TIAA-CREF Acquires Suburban High-Rise

Evanston, Ill.—Pension fund giant TIAA-CREF has acquired The Park Evanston, a 283-unit, 24-story, Class A multifamily high-rise downtown for an undisclosed amount. The seller was Chicago-based The John Buck Co.

Completed in 1997, The Park Evanston offers luxury apartments with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. The building includes approximately 39,000 square feet of street-level retail space. The property’s amenity package includes covered parking, a rooftop swimming pool, a sundeck, a fitness center, a business center, and a community room. The Park Evanston was 97 percent occupied at the time of the sale.


Capmark Finance Originates Delaware Acquisition

Claymont, Del.—Capmark Finance, Inc., originated a $39 million financing package of first-mortgage and mezzanine debt for a Philadelphia real estate firm’s acquisition of Whitney Apartments here. The company, The Galman Group, owns and manages more than 6,000 rental units and condominiums in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The Community Investment Mezzanine Fund, a partnership between RCG Longview and Fannie Mae, funded the mezzanine debt.

The 78.5 percent loan-to-value financing has a seven-year term with interest-only payments for the first five years, followed by a 30-year amortization.

Whitney Apartments, situated on more than 16 acres, consists of 18 threestory, garden-style buildings and three seven-story, mid-rise buildings. The 511-unit property was 90 percent occupied at the time of the acquisition.

Bronx Properties Sell For $24.5M

New York City—Six apartment buildings in the Bronx have sold for a total of $24.5 million. The buyer and the seller were not disclosed.

The offering was originally part of a larger portfolio involving 12 properties located in the Washington Heights neighborhood. The sellers decided to break up the package into several separate offerings. Four of the buildings include retail space.

“There is no question that the Bronx is turning around, given the multitude of new development projects and renovation of existing properties, all offering affordable rents and easy access into Manhattan,” said Marcia Rose Yawitz, senior director for Eastern Consolidated, a real estate investment services firm based in New York City. “With rents soaring in Manhattan, tenants are seeking affordable housing within an easy commute to Manhattan. As the units are vacated, owners have been renovating apartments and requesting and obtaining higher rents.”


Green Park Provides $10 Million Loan

Brownsville, Texas—Green Park Financial provided a $10 million acquisition loan for La Mansion del Paseo here. The seller was not disclosed.

The loan was structured with a seven-year term, and three years of interest-only payments, followed by a 30-year amortization. The loan was underwritten to an 80 percent loan-tovalue with a 1.20x debt-service coverage ratio. The transaction was ratelocked less than two weeks after receipt of the application.

La Mansion del Paseo is a 168-unit, Class B, garden-style apartment complex built in 2001. The development includes 14 two-story buildings on more than 10 acres of land. The property was 97 percent occupied at the time of the transaction.

GE, Trammell Crow Team Up

Austin, Texas—Texas—GE Real Estate, a Stamford, Conn.-based commercial real estate firm, has made a $9.56 million equity investment in partnership with Trammell Crow Residential (TCR) to develop 350 Class A apartment units in the northwest part of town.

The development, the Alexan Ribelin, will consist of 15 three-story buildings on more than 17 acres. The site offers views of the nearby Balcones Canyon Conservation preserve. The apartment complex is part of a masterplanned development that includes office space, retail shops, and a middle school and a high school.

The Alexan Ribelin deal is the third between GE Real Estate and TCR in the last three months. Their other multifamily development projects are Alexan 360 in Atlanta and Alexan Eagle Creek in Houston.

TCR will also be the general contractor for the project, and Riverstone Residential Group will provide leasing and property management services. The first units are scheduled to come online this November.

“[GE’s] joint-venture program has expedited the approval process on our recent deals, and we look forward to growing our strong relationship throughout 2008,” said Ken Vallach, TCR’s executive managing director of the South Central division.


Ohio Firm Acquires More Atlanta Apartments

Sandy Springs, Ga.— Centerville, Ohio-based The Connor Group has acquired The Stratford, a 269-unit apartment complex in this Atlanta suburb for an undisclosed price. The seller was Dallas-based Invesco Real Estate.

The property was built in 1990. Units average 776 square feet. Amenities include a pool, a Jacuzzi, a billiards room, a fitness center, a business center, underground parking, and barbecue grill areas. The property was approximately 90 percent occupied at the time of the sale.

The Stratford marks the 10th multifamily acquisition for The Connor Group in the Atlanta marketplace since 2003.

“The Atlanta market has been a home run market for our investors and associates,” said Larry Connor, founder and managing partner.

Laramar Fund Acquires Charlotte Apartments

Charlotte, N.C.—Laramar Group, a Chicago-based real estate firm, has acquired Waterford Lakes Apartments, a 694-unit lakeside property here.

It is the 13th acquisition the company has made as part of its $350 million Laramar Multi-Family Value Fund, which launched December 2006. The purchase price and the seller of Waterford Lakes Apartments were not disclosed. Laramar had managed the 43- acre property for the previous owner.

About half of the $350 million fund has been spent. It is expected to be fully invested by early 2009. The fund is targeting value-added assets.

Laramar’s latest acquisition is not located far from LYNX, a $400 million light-rail project that connects south Charlotte from Interstate 485 into Charlotte’s central business district. The firm plans to spend about $4 million to renovate the property. An Internet café will be built as part of the upgrade.

Other recent acquisitions include the 356-unit Memorial Club Apartments in Houston and the 308-unit Hampton Court Apartments in Alexandria, Va. The firm plans to spend about $20,000 per unit in renovations at those properties..


Rehab Planned for Oregon Apartments

Beaverton, Ore.—Guardian Management, a Portland, Ore.-based real estate management and investment company, has acquired two apartment complexes here with equity partner GE Commercial Corp.: the 228-unit Wyndham Park and The Westbury, a 260-unit building. The sales prices were not disclosed.

Guardian will invest approximately $950,000 for apartment upgrades at Wyndham Park, formerly Preston’s Crossing. At The Westbury, formerly known as San Remo, Guardian will spend $1.9 million for property improvements.

Renovations at both properties include individual unit and common area upgrades. Guardian plans to fully remodel The Westbury’s clubhouse and refurbish the pool area, the landscaping, and the parking lot.

Kennedy Wilson Buys Fourth Seattle AreaAsset

Kent, Wash.—Kennedy Wilson Multi Family Management Group has brought its total ownership in the greater Seattle market to 1,735 units with its latest deal.

The Beverly Hills, Calif.-based real estate firm has acquired the 300-unit James Street Crossing in Kent, a Seattle suburb, for about $36 million. The seller was Equity Residential. Kennedy Wilson now holds roughly $275 million in four multifamily assets in the market, which it entered in late 2006.

The greater Seattle area witnessed the creation of about 51,000 jobs in 2007. About 34,000 new jobs are forecast to be added this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Marcus & Millichap recently forecast that effective average rents would increase 6 percent in the market this year, to $1,009 per month.

The James Street Crossing was built in 1986 and consists of 22 buildings on 21 acres. Kennedy Wilson plans to spend about $3.8 million to renovate the property.

Golden Boy Breaks Ground on Townhomes

South Gate, Calif.— Golden Boy Partners, the real estate development company formed by professional boxing champ Oscar De La Hoya and John Long, CEO of Highridge Partners, broke ground on a for-sale condo development here.

Tierra del Rey will consist of 107 forsale townhomes on five acres about 12 miles from Los Angeles.