PALO ALTO, CA-Essex Property Trust is the new owner of Mill Creek at Windermere, a two-year-old, 400-unit complex located in the East Bay community of San Ramon, CA. The locally based apartment REIT paid $100.5 million for the three-story, multi-building development.

The seller was United Dominion Realty Trust, which keeps its executives offices in Highlands Ranch, CO, and the rest of its administrative operations in Richmond, VA. UDRT says it acquired the property upon its completion in June 2006 for $90 million. Curtis Gardner of Arroyo & Coates’ Apartment Marketing Group had the disposition assignment.

The property is located within the 2,300-acre Windermere master planned community. Earlier this year, in May, Essex acquired another Windermere property from UDRT, the 250-unit Canyon Oaks property, for $64.3 million. That sale also was brokered by Gardner.

Essex president/CEO Keith Guericke says he anticipates steady rental growth over the next few years as a direct result of increased job growth and limited supply in the San Ramon area. He also says that the $251,250 per-unit sales price for Mill Creek is “well below current replacement costs,” but does not reveal what he estimates that cost to be. He did not return a Friday phone call seeking additional comment.

Mill Creek consists of 20 three-story buildings with 206 separate garages. Community amenities feature media room, fitness center, swimming pool and Jacuzzi as well as a picnic area with barbecue grills. Unit amenities include a full-size washer and dryer in each unit. The average monthly rent per unit is $1,284, according to UDR.

Essex Property Trust has ownership interests in 137 apartment communities (28,208 units), and has 1,108 units in various stages of development. UDR owns approximately 242 apartment communities (71,290 units).

In addition to the sale to Essex, UDRT on Friday announced the sale of eight other apartment communities – two in Denver and two in Atlanta – for $181 million. For that story, click here.

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