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TUCSON-A little more than a year after buying the La Reserve Villas, a Canadian condominium converter has put the 240-unit complex under contract to Seattle-based S-J Management LLC. The $28.65-million off-market deal is slated to close soon.

Vancouver-based 20/20 Properties had acquired La Reserve at 10700 N. La Reserve Dr. and the 320-unit Centrepointe at 3220 W. Ina Rd. in January 2006 with plans to convert them into condominiums. However, a slowing market led to other plans.

“It took a long time to get the public report,” says Robert Chester, senior commercial associate with Realty Executives of Phoenix. Chester, who represents the seller in the off-market deal, says by the time 20/20 received the report, which was necessary to price and sell the units, the condo market in Tucson had ground to a halt. “They just thought it best to sell it as an apartment building,” he adds. As of now, 20/20 has no plans to put Centrepointe on the market.

The seller had begun renovations to the 1980s-era, class B-plus La Reserve, which S-J Management intends to finish. The capital outlay is another $2 million for the 90%-leased asset.

“It’s one of the most gorgeous locations in Tucson, right under the Catalina Hills,” says Rue Bax, partner with ICC Real Estate in Scottsdale, who represented S-J Management. “Once they get the product correlating with the location, it’ll be one of the premier apartment complexes of Tucson.”

Bax tells GlobeSt.com that S-J Management has more Tucson properties under contract. “He’s very bullish on Tucson as he should be,” Bax adds. “The fundamentals are very strong. Tucson is starting to move after years and it’s great to see it moving in the right direction.”

Situated on 12.24 acres, the 20-building La Reserve Villas has a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, measuring from 697 sf to 1,111 sf. The monthly rents start at $669 and go up to $949.

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