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AURORA, CO-Through its subsidiaries, Hamilton Zanze of San Francisco recently paid $45.25 million for two suburban apartment communities. The previous owners of both properties were companies created by Chicago-based Equity Residential, one of the nation’s largest apartment real estate investment trusts.

Through a company called Trails Aurora LLC, Hamilton Zanze paid $26.23 million, or $74,715 per unit, for the 351-unit Trails Aurora at 121 S. Joliet Circle. In the second deal, Ironwood Westminster LLC paid $19.03 million, or $84,181 per unit, for the 226-unit Ironwood at the Ranch Apartment at Westminster, 11705 Decatur St. Both of the communities were built in 1986. The Marcus & Millichap team of Dave Potarf and Dan Woodward handled both transactions.

The Westminster property was 94% to 95% occupied at the closing, while the Aurora development was 98% occupied, Potarf tells GlobeSt.com. “I would say the replacement cost is probably between $125,000 to $140,000 per unit,” Potarf tells GlobeSt.com. “To pay $85,000 per door or less for an ’80s project is pretty good. Mot that many of them trade. And you can’t replace them today at nearly the price.” He tells GlobeSt.com that the rents in the buildings average around 80 cents per sf.

Equity Residential didn’t develop the communities. “It bought them both in the early ’90s,” Potarf tells GlobeSt.com. “Their strategy seems to be to sell the older stuff and trade up to newer stuff. They’re still big believers in this market; they’re just trading up. They’ve bought a handful of newer assets recently.”

Hamilton Zanze is also bullish on the Denver-area apartment market, he says. ‘They’re one of the more active buyers in the market,” Potarf tells GlobeSt.com. “They recently closed on a deal in Brighton and have bought a project in Colorado Springs.”

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