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Spectrum apartment nets $121 million in all-cash sale

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The 379-unit Domain by Alta luxury apartment complex, in the San Diego Spectrum in Kearny Mesa, has been sold for $121 million or $319,261 per unit.

The buyer of the property at 8795 Lightwave Ave. is Palo Alto-based Essex Property Trust Inc. (NYSE: ESS), a real estate investment trust that invests in upscale apartment properties primarily on the West Coast.

The seller is a limited liability corporation controlled by Atlanta-based Wood Partners, which completed the property last year, and a fund sponsored by CBRE (NYSE: CBG) Global Investors.

The all-cash transaction was handled by Ronald Harris, Stewart I. Weston, Christopher Zorbas and David Sperling of Institutional Property Advisors, a Marcus & Millichap company.

The property, which opened in 2012 and has an approximately 20 percent vacancy, consists of 23 studios, 197 one-bedroom and 159 two-bedroom units, as well as 35 units that meet an affordability requirement.

The property offers 13 floor plans that range from 598 square feet to 1,309 square feet.

The complex consists of two four-story rental apartment buildings and a community clubhouse built over underground parking, with room for 750 vehicles.

The 379-unit Domain by Alta luxury apartment complex in Kearny Mesa has been sold for $121 million. Courtesy photo

The clubhouse features a glass wall, a second-story 1,200-square-foot outdoor deck, a fitness center and wireless Internet access.

Other amenities include a pool with cabanas, a spa and barbeque pits.

Once fully leased, the property is projected to generate approximately $12.7 million in annual tax revenues, generate 440 jobs and pump nearly $33 million into the San Diego economy each year, based on a formula developed by the National Association of Home Builders.

“There are very few luxury, institutional quality apartment buildings available for purchase in San Diego County and this was a rare opportunity to acquire one,” said Brian Hansen, the Wood Partners’ director who oversees the company’s development projects in Southern California.

However, one trophy transaction was the recent sale of the 221-unit Piazza d'Oro luxury apartment in Oceanside for $81 million, for a north San Diego County record of $366,515 per unit, according to one of the brokers.

Wood Partners -- Domain is its first local property -- has been involved in the development of more than 36,000 residential units with a combined value of more than $4.5 billion nationwide.

Essex Property has interests in 152 properties, plus nine properties in some stage of construction.

Two local acquisitions here included the 282-unit Mission Hills Apartments in Oceanside for $50.5 million in 2005, and The 500-unit Marbrisas I & II Apartment complex in Chula Vista, acquired for $62 million in 2001.

Other holdings here include the CentrePointe Apartments in Linda Vista and the Mesa Village Apartments in Clairemont Mesa, along with a number of other properties.

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