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PHOENIX-A Colorado buyer has beat out nearly a dozen offers with a $34-million offer for the 380-unit Alegria Apartments. The new owner plans to invest another $2.7 million into upgrading the class B asset.

According to David Corson, director of acquisitions for Greenwood, CO-based Baron Properties LLC, the 1980s-built Alegria offered upside through its location at 15202 N. 40th and the ability to raise rents upon renovation completion. “We liked the location as it sits in northeast Phoenix,” Corson says. “In that quadrant, it’s near Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, which are high-end home markets.” As a result, Baron moved quickly when Hamilton Zanze & Co. of San Francisco put the 92%-leased asset on the market.

Cindy Cooke, senior vice president in Phoenix for Colliers International Inc., says the buyer’s aggressiveness, quick due diligence and understanding of the property gave it an advantage over other bidders. She adds that Hamilton Zanze, which acquired the asset in 2005 for $23.8 million, reached its goal for Alegria ahead of schedule by stabilizing it, renovating it and raising the rents. “Baron will take it to the next level,” she adds.

Baron marked its third acquisition this year in the metro. Earlier this year, Baron acquired the 131-unit Lexington on Central at 10 W. Minnezona Ave. for $19.2 million and 123-unit Barrington Regent at 825 W. Osborn Rd. for $13.1 million. Both complexes are in the Midtown submarket, about two miles apart from one another.

Corson says more acquisitions are in the works for 2008. “We’ll typically buy ’80s products or newer that need $3,000 to $7,000 per unit for rehab work,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “Specifically, we’re focusing on infill locations in Phoenix.”

Baron will self-manage Alegria Apartments, a 19-building complex on 13.11 acres. The asset contains studios and one- and two-bedroom units, averaging 733 sf. Rents range from $667 to $900 per unit.

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