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IRVINE, CA-Real Estate Partners, which has surpassed $450 million in holdings with its recent purchases of apartment complexes in Arizona and Texas, expects to boost that figure to $500 million by the end of this year and $600 million by the end of 2006. The latest deals–a $30-million acquisition in Mesa, AZ and nearly $62 million of multifamily buys in San Antonio and Phoenix–are part of $350 million in acquisitions by REP over the past 24 months.REP is headed by Tom Thompson and Dawson Davenport, president and CEO respectively. According to Tom Thompson, the plan to increase company’s holdings is part of an overall expansion strategy that includes the recent formation of a brokerage division called REP Commercial, a 1031 exchange service called 1031REP and a new management unit called Real Estate Partners Asset Management Services. The 1031 exchange division is intended as a vehicle to offer tenant-in-common investments, Thompson says, and the asset management services group will enable REP to “more expediently buy assets in areas where we don’t already have a significant management infrastructure in place.”The property that REP bought in Mesa is a 576-unit development called the Aventerra Apartments that the company acquired from the Archon Group of Irving, TX. With the closing of the deal, REP now owns and manages more than 5,000 apartment units. The Aventerra complex consists of 72 buildings situated on more than 30 acres of greenbelt surrounded by a golf course and lakes. Built in 1980, the property consists of one- and two-bedroom units ranging from 680 sf to 950 sf. Thompson sees significant upside in the complex, which Real Estate Partners plans to renovate and upgrade with a budget of approximately $8.5 million. It will rename the property the Fairways at Dobson Lake to reflect its association with the adjacent golf course.

The Mesa deal follows REP’s $45-million purchase of an 856-unit complex called the Terracina apartments in Phoenix in early September and its $16.7-million acquisition of two multifamily properties totaling 488 units in San Antonio in early December. The company plans to spend more than more than $7 million in renovations for the Phoenix complex and more than $1 million to renovate each of the two San Antonio properties.Along with becoming an active buyer, REP has been brokering sales and leases on behalf of itself and for other commercial real estate clients through its new brokerage division. Among these was the recent $5.1 million sale of 29 acres of residential land in Anaheim in a transaction brokered by Jeff Gaynor in the Irvine office of REP Commercial. Gaynor represented the seller of the vacant parcel, Waddell Foods Inc. The property is situated south of the intersection of Santa Ana Canyon and Weir Canyon roads. It has been known as the Canyon Hills Manor and is “prime infill view residential property,” Gaynor says. The buyer was a private investor.In another deal by the brokerage division, Charo Chicken has signed a 10-year lease for a restaurant at the Center, at the intersection of Imperial Highway and Bastanchury Road in Yorba Linda, where it expects to open in November. Charo signed for 2,145 sf with landlord Forum Capital, which was represented by David J. Oden in REP Commercial’s Irvine office. Charo was repped by Inco Commercial Realty of Long Beach.In a deal in Henderson, NV, Oden and Brian Russell of REP Commercial sold two 100% occupied office buildings totaling nearly 17,000 sf at Sunset Ridge Professional Center on behalf of Real Estate Partners to Orange County-based Mammoth Equities for more than $3.9 million as part of a 1031 exchange.The buildings generated multiple offers, notes Thompson, who cites the Sunset Ridge project as a value-added investment that the company executed via improved management and leasing.”This is the type of property that we are in the market for in the Las Vegas area as well as the other markets where we currently have other properties,” Thompson says. Those markets include San Antonio, the Phoenix Metro area, Richmond, VA and North Carolina. Thompson says the company’s growth plans include the expansion of its multifamily portfolio to more than 6,000 units this year and to continue building its portfolio of 550,000 sf of other commercial properties.

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