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LOS ANGELES-New York-based BlackRock Realty Advisors has acquired the new 129-unit Villa D’Este apartment complex in Encino from Beverly Hills-based Astani Enterprises for $37 million. Shane Astani tells GlobeSt.com that the transaction was a direct deal between the buyer and the seller.

Astani Enterprises developed the property at 5513 Lindley Ave. on the site of a former apartment complex. The company completed the Villa D’Este last year and brought occupancy to 80% at the time of the sale to BlackRock.

“The upside for the buyer here is in true market rents, and that’s what institutional patient money is looking for,” says Astani, whose company targeted institutional investors as prospective buyers for the property. A number of potential buyers were interested in the property, which is not subject to rent control and was on the market for about 45 to 60 days before the recent closing of the sale to BlackRock.

Astani points out that rents for luxury apartments have remained somewhat below what they would otherwise be because the luxury market is competing against the for-sale housing market. But as interest rates rise and the housing market cools off, owners of luxury apartments should be able to raise rents significantly, Astani observes.

Villa D’Este is a three-story property that features a fitness center, a pool, a sun deck, 10-foot ceilings, in-unit washers and dryers, a landscaped courtyard, controlled building access and gated resident parking. The project, which opened July 2005, fronts Burbank Boulevard and Lindley Avenue near the Ventura (101) Freeway.

The apartment building is positioned over one level of above grade parking, totaling 245 covered tenant and guest parking stalls. The unit mix includes three flat style singles averaging 535 sf; 20 flat style one-bed, one-bath units averaging 845 sf and106 flat style two-bed, two-bath units averaging 1,100 sf.

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