(Read more on the multifamily market.)

PHOENIX-A local condo converter has claimed the 300-unit La Mirada Apartments, paying $15.48 million to a New York City-based investment group for ownership rights. With the acquisition, Right Place Properties is closing in on its goal to acquire 1,250 units in the metro by year’s end.

Brooks Spilsbury, an associate broker with Red Door Commercial of Phoenix, says the class B complex at 1350 E. Northern Ave. has the right type of design for a conversion plus it is situated in a neighborhood ripe with value-add possibilities. “We think the unit mix is advantageous for our work as condo converters,” Spilsbury tells GlobeSt.com. “It has larger units, with more two-bedroom units than one-bedroom.”

Before the units sell, however, Right Place will invest $27,000 per door into interior and exterior upgrades, according to Natan Jacobs, president of Red Door Commercial. He says Right Place’s general method is make improvements, gradually increase rents and then convert the renters into condo owners. “We put a condo map on La Mirada during escrow, but we won’t actually sell these as condos for two or three years,” he explains. “Right now, we’re maintaining and operating these as apartments.”

Right Place has several properties in escrow to add 600 more units in the coming months. Jacobs says he thinks the 1,250-unit goal will be reached by the end of the year. “The goal for 2008 is to buy another 1,000 units in the Phoenix market and to enter the Houston market,” he adds. “That’s our next stop.”

The 20-year-old, 90%-occupied La Mirada has one-, two- and three-bedroom units measuring 600 sf to 1,100 sf. Monthly rents are $580 to $855. Goldstar Management Group of Phoenix is taking over leasing and management. Bert Kempfert, senior vice president with CB Richard Ellis Co. in Phoenix, represented the seller, TGM Associates LP.

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