New Luxury Community Opens in Downers Grove

Downers Grove, Ill.—The Residences at the Grove, a 294-unit luxury rental community recently opened.

This is the Chicago suburb's first new apartment community in at least five years, and the submarket's vacancy rate was 5.3 percent in the third quarter of 2008, according to market research firm Reis, Inc.

The community includes three mid-rise buildings consisting of studios and one- and two-bedroom units, with monthly rents ranging from $830 to $1,792, as well as twobedroom, two-bathroom row homes, with rents starting at $2,417.

The units include high-end finishes like granite countertops in the kitchen and cultured marble countertops and ceramic flooring in the bathrooms, as well as stainless steel appliances, and 9- to 10-foot ceilings. Each unit also includes a washer and dryer and a built-in computer niche with storage cabinets and pre-wired outlets for Internet access.

Amenities include a 4,902-squarefoot clubhouse with a business center, a conference area, a cyber-café, a fitness center, and a lounge area, as well as an outdoor swimming pool. Wi-Fi is available in all common areas.

Workforce Housing Planned in Minneapolis

Minneapolis—A 236-unit apartment and townhouse complex, part of a larger mixed-use project, is being planned for a site bordering Hennepin and Currie avenues and 10th and 11th streets here.

The 24-story apartment building and two-story townhouse complex, dubbed Workforce Housing, is being developed by Alatus Partners. Lund Food Holdings plans to build a 30,000-square-foot supermarket on the ground level of the project.

Alatus is reportedly considering additional office space and a hotel for the site, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The residential component, designed by Humphreys & Partners, is expected to feature one- and two-story units averaging 844 square feet.


Property Sales Tank

New York City—The credit crisis has choked off apartment sales throughout the Northeast. Investors bought just nine properties totaling 579 apartments throughout the region in November 2008, according to a report by Real Capital Analytics.

That's less than one-sixth of the number of apartments sold to investors in September 2008, when Real Capital counted 65 property sales totaling more than 3,330 apartments.

October chaos in the capital markets held up many deals that would normally have closed in November. At press time, it remained to be seen if more deals would close by year's end.

Five of the nine sales closed in November were in New York City, ranging from a 16-unit building sold for $1.5 million in Long Island City to a 42-unit mid-rise sold for $7.6 million in Harlem. The Harlem property was 95 percent occupied and sold at a quoted capitalization rate of 6 percent.

Rehab Financed

Foxborough, Mass.—Developers received $10 million in financing to buy and fix up the 55-unit Chestnut Green Apartments.

The building is part of the historic mixed-use redevelopment of the former Foxborough State Hospital campus, which will include residential, office, recreation, and retail uses.

Upon completion in 2009, 14 of the one- and two-bedroom units will be designated as affordable. The remaining 41 will rent at market rates.

Abrams Properties and VinCo Properties received the financing through Wells Fargo Middle Market Real Estate. The financing was arranged with the help of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., and structured as a $7.62 million construction loan and a $2.4 million historic tax credit bridge loan to fund acquisition and development costs.


Allied Realty Opens 27th Luxury Development

Katy, Texas—Allied Realty Services, Ltd., has opened its 27th luxury apartment development in a masterplanned community west of Houston.

The Retreat at Cinco Ranch, owned by a joint venture between Allied and General Electric, features 268 units, with an average unit size of 942 square feet. The development is 35 percent occupied, with an average rent of $1,064 a month.

Phoenix Investor Buys Plaza Gardens Townhomes

Overland Park, Kan.—Plaza Gardens Townhomes, a 200-unit multifamily community here, has been sold to an unnamed Phoenix-based investor. Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services represented the buyer and the seller, a local developer.

“There is tremendous upside in this apartment community through utility bill back, management streamlining, and continued capital infusions, and the rents are significantly below market,” says Christopher Helvey, an associate in Marcus & Millichap's Kansas City office.

The community consists of 32 three-story buildings on 20 acres and threebedroom units. The units include washers and dryers, attached garages, and private patios. The development also features a pool, a hot tub, a fitness center, a tanning salon, multiple playgrounds, and a business center.


Alliance Expands Its Colorado Presence

Aurora, Colo.—Alliance Residential Co. announced plans to build a 400-unit luxury mixed-use community here.

Broadstone Corner will feature one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, ranging from 700 to 1,500 square feet. The units will include center island kitchens with pendant lighting, fullsize washers and dryers, hardwood floors, faux granite countertops, and GE Satina appliances.

The community will have 20 individual buildings and a clubhouse. The development also will feature a resort-style pool and a children's splash area with spray features.

The Phoenix-based developer reported that groundbreaking has taken place, and occupancy is expected to begin this summer.

Residents will have 750,000 square feet of retail space nearby, including Target and 24 Hour Fitness.

Alliance has opened several new properties in the Denver area within the last year.

Mixed-Use Project Gets Under Way

Monrovia, Calif.—Construction has begun on The Courtyards at Old Town in this city's Old Town District. Designed by KTGY Group, Inc., the project will redevelop a three-acre former office industrial property with 163 apartments located above 6,000 square feet of commercial office and retail space. Urban Housing Group purchased the property from Barratt American in 2008. Completion is expected in 2010.