INSIDE THE DEAL: Private Co. Moves Ahead on $70M Acquisition in Southern Calif.

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.—Has the apartment market bottomed? Here is one company that is currently in acquisitions mode for conventional apartments.  The Newport Beach-based Stoneridge Capital Partners purchased the Class A, 498-unit Avila Apartment Homes here from The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company for $70 million. According to Greg Merage,…

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.—Has the apartment market bottomed? Here is one company that is currently in acquisitions mode for conventional apartments.  The Newport Beach-based Stoneridge Capital Partners purchased the Class A, 498-unit Avila Apartment Homes here from The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company for $70 million. According to Greg Merage, CEO of Stoneridge Capital Partners, the company is able to move forward on this transaction because it has patient, internal, capital that invests for the long-term. Also, the company believes in the long-range fundamentals for multifamily in Orange County, especially in south Orange County where demographics are strong. Although employment may be suffering currently, job growth will return to the markets, says Merage. Stoneridge Capital Partners is a real estate investment company that is privately held and funded by the Merage family. The companysays it plans to invest several hundred million dollars of its discretionary capital in attractively-priced assets over the next two to three years.Stoneridge Capital Partners says the transaction marks its intent to actively buy in the Western U.S. “This is a great time for us to move forward. We are well-capitalized with a strong, experienced team that can execute quickly,” Merage added. “We expect this transaction to be the first of many acquisitions we intend to complete as direct buyers of real estate for Stoneridge.” According to Stoneridge Capital Partners, the transaction was completed just 30 days after Merage and the team first toured the property with CB Richard Ellis broker Ray Eldridge and Hendricks & Partners’ broker Joe Leon, who jointly represented the seller. The Class A property is located at 22751 El Prado in Rancho Santa Margarita and features one- and two-bedroom apartment homes with private patios, fitness center, pool, clubhouse, business center among other quality amenities. It is located adjacent to the 241 Toll Road and Antonio Blvd. on and off ramps making it readily accessible to employment centers throughout south Orange County. According to CBRE, this transaction represents one of the largest multifamily properties sold in California over the past year.

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