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TEMPE, AZ-SCI Real Estate Investments LLC has acquired the 400-unit University House at Tempe, paying $44.7 million to add the seven-year-old asset to its student housing portfolio. The complex was an unsold piece of a portfolio that traded in June for $256 million.

The Los Angeles-based SCI ended up with the 20-building University House at 2323 E. Apache Blvd. because of its familiarity with the local market and student housing, Tyler Anderson, vice chairman for CB Richard Ellis in Phoenix, tells GlobeSt.com. “We had sold SCI a similar property recently and knew they had the ability to close,” he says. SCI also owns the 288-unit Gateway at Tempe at 1655 E. University Dr., about two miles northwest of University House.

Anderson teamed with CBRE vice chairman Sean Cunningham and first vice president Jack Hannum plus Ryan Reid, a senior vice president in Dallas, to represent the seller, FirstWorthing Corp. of Dallas, which sold a 6,915-bed portfolio to Campus Apartments Inc. of Philadelphia. Anderson says SCI got the only asset in Tempe from the FirstWorthing portfolio. In the past six months, FirstWorthing also sold three assets in Tucson as part of the massive disposition.

Anderson says University House at Tempe was built by Atlanta-based Trammell Crow Residential, opening it as the Alexan Tempe. FirstWorthing acquired the complex in 2002 for $32.5 million.

Situated on 18.5 acres, University House at Tempe is 98% occupied, with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging 963 sf. The buyer secured $29.4 million in fixed-rate acquisition financing from Charlotte, NC-based Wachovia Bank.

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