Waterton Associates Acquires Arizona’s Andante Apartments

Chicago-based multifamily company Waterton Associates has acquired Andante Apartments, a 576-unit community in the upscale Ahwatukee Foothills area south of Phoenix.

Phoenix—Chicago-based multifamily company Waterton Associates has acquired Andante Apartments, a 576-unit community in the upscale Ahwatukee Foothills area south of Phoenix. It is Waterton’s third acquisition of 2012.

Andante Apartments, constructed between 1999 and 2001 by SNK Realty Group, features one- and two-bedroom, garden-style units scattered across 32 three-story structures. Units feature full-sized washers and dryers, oversized closets, complete appliance package and open patio or balcony. Common areas include three swimming pools, fitness center, business center, meditation garden and sprawling pet park.

Andante Apartments’ location in the South Phoenix submarket makes it convenient to Interstate 10, the Loop 202 Freeways and job centers in downtown Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler and Scottsdale, as well as luxury shopping. Major employers within 10 miles of the community provide more than 18,000 jobs, and include two Intel campuses, Freescale, Honeywell, Avnet, Insight Computers, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Two qualities convinced Waterton Associates to make the acquisition. “First, we liked the fact it was really well built, but was ready for modernization of the units,” Waterton’s senior vice president of acquisitions Mark Stern tells MHN.

“The actual interiors of the units are dated. We can come in and provide a light value-add, and update units with new countertops, new lighting, faux hardwood flooring and some fixtures. For not a lot of money, you essentially have a new unit.” That should let Andante better compete with already rehabbed communities in the area, he adds.

In addition, Waterton Associates thought highly of the neighborhood, particularly due to the fact it has not seen much new building. “The submarket has strong demographics and strong rent projections,” Stern says, adding Waterton believes these facts support the company’s intention to rehab the units and subsequently expect higher rents.

Stern added: “Its superb location relative to top employers, upscale retail and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport all reinforce our decision to purchase the asset.”

Andante Apartments is the youngest multifamily community west of I-10 in the Ahwatukee Foothills, an area recognized by Money magazine as one of the “best places to live.” High-end shopping, close-by colleges and universities and fantastic opportunities for recreation are all elements of an appealing blend that attracts residents from far and wide. Not far away is the 18,000-acre South Mountain Park, serving up expansive mountain panoramas.

Few challenges got in the way of the July 26, 2012 closing, Stern adds. “It was a pretty straightforward acquisition,” he says. “The prior owner maintained the community in pretty good condition.”

Ultimately, Waterton Associates’ ownership of Andante Apartments should mean positives for the residents and broader community, according to Stern. “We will provide a higher-quality, more modern apartment, which will meet the needs of current residents,” he says.