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PHOENIX-A Seattle-based investor continues his aggressive buying spree in the Greater Phoenix metro, placing $76.3 million in contracts to add 592 class A units to its ever-growing portfolio. Upon closing, S-J Management LLC will have acquired 1,689 area units for more than $212 million since January.

S-J is planning to buy the 200-unit Alta Mesa Apartments at 1865 N. Higley Rd. in Mesa for $26.3 million; 258-unit Desert Mirage Apartments at 1333 W. Guadalupe Rd. in Gilbert for $34.3 million; and 134-unit Montana Apartments at 7611 S. 36th St. for $15.7 million. The closings are scheduled to take place within 30 to 60 days.

Michael Sauter, CEO of S-J Management, tells GlobeSt.com that he isn’t through opening his wallet in the Phoenix area. “We plan to acquire an additional 1,500 units by year’s end,” he says, adding the strategy calls for a one-to-three year hold depending on market conditions.

The complexes were developed in 2000. Sauter says they will continue to be operated as rental properties although they do have condo potential. All three complexes are close to stable occupancy, ranging from 92% to 95%. The three complexes have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with rents ranging from $825 to $1,273 per month.

In the past, Sauter has noted the booming Phoenix market and the high demand for rentals are what continue to spur his investment in the area. Additionally, equity investors have shown huge interest in both the projects and area. “We find ourselves turning investors away due to the amount of interest,” he says.

David Fogler, senior vice president with Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial LLC in Phoenix is handling the Montana Apartments transaction. Rue Bax, senior investment adviser from Sperry Van Ness’ Phoenix office, is handling the Alta Mesa and Desert Mirage sales.

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