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MESA, AZ-A year and a half after acquiring Augusta Ranch, the Prime Group has abandoned a plan to convert the 238-unit class A complex and sold it to Fairfield Residential LLC for $31.7 million. The San Diego-based buyer plans to keep the asset as a long-term hold.

Tyler Anderson, first vice chairman in Phoenix for CB Richard Ellis Inc., the Chicago-based seller funneled $1.5 million into the six-year-old complex at 9335 E. Baseline Rd. before deciding to retreat on the plan. “There isn’t much of a conversion market in that part of town,” explains Anderson, who teamed with CBRE’s first vice chairman Sean Cunningham and first vice president Jack Hannum to represent the seller.

“Prime’s business plan was for conversion and rental operations didn’t fit in with their business plan,” Anderson tells GlobeSt.com. “So, they decided to sell.” Prime Group acquired Augusta Ranch in late 2005 for $24.85 million from a local developer.

Anderson says the 30-day marketing period attracted six offers, with Fairfield beating the competition with its track record and price. “I think this is more of a core asset for them rather than a value-add asset for them,” Anderson says. “It’s a tremendous property for them.”

Anderson adds Augusta Ranch was 74% occupied at the time of sale, but it’s leasing up well under Fairfield’s rule. The mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with 797 sf to 1,322 sf, rent for $840 to $1,215 per month. The complex is situated on 15.62 acres, three miles from the just-opened, 630,000-sf Superstition Gateway and just south of US Hwy. 60 and Loop 202.

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