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PHOENIX-The 20-building, 266-unit Rancho Viejo Apartments complex at 8530 N. 22nd Ave. and Butler Drive is under new ownership today. WLA Investments Inc. of Newport Beach, CA paid New York City-based DRA Advisors LLC $17.5 million or $65,789 per unit and $84.47 per sf for the 207,156-sf, 21-year-old property.

The 10-acre asset in the metro Central submarket has 80 one-bedroom, one-bath units averaging 602 sf; 72 one-bedroom, one-bath units averaging 707 sf; 58 two-bedroom, two-bath homes averaging 902 sf; and 56 two-bedroom, two-bath apartments averaging 996 sf. Amenities include two pools, spa, fitness center, business center and barbecue areas.

Diane and Darcy Miramontes of Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial San Diego negotiated for the buyer. Steven Goldstein of Amercon Realty Services Inc. represented the seller. Elizabeth DeProfio of Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. provided title and escrow services.

Diane Miramontes tells GlobeSt.com the property was on the market about three weeks, but the acquisition transaction took 90 days to complete, from letter of intent to closing. The deal was done at this time because the buyer was looking to increase its inventory in the greater Phoenix market, says Darcy Miramontes. “They have about 400 to 500 units in the Metro Phoenix area right now,” she says.

The seller had owned the property about eight years. There were no environmental or governmental challenges to overcome by either buyer or seller before closing the deal, Darcy Miramontes says. She calls the Phoenix multifamily market “heated” with “several thousand” new units scheduled to surface in 2007 and 2008. “Any new developments will be on the outskirts of the city,” Miramontes says.

Darcy Miramontes tells GlobeSt.com the condo conversion market in metro Phoenix “has just about dried up” as it has in several other major metropolitan areas of the country.

The average asking rents at Rancho Viejo are $640 for one-bedroom units to $810 for two-bedroom apartments. The occupancy is about 90%.

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