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SAN DIEGO-Another apartment complex has been taken off the San Diego market, as Hammer Ventures has purchased the 130-unit Laurel Bay asset from Simpson Laurel Bay LP with plans to convert the property into condominiums. Hammer Ventures has shelled out $56.6 million for the property, which stands at 2400 5th Ave. in the Banker’s Hill area of San Diego. “This property is one block off of Balboa Park, which is one of the hottest condo markets in town, with very little condo competition compared to nearby Downtown,” Steve Huffman of Hendricks & Partners tells GlobeSt.com. Huffman, along with Hendricks & Partners colleagues Jules Arthur and Dick Bassett, acted on behalf of Hammer Ventures in the recent transaction. It was the location, in fact, that attracted Hammer Ventures president Jon Hammer to the Laurel Bay asset. “I was attracted to the property primarily because it’s absolutely a 10-plus location,” Hammer tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s a few blocks from downtown, a half-mile from the airport, it’s close to three major freeways and it’s also right at the entrance to Balboa Park.” The other factors that came into play were the “quality of the product” and the “overwhelming demand to live in the Banker’s Hill area,” he says, pointing out that this neighborhood is “the highest price per sf submarket for attached product in the county.”Built just last year, Laurel Bay features an 18,000-sf retail component with a Starbucks, Italian restaurant, drycleaners and health food store. Additional amenities include underground parking, a pool, fitness center, pool hall, business center, ocean views and extensive landscaping, according to Hammer.

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