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LOS ANGELES-Essex Property Trust Inc. of Palo Alto has acquired the 168-unit Renaissance Apartments from a locally based investment group for $46.3 million via the Essex Apartment Value Fund II. Industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that Essex acquired the property from a group of Asian investors in a direct deal between buyer and seller.

Essex was one of a number of prospective buyers that were interested in the property, according to sources familiar with the deal. The Renaissance appealed to the Palo Alto-based REIT for a number of reasons, including its location within walking distance of other Essex complexes, according to Keith Guericke, president and CEO of Essex.

The Renaissance was built in 1990 and is situated at 630 Masselin Ave., near the Essex-owned properties, Park Place, Windsor Court, Cochran Terrace and Marbella. The complex consists of one four-story building over three levels of parking and is composed of 29 studio apartments, 48 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units and 91 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units.

Essex has a 28% interest as a general partner and limited partner in Essex Apartment Value Fund II. The REIT is one of eight institutional investors in Fund II, according to its latest quarterly earnings report with the SEC.

The Fund II investors have committed $265.9 million to acquire properties in targeted West Coast markets. The REIT says that the fund will be Essex’s exclusive investment vehicle until Oct. 31 or when Fund II’s committed capital has been invested, whichever occurs first.

Fund II follows the REIT’s Fund I, all of the assets of which were sold during 2004 and 2005. Fund I is in the process of liquidation and will winding down its operations this year.

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