New Opportunity Fund Bags Inland Empire Apartment Property

Indio, Calif.--The newly formed Clear Capital L.L.C. has purchased the Casa Monroe Apartments in Indio, Calif., the first acquisition by the $50 million opportunity fund.

Indio, Calif.–Clear Capital L.L.C. has purchased the Casa Monroe Apartments in Indio, Calif., an Inland Empire town east of Palm Springs. The property is a 226-unit building built in 1986.

Ron Harris and Alex Garcia of investment specialist Marcus & Millichap represented the buyer in transaction, as well as the seller. The parties involved declined to disclose the purchase price, but the deal was the first acquisition by the newly formed Clear Capital, a $50 million opportunity fund.

Industry veterans Daniel Hardy, formerly with AIMCO, and Greg Worchell, formerly with Pinnacle, along with Paul Pellizon, formerly with Shearson American Express Mortgage, formed the fund earlier this year. The fund plans to invest in multifamily assets in the southeast and southwest United States.

More specifically, according to the partners, the Laguna Hills, Calif.-based fund will acquire, reposition and rebrand multifamily assets. That’s what it plans to do with Casa Monroe Apartments, which will receive new management, rebranding, and exterior and interior remodeling. Clear Capital will own and manage the properties, and plans to do so for its other acquisitions.

According to Marcus & Millichap, multifamily deal flow is way up in the Inland Empire. In 2010, sales volume for assets containing 200-plus units jumped by more than threefold compared with the previous year, a sharp turnaround from the recession, when buyers were reluctant to devote large sums toward any single investment. The strong pace of acquisitions, of which Casa Monroe is one, continues this year.

Strong fundamentals are continuing to attract investors to the Inland Empire. Since peaking at 8.4 percent in the third quarter of 2009, apartment vacancies in the market have improved considerably. Marcus & Millichap is predicting that by the end of 2011, vacancies will be 5.4 percent. Also, asking rents and effective rents will rise 2.2 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, in the Inland Empire market by the end of 2011.

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