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PHOENIX-S-J Management LLC has $113.8 million resting on the acquisition of two more multifamily complexes in the Greater Phoenix metro. The Seattle-based buyer says the simultaneously worked deals, both scheduled to close in late spring, are just the beginning of this year’s push in the region.

S-J Management CEO Michael Sauter says the first deals of the year will be the $33-million purchase of the 272-unit San Ventura Apartments at 3600 W. Ray Rd. in Chandler and $80.8-million acquisition of the 629-unit Canyons at 19940 N. 23rd Ave. in Phoenix. Though the two complexes will enter S-J’s portfolio at approximately the same time, he tells GlobeSt.com that they are being acquired for different goals, with San Ventura being a one- to three-year hold. “The two-story configuration of the property lends itself well to conversion, which is a potential exit strategy for us,” he explains. “We’ll either convert it ourselves or flip it to a converter.”

The Canyons, on the other hand, is under a deed restriction prohibiting conversion. “That is more of an apartment hold, a three- to five-year hold,” Sauter says.

The 1996-built San Ventura is being sold by CTA Venture 7 LP of Aspen, CO. The complex has one-, two- and three-bedroom units, averaging 1,100 sf. The monthly rents go from $770 to $1,100. Bob Bruner and Mark Forrester with Hendricks & Partners’ Phoenix office are brokering both sides of the transaction.

The Canyons, developed by Phoenix’s Gray Development Group and completed in late 2005, has a product mix ranging from studios to four-bedroom units. Apartments average 850 sf; rents are $700 to $1,400 per month. David Fogler and Steve Nicoluzakis from Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial LLC in Phoenix are handling the transaction for the buyer and seller.

According to Sauter, the transactions are only the tip of a five-year strategy for the Pacific Northwest company, which is now in negotiations for two more properties in North Phoenix as it prepares to bring a couple to market. “My investment group is committed to the Phoenix market,” he says. “We feel it’s the fastest-growing and strongest market and will continue to buy and sell in that market during the next five years.” Its last acquisition in the region closed in late 2005, when S-J spent $45.5 million on the 504-unit Villas at Camelback Crossing at 5150 N. 99th Ave.

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