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(Read more on the debt and equity markets and the multifamily market .)

LAKE FOREST, CA-Advanced Real Estate Services Inc., a specialist in multifamily ownership and development, plans to use proceeds of its latest refinancing to acquire more properties, according to Richard Julian, president of Advanced. The company lined up $13.2 million in new financing via NorthMarq Capital Inc. for the 104 unit Porto Bella apartments in Norwalk.

According to Julian and SVP Michael Elmore of NorthMarq’s Los Angeles office, the refinancing generated nearly $6.5 million in tax-free proceeds that Advanced intends to invest in additional apartment properties. Julian says that the proceeds from the refinancing were a direct result of efforts by Advanced, which renovated the property to add value.

Advanced bought the property in 2003 for approximately $8.5 million. The upgrades it has completed since then include improvements to the unit interiors, among them granite countertops, air-conditioning, new appliances and crown moldings. Advanced completed the renovations through its R³ Construction Services division.

Julian points out that, including this latest loan, Advanced has completed more than $125 million in refinancing over the last six months, generating more than $60 million in proceeds for future acquisitions.The Lake Forest-based company owns more than 5,000 apartment units in Southern California and hopes to increase that number to 7,000 units over the next two years, Julian says.

Advanced, which is among the 10 largest apartment owners in Orange County, renovates properties with its own in-house operation to fine-tune efficiencies and to build upside in the properties. Advanced officials note that their strategy in doing so is designed to create apartment units that not only compete with but exceed the appeal of new apartment construction.

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