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MESA, AZ-An investor from Southfield, MI has decided to try his luck in the condo conversion market, taking down the 96-unit Monteil Apartments for nearly $9.2 million. The Mark Taylor-designed complex was 93% leased at closing time.

Bret Zinn, vice president for Apartment Realty Advisors in Phoenix, tells GlobeSt.com that the buyer, David Cohen of 21 Century Holdings, plans to invest an additional $15,000 to $20,000 per unit to convert the one- and two-bedroom units into condominiums at 1101 S. Sycamore St. Zinn says the plan is to debut the units for less than $200,000, beginning in February 2007.

Zinn says the class A complex, built in 1987 as a rental, was offered from the onset as a condo conversion. “This is the first property that Mark Taylor built,” he says. “It still looks good today.”

Jeff Thomas of Phoenix’s Thomas Properties had acquired the complex in 1999 for $5.07 million. According to Zinn, there were no significant capital investments made during the hold.

Zinn says Cohen is looking for similar conversion opportunities, but has nothing else under contract in the market. Monteil Apartments, situated on three acres, has floor plans from 733 sf to 1,033 sf. The in-place rents are $645 to $745 per month.

Cohen secured a conversion loan from a Michigan bank. “He was fortunate in that regard because a lot of local lenders aren’t doing conversion loans these days,” Zinn says. “He had a strong relationship with the bank up there, though, so he was lucky to get the conversion financing.” Besides Zinn, the ARA team included Brad Goff, Stephanie Blackwell and Karyn McClintock.

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