(To read more on the multifamily market, click here.)

INDEPENDENCE, MO-America First Apartment Investors Inc., an Omaha-based REIT, has completed its purchase of Cornerstone Apartments for about $37.5 million or $89,286 per unit. The acquisition of the 420-unit suburban complex marks the Omaha-based REIT’s entry into the Kansas City market.

Jack Cassidy, chief executive officer of America First, says the company prefers to add newer, well-located properties to its portfolio. Built in 2004, Cornerstone Apartments is close to upper-middle-class, single-family homes, class A commercial developments, schools, and churches, as well as the Independence Mall, a large regional center with more than 1.1 million sf. “It’s also an area that has seen a lot of new development and a lot of new job growth,” Cassidy says.

The acquisition was funded through a combination of the proceeds from the November sale of Delta Crossing in Charlotte, NC; the release of cash collateral no longer required on one of the company’s mortgage bonds; and a $25.5-million loan drawn down upon the company’s credit facility with Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital, according to America First. The debt financing is at a fixed rate of 5.44% for a term of 10 years. During the first five years of the loan, America First is required to make only monthly interest payments. In the sixth through 10th years, the company is obligated to make principal payments based upon a 30-year amortization of the note.

In 2006, America First’s net investment in real estate assets increased by more than $120 million, or about 40%, over the previous year, according to company officials. Some of America First’s other 2006 acquisitions are the Arbors of Dublin, a 288-unit complex at 2979 Green Arbor Lane in Dublin, OH; and the Greenhouse, a 126-unit mid-rise at 900 Farnam St. in Downtown Omaha.

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