(Read more on the multifamily market.)

EL PASO-A West Coast buyer and its East Coast equity partner have completed the second leg of a two-part closing to acquire a 1,418-unit portfolio from partnerships controlled by Hunt Building Co. Ltd. The 20-asset portfolio has changed hands for $96 million, including tax-exempt bond financing.

The buyers are Reliant Group of San Francisco and Centerline Capital Group of New York City. Peter Nichol, senior vice president with Centerline’s Affordable Housing Group, tells GlobeSt.com that the closing was completed in two parts due to tax bond issuances in New Mexico and Texas. The first transaction involved seven complexes in New Mexico and the latest one added 13 properties in Texas.

To fund the entire purchase, Centerline provided $25.3 million in tax credit equity and $46.9 million in tax-exempt bond financing. An additional $24 million came from other sources.

Nichol says the complexes’ interiors and exteriors will be upgraded, with system replacements if necessary. Upgrades will be completed by early 2009. Capstone Real Estate Services Inc. of Austin will manage the portfolio.

“Reliant is involved with these apartments for a minimum of 15 years and potentially longer,” Nichol says. “The group’s long-term commitment gave us the confidence as investors to be comfortable with this project.” He adds that the project’s unique quality was that none of the 20 complexes could have stood alone as a tax credit bond transaction because of their sizes. “By doing this as a portfolio, we were able to create efficiencies of scale and extend affordable housing to underserved communities,” he points out.

The properties average 25 years. The portfolio is 98% occupied. Units range from one bedroom to four bedrooms, with the average hitting 917 sf. The average rent is $568 per month.

The initial transaction, all New Mexico, consisted of the 64-unit Westwood Village Apartments at 901 68th St. NW and 80-unit Montgomery Manor at 4301 Morris St. NE, both in Albuquerque; 60-unit Gatewood Village at 1309 W. 15th St. in Clovis; 56-unit Northgate Village at 2500 W. Apache St. in Farmington; 50-unit Sagebrush Apartments at 650 Dani Dr. in Gallup; 50-unit Highland Park Apartments at 2013 S. Triviz Dr. in Las Cruces; and 50-unit Lintero Apartments at 2711 N. Leslie Rd. in Silver City.

The second closing had its largest concentration in El Paso–the 104-unit El Nido Apartments at 208 Alicia Dr., 88-unit Jose Antonio Escajeda at 710 S. Park Dr. and 106-unit Sierra Vista Apartments at 10501 Montwood Dr.

In Amarillo, the joint venture acquired the 50-unit Spring Terrace Apartments at 2600 S. Spring St. and 50-unit Win-Lin Village Apartments at 5700 Wabash St. Lubbock also had two properties–the 62-unit Garden Apartments at 1340 65th St. and 50-unit High Plains Apartments at 1607 Iola Ave.

The balance of the Texas portfolio spanned six cities. The properties are the 65-unit Los Ebaros Apartments at 2133 Barnard Rd. in Brownsville; 50-unit Cove Village Apartments at 1102 Golf Course Rd. in Copperas Cove; 148-unit Peppertree Apartments at 6555 Sheridan Circle in Fort Worth; 80-unit Chaparral at 1411 S. Grant Ave. in Odessa; 50-unit River Park Village East Apartments at 1309 Central Texas Expressway in Lampasas; and 105-unit Salem Village Apartments at 5201 John Stockbauer Dr. in Victoria.

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