Sunday, June 5, 2011

Phoenix apartment complex sold for $76 million

One of the most active buyers of apartment communities in the Phoenix area has completed its largest acquisition to date in Arizona and one of the largest commercial real-estate deals in recent years.

Weidner Apartment Homes, based in Kirkland, Wash., closed this week on its purchase of the 724-unit Trillium Pinnacle Peak apartments, 24250 N. 23rd Ave., for $76 million, according to a commercial broker involved in the deal.

Phoenix-based commercial real-estate firm Hendricks & Partners represented the seller, Tempe-based Trillium Residential LLC.

Mark Forrester, a partner at Hendricks, said negotiations on the deal began in October and that the deal took longer than usual to complete because Trillium Pinnacle Peaks, northwest of 23rd Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road, is located on state-trust land.

The state land trust was established when Arizona achieved statehood, and its purpose is to generate revenue for state schools.

Rather than purchasing the land for its project, Trillium had entered into a long-term commercial lease with the trust, Forrester said.

The buyer had to be approved by the Arizona Land Department to assume the lease before the purchase could be completed.

The Trillium apartment community is relatively new. It was begun in 2008, and the last phase of construction was completed in June 2010.

Brian Snider, chief operating officer at Trillium, said the decision to sell was based on the strength of the multifamily-housing market and the fact that the community is 95 percent leased.

Snider said Trillium Residential's business model was that of a merchant builder, who develops a property, manages it long enough to maximize its value and then seeks a qualified buyer.

"It was the right time to sell," he said.

The Trillium project is Weidner's 14th Arizona apartment-community acquisition in about 18 months.

In May, Weidner paid a combined $68 million for four multifamily properties in the Phoenix area, according to commercial brokers involved in the deals.

Those purchases were Indigo at the Park, 7725 W. McDowell Road; Barossa at the Park, 7777 W. McDowell Road; Arete, 2506 W. Dunlap Ave., and Biltmore Club, 4640 N. 24th St.

The May deals added about 1,160 additional units to the company's Arizona portfolio, which now totals nearly 5,000 units.

In early February, Weidner purchased the Peaks at Papago Park, 815 N. 52nd St., for $46 million in one of the largest multifamily-housing transactions of the year, second only to the Trillium deal.

Weidner has been purchasing apartment properties in Phoenix and Tucson since early 2010, with plans to acquire 6,500 units in Arizona, according to Kevin Colard, the company's senior acquisitions manager.

by J. Craig Anderson The Arizona Republic Jun. 4, 2011 12:00 AM

Phoenix apartment complex sold for $76 million

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