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GARDEN GROVE, CA-Locally based Empire Homes plans to build 144 townhouses for sale on the site of a 99-unit apartment complex that the company has acquired, according to CB Richard Ellis. Steve Heri, first vice president with the CBRE Private Client Group in Anaheim, tells that Empire plans to raze the existing apartment complex to make way for the townhouses, for which the site is already entitled.

CBRE marketed the property both as an apartment deal and as a development deal, notes Heri, who brokered the sale of the apartment complex along with Peter Gillin and Dominique Kehayias of the Private Client Group and Bill Jager of the Jager Co. Ltd. Heri tells that the property, at 11090 Cynthia Circle, attracted a number of offers from prospective bidders, some of whom sought it as apartment deal and some who wanted it for redevelopment.

Heri calls the deal “a unique opportunity to redevelop a low-density apartment building into for-sale housing.” He points out that the multiple-building complex, built in 1964, occupies a site of nearly eight acres, a lower density than is typical of comparable projects today.

According to Jager, whose company specializes in land acquisitions for home builders, the demand for new entry level housing in this location “is very high, contrary to the current down market.” He points out that the location is close to freeways, shopping and schools.

CBRE and Jager represented both the buyer and the seller, who was an Orange County-based private investor. Terms of the property sale were undisclosed, but market stats show that comparable apartment complexes in the market are selling for approximately $185,000 to $205,000 per unit.

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