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BEVERLY HILLS, CA-StarPoint Properties LLC plans a $100-million acquisition program in the San Diego region for 2008 and has closed on its first deal of the program, a 58-unit apartment complex called the Casa Grande in the Hillcrest area of the city. StarPoint, a multifamily and commercial specialist, plans to renovate and upgrade the complex as part of its business plan.

Paul Daneshrad, CEO and president of StarPoint, says that the $100-million program, which will focus primarily on San Diego and surrounding areas, is possible in part because of changing multifamily market conditions. “Until recently, we were priced out of the San Diego market because of condo conversions,” Daneshrad says.

Now, however, the StarPoint CEO explains, “The market is opening up, allowing us to buy at apartment pricing.” Given the strength of the market’s overall fundamentals, such as its future growth and the limited supply, Daneshrad calls this “a perfect time for us to re-enter the market.”

StarPoint, a multifamily and commercial property specialist that has renovated and upgraded a host of apartment complexes in value-added plays, plans to maintain features such as the original wood flooring and much of the original architectural detailing at the Casa Grande.Built circa 1924, the Casa Grande is at 1571 University Ave. and was originally built as a hotel.

The property was converted to apartments about 50 years ago and today it occupies a prime location, within walking distance of trendy shops and restaurants, Daneshrad points out. “Our goal is to participate in the area’s urban rejuvenation and make this a luxuriously stylish building,” he says.

The complex, which is composed of studio and one-bedroom apartments, also includes two 1,700-sf penthouse apartments with 17-foot ceilings that highlight sweeping views of the area. Current plans include upgrading the interiors of the apartments, as well as enhancing the garden-style common areas and spacious lobby entrance. New features, such as a fitness center and additional storage areas, also are planned.

StarPoint, which bought the Casa Grande for approximately $6.2 million, has been involved in the multifamily and commercial market since 1994. The Beverly Hills-based company, which has bought and sold in excess of a half a billion dollars of real estate, operates a portfolio that is valued in excess of $400 million and totals three million sf.

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