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DENVER-RedPeak Properties LLC of Denver paid $48.88 million for four apartment communities in Colorado with a total of 748 units. Sares-Regis Group, based in Irvine, CA is the seller. The Mountain State’s office of Chicago-based Moran & Co. brokered the deal. David Martin, managing partner in charge of Moran’s Mountain State’s offices, represented Sares-Regis.The portfolio includes the 220-unit Briarglen property in Colorado Springs. The metro-area projects were the 168-unit Cottonwood Creek, 140-unit Quail Ridge and 220-unit Hunters Cove properties. All four properties were built between 1984 and 1986.

“Being from the Denver area, RedPeak Properties was very familiar with these assets.” Marin says. “Some of its principals were even involved in their initial construction. They’ve also witnessed firsthand the positive economic growth, the increase in population and the significant decrease in apartment construction that has taken place in these two regions.”

The financing terms of the properties played a significant role in the sale of the portfolio. All four of the properties have been individually financed with seven-day, low floater tax-exempt bonds totaling $26.32 million, which have helped support a seven-year leveraged internal rate of return on the portfolio of more than 17%.

“It’s becoming more and more rare to have an opportunity to acquire a portfolio of true value-added properties given today’s market conditions,” says Mark Windhager, chief operating officer of RedPeak Properties. “But not only were we able to acquire such a desirable portfolio of apartment communities, we were also able to do so with advantageous financing.”

Each of the four properties benefits by its proximity to either major employment centers or premier suburban communities, he adds. The Briarglen is within 1.2 miles of 800,000 sf of retail services and is adjacent to 320,000 sf of office space within Briargate Business Park. One of the park’s newest tenants is Progressive Insurance, which will bring 2,200 new jobs to the immediate area.

“The metro Denver area has continued to develop into one of the most vibrant cities in the country,” Martin says. He points out that over the last 10 years, the population has grown at an annual average of 2.5%, and state demographers are estimating that net immigration will average 23,000 people per year from now until 2010. Fueling that growth, he says, is the expansion of the region’s economic base, which, in addition to the high-tech and telecom industries, now includes more jobs in financial services, local government, and educational and health services.

Colorado Springs is experiencing equally notable growth in general population and overall strength in its economy, Martin says. In 2004, the population of the Colorado Springs Metro Statistical Area was approximately 576,000, an increase of 27,000 from 2003. Since 1990, the area’s employment growth rate has averaged 3.5% per year.

Even more promising, says Martin, a city once known for its dependence on military employment, Colorado Springs now also relies on the high-tech and telecom sectors, educational and health services, as well as the financial, professional and business service sectors.

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