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PHOENIX-A limited partnership from Newport Beach, CA, with WLA Investments Inc. as managing member, has made its first foray into the Phoenix market, spending $32 million on the 548-unit, class C-plus La Palma Apartments.

Built in 1984, La Palma Apartments sit on 27.6 acres at 220 W. Bell Rd. in the north central submarket. “The buyer is planning on doing extensive rehab to the property and running it as an apartment complex,” Darcy Miramontes of Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial LLC’s San Diego office, tells GlobeSt.com.

Darcy Miramontes, along with Diane Miramontes represented the buyer of record, La Palma Apartments Phoenix LP, while Steve Goldstein of Amercon Realty Services Inc. in nearby Scottsdale brokered the sale for DRA Advisors LLC of New York City, which acted as managing member for G&I La Palma LLC.

Darcy and Diane Miramontes say the transaction represents the buyer’s first in the Phoenix area–and he’s seeking similar properties for investment. “He goes into different markets on behalf of his investors, looking for value-added properties,” Diane Miramontes says, adding the investor has large portfolios in Las Vegas, Reno, NV and Oklahoma. “He’ll go in, buy a C-plus property in an area and rehab it,” she adds. La Palma’s renovation is expected to run $3 million to $5 million, she says.

La Palma was 89% occupied at sale time. It’s a mix of 240 one-bedroom, 276 two-bedroom and 32 three-bedroom units, ranging from 720 sf to 1,444 sf. Amenities include four swimming pools, two indoor spas, three lighted tennis courts and a two-story clubhouse. The market rent per unit is $565 to $1,010 per month.

Diane Miramontes notes the purchase came out of a bidding situation, with the buyer having the edge because he was known to the seller. “They’d done several transactions with one another, they knew each other so there was no learning curve there,” she says. “The seller trusted him because he closed on time and did everything he said he’d do.”

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