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PHOENIX-Less than four years after buying Citi on Camelback for a condo conversion opportunity, Sunvest Development LLC unloaded the remaining units for $12.4 million. The Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Sunvest turned over the keys of 178 units to Orion Camelback LLC.

Sunvest acquired Citi on Camelback, then known as Reflections on Camelback, in late 2005 for $59 million. Following its conversion of the 2002-build asset at 909 E. Camelback Rd., Sunvest successfully sold 182 units of the 360-unit total to individual investors.

But in early 2008, the economic winds began to change. “Sunvest knew the market was turning, and it made sense to sell the entire block, versus selling one-offs that could take a couple of years,” says Rue Bax, with Integrated Commercial Capital Real Estate LLC in Scottsdale, AZ, who brokered the transaction. “They’re great at what they do, they’re great condo converters, and they got out of the market pretty well. But this one was one of those that just didn’t sell as quickly.”

Bax says Citi on Camelback is a gorgeous asset in a great location on the Camelback Corridor and not far from the recently opened light rail. Though the units attracted a lot of attention and interest while being discreetly shopped about, “the biggest hurdle, no surprise here, was the financing,” remarks Bax, who partnered with ICC’s Doug Lazovick on closing the deal.

The 25-building property is situated on 11 acres. The stock sold consisted of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The sizes ranged from 747 square feet for the studio units to 1,460 square feet for the three-bedroom properties. Monthly rents were from $945 to $1,720.

Sunvest has only the 360-unit Red Rox Villas at 5401 E. Van Buren St. in Phoenix remaining in its local portfolio. Bax tells GlobeSt.com the company remains active in Las Vegas and Florida, but is taking a step back from Phoenix for the time being.

Orion, in the meantime, had the financing to push the deal through with help from AmTrust Bank. “Orion was looking for the partial condo opportunity because they felt the price points would be stronger than if the sale had been concluded singly,” Bax says.

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