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LANCASTER, CA-Universe Holdings Development Co. of Beverly Hills has acquired the 216-unit Amargosa Creek apartment complex for $19.9 million from the Archon Group of Irving, TX and plans to capitalize on upside potential from the property’s below-market rents.

Henry Manoucheri, CEO of Universe Holdings, says that in addition to the below-market rents, the Amargosa Creek property benefits from a moratorium on residential construction that’s now in place in Lancaster as well as a rapid increase in jobs being generated by the area’s commercial development boom. “These factors will drive up the property’s value, desirability and rents in short order,” Manoucheri says.Amargosa Creek is situated at 43336 N. Gadsden Ave., near the intersection of Avenue K and 10th Street West. It is located within walking distance of a new, 180,000-sf shopping center, anchored by Lowe’s and Walgreens. In addition, a 204,000-sf Wal-Mart Supercenter is scheduled to open in the area later this year as part of a $35 million revitalization project by the City of Lancaster. The Amargosa Creek complex consists of 18 two-story buildings with features including an oversized, heated swimming pool with spa, a fitness center, two gas barbecue areas, a children’s play area and a separate laundry room. Each unit is equipped with washer-dryer connections, separate dining areas, spacious closets and expansive patios or balconies. Built in 1985, the complex was 97% occupied at the time of the sale. It consists of 168 two-bedroom units and 48 one-bedroom units that average 780 sf. Rents range from $790 to $925 for the units that have not been rehabbed and $900 to $1,050 for the rehabbed units. The sale of the property was brokered by Sean Deasy of the Ontario office of CB Richard Ellis.The Amargosa Creek acquisition is the latest in more than $350 million in multifamily property that Universe Holdings has acquired in Southern California since the company’s inception in 1995. The company and its affiliate, Global Integrity, own and manage more than 2,500 units in Los Angeles, San Diego, Inland Empire, Santa Barbara and Venturacounties.

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