Giant Chino Hills apartment complex sold; new owner eyes families

Developer Decron plans to spend millions of dollars to improve a Chino Hills apartment community.

A sprawling luxury apartment complex in Chino Hills is in for major improvements after being sold for more than $82 million to one of the region’s biggest landlords.

Decron Properties Corp. of Los Angeles bought Village Crossing, a 440-unit garden-style apartment community near the intersection of Chino Hills Parkway and the 71 Freeway. The seller was Invesco Real Estate.

Decron plans to invest an additional $9.2 million -- or $21,000 per unit -- on renovations to the complex built in 1986. The upgrades are intended to make Village Crossing more appealing to young renters with children.

“Young families are being priced out of the major, urban metropolitan centers, and they are not looking for nor can they afford to buy a home,” Decron Chief Executive David J. Nagel said. “They want a quality rental that gives them certain levels of security and comfort, and ultimately luxury at a price point they can afford.”

Improvements will include renovated kitchens with granite countertops, wood-like vinyl-plank flooring, modern lighting, stainless-steel appliances, new hardware and fixtures, and in-unit washers and dryers. The community’s three swimming pool areas will be remodeled to include fire pits, updated outdoor lounge furniture and barbecues.

Decron said it will also create a two-story clubhouse with a fitness center, lounge and game room.

After renovations are completed, average rents at Village Crossing will range from $1,350 to $1,750 a month, Decron said.

Village Crossing is Decron’s third investment over the last two year in 1980s-era apartment buildings that were candidates for improvement.

Decron acquired a 397-unit apartment project in Simi Valley for $70 million in 2012 and a similar 370-unit project in Moorpark for $84.4 million in 2013.

The company’s strategy is to acquire real estate in well-regarded suburban areas with strong school districts that are near major employment centers.

“Everyone is talking about the millennials and the changes they’re making to the urban, downtown areas,” Nagel said. “But there are plenty of young families that also need quality housing and good schools, and can’t afford or don’t want to be downtown.

“We’re seeing this in markets all over the West Coast -- from San Diego to San Francisco to Seattle,” he said. “This is an underserved demographic, and we’re catering to them.”

Decron is the real estate investment and development arm of the Nagel Family Trust. It has more than $1.5 billion worth of shopping centers, office buildings and apartment buildings.

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