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SAN JOSE, CA-The Laramar Group of Chicago has opened a California office and acquired the 948-unit Archstone San Jose apartment complex for approximately $192 million with plans for a repositioning. The sale price represents an initial capitalization rate in the 5% range, Laramar chief executive Keith Harris tells GlobeSt.com.

Laramar acquired Archstone San Jose for its Laramar Multi-Family Value Fund, which launched with $350 million of equity in 2006 and now has in its portfolio 17 properties and $100 million of equity left to invest. The seller was Archstone, which was taken private last year by a JV of Tishman Speyer and Lehman Bros. Archstone owned the property for 12 years.

“Historically we’ve had a lot of ownership in California and it feels like the time we want to re-enter,” Harris says. “We acquire properties that need to be repositioned and we like investment opportunities where there is distress and California like the rest of the county is seeing various forms of distress. We also like to invest in major markets with good population growth, good employment growth and good rental metrics, and California has that as well.”

Located at 355 Kiely Boulevard, the garden-style apartment complex consists of 31 two-and three-story buildings. Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, three tennis courts, five swimming pools, a sauna and sand volleyball courts, as well as a picnic area with barbecue grills and a playground.

Built in phases between 1968 and 1972, Laramar plans to invest an additional $15 million in renovations and upgrades to the complex, Greg Campbell, the head of acquisitions for Laramar’s new West Coast office tells GlobeSt.com. The improvements will include new kitchen appliances, in-unit washers and dryers, lighting packages, and upgraded bathrooms. Laramar will also upgrade the clubhouse, develop a new fitness center and make other cosmetic exterior improvements. As part of the sale, Archstone San Jose will be renamed “The Park Kiely.”

Laramar Group’s West Coast office is located at 8001 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 400, in Irvine, CA. Prior to Laramar, Campbell was with Archstone, where he was responsible for California acquisitions. Over the past four years, Campbell sourced and participated in the acquisition of 9,000 units in 32 apartment communities for $2.4 billion. Prior to Archstone, Campbell was with RREEF/Deutsche Bank Real Estate in southern California, where he worked on a national portfolio of multi-family and commercial properties.

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