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PETALUMA, CA-Lakeville Resort at Petaluma, a 492-unit apartment complex here, is changing hands for $52 million, according to the brokerage firm in the deal, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. The new owner is Abacus Capital Group, a NYC-based firm that invests on behalf of institutions, according to acquisition lender Holliday Fenoglio Fowler. The seller was Equity Residential, an apartment REIT. The purchase price translates to $105,691 per unit and $112.60 per rentable square foot, according to M&M.

The 461,798-square-foot Lakeville Resort was built in 1984 on 32 acres at 1 Lakeview Circle, near US Highway 101 and State Route 116. Occupancy at the time of sale was approximately 95%. The name has been changed to Enclave at Adobe Creek.

Equity Residential’s initial investment in the resort was $27 million in 1996, according to SEC filings. Its total investment as of the start of 2009 was $32 million, not accounting for $13 million in accumulated depreciation.

M&M’s Phil Saglimbeni brokered the deal with partners Sal Saglimbeni and Stanford Jones. HFF said it provided a seven-year, fixed-rate financing for 75% of the cost, which would be $39 million, but declined to provide the interest rate.

“Pricing has been redefined over the past nine months to levels that are significantly below their peaks,” Jones says in a prepared statement. “Supported by compelling agency financing, the result is a rare opportunity to acquire assets in supply constrained markets with positive leverage.”

Phil Saglimbeni tells GlobeSt.com that Lakeville Resort is one of only 13 major apartment deals to close this year in the Bay Area, which compares to 26 trades in 2008 and 52 in 2007.

“Investors remain interested in well-located apartment assets in markets supported by strong fundamentals,” he says. “Institutional sales activity increased in the second and third quarters of 2009, a trend we expect to continue moving into 2010.”

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