Albuquerque, N.M.—The first phase of Silver Gardens, a 119-unit transit-oriented, mixed-income housing community located here, will be the first in the nation to receive funding from the newly formed Enterprise Green Communities Offset Fund, an initiative to counter developments' carbon emissions.

Through the fund, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., raises contributions from organizations, individuals, and events to purchase carbon offsets from developers of green affordable housing projects. The proceeds go to community-based groups that reduce energy use and global warming pollution in low-income homes.

For Silver Gardens, Enterprise is purchasing 330 tons of carbon dioxide that will not be released into the environment. This will allow the development to make additional investments in further reducing its carbon footprint. Romero Rose, the Albuquerque affiliate of Jonathan Rose Cos., and the Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico Inc., is developing the project.

“We can pass 100 percent of the carbon offsets onto projects, such as Silver Gardens, to allow them to realize more energy-efficient measures in their buildings,” said Dana Bourland, senior director of Enterprise's Green Communities. “We purchase that amount of CO2 reduction that is above and beyond what the project could achieve, and we retire those CO2 emission reductions for five years so they cannot be bought and sold.”

Equity Acquires D.C. Portfolio

Equity Residential has paid $250 million for a 1,202-unit portfolio in suburban Washington, D.C., that was previously owned by the former Archstone-Smith real estate investment trust (REIT).

The three properties were sold by Archstone, the successor company to Archstone- Smith, which was acquired and privatized last year by a venture of Tishman Speyer Properties and Lehman Brothers in a deal valued at more than $22 billion.

The properties in the portfolio are: the 478-unit Archstone Governor's Green in Bowie Md.; and the 404-unit Archstone Ellipse and the Archstone Worldgate, both located in Herndon, Va.

The occupancy rates are each in the high 90-percent range, and their effective rents are all at their respective market averages.

The community built in 2001 in Bowie is the newest in the portfolio, and is not likely to see any changes by the Chicago multifamily REIT. The properties in Herndon were built in the 1990s and are expected to undergo renovations in the near future.

Last year, Equity decided to strengthen its presence in what it views as growing markets such as coastal markets and sell assets in areas the firm perceives as weaker, such as Texas.

Archstone has placed three additional properties in the D.C. area on the sales block.

Waterton and CalSTRS Form Fourth JV

Waterton Associates, LLC, a Chicago-based real estate private equity group, and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) have raised $222 million of equity capital for the Waterton Residential Property Fund X. The fund is the fourth joint venture between Waterton and CalSTRS.

The fund targets value-added and opportunistic multifamily investments nationwide, the acquisition of distressed properties, as well as performing and nonperforming multifamily debt. With the equity commitments and maximum allowable debt, the total capitalization of the fund is $635 million.