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LOS ANGELES-Kennedy Wilson of Beverly Hills has acquired the 687-unit City Heights apartment complex in Koreatown from Essex Property Trust for $120 million in a joint venture with Wachovia Development Corp. and plans $11 million in renovations. The property, the largest complex in Koreatown, was built in 1968 and occupies 8.2 acres at the northwest corner of Third Street and Westmoreland Avenue, on the eastern edge of the Koreatown district.

The deal was an off-market transaction and Essex had not intended to sell City Heights, according to Eddie Ring, senior managing director of Kennedy Wilson Multifamily. But Ring says that when Kennedy Wilson presented its offer, Essex “felt comfortable” with the deal in large part because of KW’s acquisition of the 286-unit Vista Point apartment complex in Anaheim from Essex last year.

Ring says that Kennedy Wilson’s renovation program will include upgrades to the interiors of all the units as they become vacant, including renovated kitchens, flooring and lighting. The upgrades also will focus heavily on the property’s common areas, including updating landscaping and signage, as well as adding a movie theater, a children’s center and a yoga studio.

The City Heights property offers significant upside via the renovation and repositioning program that the new owners plan, according to Stewart Weston of Marcus & Millichap. Weston negotiated the off-market transaction, representing both parties.

The 687 units at City Heights include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The property, which was 93% occupied at the time of the sale, includes 663 below grade and street level parking spaces.

According to Bob Hart, president and CEO of Kennedy Wilson Multifamily, the complex also appeals to residents for its “unparalleled” amenity package. Residents have access to a 68-person conference room, two heated pools, two spas, three tennis courts, two basketball courts, two fitness centers with heated saunas and showers, an indoor driving range and putting green, a tennis pro shop, a playground, picnic areas and an on-site dry cleaner.

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