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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-One week after shedding the 488-unit San Melia apartments, Teachers Insurance And Annuity Association of America has sold again, this time collecting $53 million for the 276-unit Paragon at Kierland and the 208-unit San Brisas apartments in Chandler, AZ. The 584 units were not on TIAA’s list to sell, however an advisor to the transaction says buyer Sunstone Advisors made an offer that was too good to refuse.

Brad Goff, principal with Apartment Realty Advisors’ Phoenix office says the New York City-based pension fund’s original plans were to hold the assets. However, “they were getting offers higher than what the market was bearing, so I suggested they consider some of those offers,” Goff tells GlobeSt.com.

Though Goff advised TIAA, he was not actively involved in the transaction. Jerry Tenge and Sean Rosenzweig of Colliers International’s Phoenix office represented the Vancouver, BC buyer. The brokers declined a request for interview, citing a confidentiality agreement. Goff adds that TIAA plans to hang on to its other area holdings for the time being.

Goff explains there were several reasons why the offers TIAA received for the two assets were so strong. First was the quality of the complexes; both were built in the late 1990s by Mark Taylor Development in Scottsdale. The 276-unit Paragon at Kierland is at 15440 N. 71st St. in Scottsdale, while the 208-unit San Brisas Apartments is at 900 N. Rural Rd. in Chandler.

The second reason why TIAA received strong offers, Goff continues, is because Phoenix is becoming very popular on the investment side. “There’s a lot less fear in the marketplace now versus three months ago,” he remarks. “It seems as though somebody stood up and said ‘Phoenix is now a safe place for buyers.’ Buyers are back, en masse, and in earnest.”

What isn’t out there right now, however, is a lot of product. As a result, Goff points out that buyers are bidding up prices to get sellers’ attention. “They got TIAA’s attention, all right,” he remarks.

Third and finally, Goff says the market has hit bottom, if “bottom” is defined as collections and concessions. Landlords aren’t dropping rents any more, Goff notes. And concessions are slowing up as well.

All of this has combined to make Phoenix an attractive market for multifamily investors such as Sunstone Advisors. Goff says that while Canadian money is interested in product, the bulk of those interested are local and regional entrepreneurial buyers with private equity. “These are the buyers with funds directed toward distressed markets like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Florida and Southern California, and they’re putting together pools to be active,” he adds.

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