Bay Area Asset Changes Ownership

New Standard Equities paid $60 million for the 170-unit garden-style community located in Fremont, Calif.

Marbaya (now Casa Serena). Image courtesy of New Standard Equities

Marbaya, a garden-style apartment community in the San Francisco Bay area city of Fremont, Calif. has changed hands for $60 million or $352,941 per unit. The buyer is real estate investment and management company New Standard Equities of Los Angeles. The purchase follows another recent West Coast multifamily acquisition by the company.

In an effort to leverage the cache of its Hacienda-style architecture, the 170-unit community has been rechristened Casa Serena.

Built in 1970 at 36000 Fremont Blvd., Casa Serena features 16 buildings in a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units. Apartments range in size from 470 to 835 square feet and feature high-speed Internet connectivity and, in select homes, in-unit washers and dryers. Common-area amenities include an outdoor grilling station.

Predicted to outperform

The purchase price is a 4.41 percent cap rate on in-place income today. When merged with highly specific value-add enhancements and a low-interest rate loan, New Standard Equities expects Casa Serena to outperform other properties in its portfolio.

New Standard Equities is bullish about its growing East Bay portfolio. The company believes Casa Serena is a property that only requires a refreshed brand and identity, along with community-wide improvements and proven unit interior renovations.

Those enhancements will include new exterior paint and finishes, common-area amenity updates and repairs, installation of new signage and package lockers and updated site landscaping. As for interiors, the company will incorporate washer-dryers in all units, and also upgrade appliances, cabinetry, countertops and flooring in every apartment. The completed renovations will enable Casa Serena to compete for renters with newer projects in the Fremont area.

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