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Daily Transcript announces 2006 Editor's Award

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The Daily Transcript has selected the county's largest apartment transaction for the 2006 Editor's Award. The sale was featured in the Daily Transcript's Deal of the Week on Aug. 15, 2006.

The sale of the 668-unit Villa Dorado at Mission Valley apartments for $182.5 million to The Irvine Co. lends credence to San Diego's position as one of the nation's top apartment markets.

Kevin Mulhern, Dixie Hall, Rachel Hemingway and Dick Schneider of CB Richard Ellis represented the seller. The Irvine Co. represented itself.

The property includes two spas, two resort-size swimming pools, a fitness and business center, a residents' lounge, a sand volleyball court and a movie theater.

The luxury units range from 610 square feet to 1,356 square feet in one- to three-bedroom configurations. The rents ranged from about $1,200 to $2,300 per month at the time of the sale. Irvine Co. spokeswoman Jennifer Hieger said, "Mission Valley is a particularly attractive market. There are 750,000 jobs within a 10-mile radius. ... It is close to Qualcomm (Stadium), the trolley and it has a large number of dining and shopping opportunities," adding that her firm looks for high-quality properties before anything else. "When we buy something, we not only buy it for the long term, as you know, we reinvest in it."

A covenant recorded with that transaction prohibits the property from being converted to condominiums or any other form of common interest development units until May 10, 2010.

Villa Dorado, which was once known as Jefferson at Mission Valley, was originally developed by JPI of Irving, Texas, in the late 1990s.

The first phase of 216 units opened in the fourth quarter of 1998, and the balance of the project was completed by the fall of 1999.

In 2000, Villa Dorado was sold for $103.75 million.

According to the company's Web site, The Irvine Co., through its affiliate Irvine Apartment Communities, operates more than 80 apartment communities.

In San Diego those properties include: the 668-unit Villa Dorado in Mission Valley; the 923-unit Villas of Renaissance east of Westfield Shoppingtown University Towne Centre; the 336 Arcadia at StoneCrest Village in Murphy Canyon; the 430-unit Torrey Ridge in Sorrento Hills; the 400-plus unit Torrey Villas in Torrey Ridge; and the La Jolla Palms apartments west of Westfield Shoppingtown University Towne Centre.

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