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DALLAS-El Paso-based investment group, Cash Investments LP, has shifted its focus from class C to class B, spending $17.5 million for 600 units in two side-by-side complexes in South Dallas. Another $700,000 to $800,000 will go into upgrades.

“We’re definitely getting more confident with the area,” Richard Aguilar, head of Cash Investments, tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re still learning about Dallas, but we’re definitely increasing and trying to buy some better product, more solid Bs.” In the past 2.5 years, Aguilar’s acquired 4,800 units, all class C, in the metroplex, mostly on the Dallas side.

The freshly closed deals are the 290-unit Dunes at Chesterfield at 7501 Chesterfield Dr. and 304-unit Dunes at Cliff Commons at 7550 Cliff Creek Crossing Dr. The complexes, built in 1985, were edging toward 90% occupancy at sale time.

Aguilar says the deal closed with a three-year loan through Needham, MA-based CW Capital LLC, arranged by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP. “We want to fix it, stabilize it and refinance it,” he says of the going-forward strategy that calls for some cosmetic upgrades.

Dunes Residential Services of Overland Park, KS put two of its three Dallas properties on the market in the spring, with Apartment Realty Advisors in Dallas in charge of the sale. ARA’s Brian Murphy says the Dunes duo reeled in a dozen offers, but Aguilar’s past track record shored up the win. “Richard has a reputation for being a closer,” Murphy says, “and doing what he says he’s going to do.” The ARA team included Brian O’Boyle, Jeff Pritchard and Jordan Cortez.

The deal’s upside lies in the market recovery and below-market rents. The Dunes at Chesterfield, sitting on 11.1 acres, are one- and two-bedroom units from 510 sf to 1,056 sf with rents of $475 to $790 per month. The 11.2-acre Cliff Commons’ one- and two-bedroom apartments, designed with 504 sf to 918 sf, lease for $475 to $715 per month.

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