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CAMARILLO, CA-Camarillo Mountain View LLC has acquired the 106-unit Mountain View Apartments for $14 million in a deal that closed at $2 million below the original $16 million asking price, according to brokers involved in the sale. Dean Zander of Hendricks & Partners tells GlobeSt.com that the sale price “reflects a realistic adjustment in response to today’s capital markets.”

Zander and Vince Norris of Hendricks & Partners were the listing agents for the complex, which was sold by Palo Alto, CA-based Essex Portfolio Properties, which had owned the property for more than five years. The Hendricks brokers note that the sale of the complex, which is situated on a five-acre site at 659 Las Posas Rd., represents the first transaction over 100 units in Ventura County in 2009 and the first in the City of Camarillo in the past several years.

Camarillo Mountain View LLC managing member and Camarillo resident Jeff Root describes Mountain View as one of the premier apartment properties in the city, which the new owners view as a solid long-term investment because of its overall quality of life, shopping, retail and restaurant choices and new amenities, like the Camarillo Sports Park Complex. Norris notes that this was the first acquisition in nearly 20 years for Root’s family, which “offered the highest certainty of closing due in part to their close ties with the community of Camarillo and their long-term ownership philosophy.”

The Mountain View complex has been well-maintained by the previous ownership, but the new owner plans to invest in minor cosmetic upgrades to the 30-year-old property, according to Zander and Norris. They note that the property generated numerous offers from private families, regional investors and national operators, many of whom had plans for extensive upgrades and improvements.

Mountain View features units of one and two bedrooms in four floor plans measuring from 625 square feet to 929 square feet. Common area amenities include a pool, fitness center, clubhouse, picnic areas and more. The in-place rents range from $950 to $1,455 per unit.

Zander says that from the buyer’s perspective, Mountain View represented “a unique opportunity to purchase an institutional-sized asset in a market with very low ownership turnover combined with affordable rental rates in an excellent location.” The seller, he says, “was aware of today’s underwriting and fundamentals, and acted accordingly.”

The financing for the sale include a new 10-year, non-recourse loan of $9.75 million at a fixed rate of 6.36% via Freddie Mac’s Capital Markets Execution program that was arranged by Alex J. Katz of the Los Angeles office of Meridian Capital Group. Katz describes the deal as “a rare opportunity for my client to pick up an institutionally owned gem in a market with substantial barriers to further entry.”

Katz says that one of the keys to closing the deal was “working very closely and maintaining constant dialogue” with Zander and Norris. In today’s uncertain environment, he says, everyone involved in a transaction has to work together “to properly manage the expectations of the buyer and seller” to ensure that deals close on time and as expected.

The Mountain View deal is one of the three largest apartment sales to close in Ventura County recently, all of them brokered by Zander. The others were the 142-unit Pavilion Apartments in Thousand Oaks and 253-unit Townhomes of Westlake Village.

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