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MESA, AZ-Bronco Real Estate Corp., both buying and selling in the marketplace, has spent $31.4 million to acquire the 361-unit La Valencia Apartments from Chicago-based Waterton Associates. The complex was at least 90% leased at sale time.

“The buyer looks for class B deals they can add value to. They usually do quite a bit of renovation on their properties, both exterior and interior,” says Marc Huisken, senior vice president with Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial LLC’s multifamily investment group in Phoenix. Huisken represented the San Rafael, CA-based buyer.

The complex, built in the mid-1980s on 18.35 acres at 3320 E. University Dr., has one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 721 sf to 1,127 sf. The units rent for $651 to $968. Brad Goff from Apartment Realty Advisors’ Phoenix office represented the seller.

Huisken tells GlobeSt.com that Bronco Real Estate, led by Tom Fair, has placed a contract on a multifamily property that is scheduled to close in early 2007. Meanwhile, it’s about to put the 402-unit Willow Creek Apartments at 2020 E. Broadway Rd. in Tempe on the market for an as-yet undetermined ask. Willow Creek was acquired in September 2005 for $20 million at the same time it bought the 428-unit Morgan Park Apartments at 8903 N. 19th Ave. for $16.35 million. Morgan Park was sold about a month ago for $28.8 million.

“It wasn’t the hold period they’d had in mind when they bought Morgan Park and Willow Creek,” Huisken adds. “This is a function of the market. Because the market’s gone up so quickly, they’re able to show a significant profit in that period of time.”

Bronco also has parlayed proceeds into other assets. Funds from the Morgan Park sale were exchanged into the recent $16-million acquisition of the 302-unit Woodland Park Apartments at 10201 N. 33rd Ave. in Phoenix. And if the under-contract deal stays on track, Huisken says Bronco will deploy proceeds from the Willow Creek sale into that transaction.

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