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TUCSON-A private investor from Bakersfield, CA, has acquired the 125-unit Las Casitas Village Apartments for $4 million. The class C complex, 92% leased at sale time, is positioned in a revitalized neighborhood.

Buyer Ann M. Boyce marked her third acquisition in Tucson with the acquisition of the 4100 E. 29th St. property, taking the portfolio to 221 units. “(Boyce) is selling all of her assets in Bakersfield and investing in Tucson,” says John C. Buette, an investment adviser with Sperry Van Ness. Buette represented Boyce and the seller, Encinitas, CA-based Sandstone Equities LLC in the transaction. “She feels that the market is at its peak in Bakersfield and feels that Tucson is an excellent place to invest,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

Buette says Boyce acquired Las Casitas Village in an off-market transaction and on a contingency basis. He had a prior relationship with Sandstone Equities, having sold Las Casitas Village to the investor in April 2003. As part of the contingency, Sandstone Equities was willing wait for Boyce to sell one of her properties before closing the Las Casitas deal. If she was not able to sell, the deal was off with no consequences to either party.

Built in 1964, Las Casitas consists of 15 building on 6.4 acres. The complex contains one studio, 16 one-bedroom units, 56 two-bedroom apartments and 52 three-bedroom designs, averaging 863 sf. Rents range from $400 to $600 per month.

According to Buette, Boyce “has knack for taking C properties that are being mismanaged and creating value through better management.” She typically will improve the tenant profile, increase rents and cut down on expenses. He says Boyce plans to complete some minimal upgrades including repairs to the roof and parking lot. Boyce obtained new financing for Las Casitas Village from San Jose, CA-based La Jolla Bank.

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