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LAKEWOOD, CO-Fairfield Residential LLC of Grand Prairie, TX, paid $23 million for the 400-unit, garden-style Westhills Apartments. The seller was the Sares-Regis Group of Irvine, CA. Chicago-based Moran & Co., led by managing partner David Martin, represented the seller in the transaction.

“Westhills is an attractive asset because of its terrific location in a market that has historically been very supply-constrained,” says Martin. “The ability to add value to this property through rehabilitation was also attractive because Westhills is the only 1970s vintage property in the area that has not already undergone a renovation.”

The property is situated on the south side of US Highway 6. It less than four blocks from the Denver Federal Center, which employs approximately 6,000 federal government employees, and less than two blocks west of the Union Street Business Corridor. Additionally, the Cold Springs bus station is two blocks from the property. Future development is slated for the area as well. St. Anthony’s Hospital has announced it is building a new hospital complex, with completion scheduled for 2008. Additionaly, the city is planning a new light rail station, projected to be ready by 2012.

According to Fairfield Residential vice president of development, Erik Hagevik, plans for continued improvement to the area surrounding the property represented only part of the reason for Fairfield’s interest. “Because the existing debt matures in five years, we will have the ability to sell this asset-free and clear at that time by retiring the loan without any yield maintenance fees,” Hagevik says. “In the meantime, a moderate renovation program will be implemented in order to further enhance the asset’s value in the years ahead.”

Hagevik projects that each unit will receive approximately $11,500 worth of improvements within the first 12 to 14 months of Fairfield’s ownership. “We have a history of successfully adding value to existing properties through rehabilitation. The additions that will be made to the Westhills property will no doubt further enhance the overall revival of the area.”

Westhills, which was completed in 1973, consists of 29 three-story buildings. “The site covers approximately 14 acres, resulting in a density of 28.6 units per acre,” says Martin. “The community also has 636 on-site residential parking spaces for an attractive ratio of 1.59 spaces per unit.”

Interior unit amenities include central air conditioning, wiring for cable TV, private balconies/patios, storage rooms, and fireplaces and walk-in closets. Common area amenities consist of a heated swimming pool with spa, laundry facilities, a playground and dog-run. The clubhouse/leasing center, which was completely rebuilt in 2000, houses a computer room, kitchen area and fitness center.

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