and its proximity to the Deer Valley employment base,” says Bryan Aston, a vice president at MLP.

Aston says the developer is bullish on the city and the Southwest market in general, with has similar developments on the drawing board. In keeping with its merchant builder plan, the intent is to quickly lease up the development and sell, he says.

Forrester and Bob Bruno, also with Hendricks & Partners, bargained the land acquisition for MLP. Chip Guyman of Diamond Properties in Phoenix represented the seller.

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