With the region's apartment market thriving, a Los Angeles investment firm has acquired a 14-property portfolio for $482 million in one of the largest multifamily asset purchases in Southern California in two decades.
TruAmerica Multifamily, in partnership with institutional investors including Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America and Allstate, bought the properties with a combined total of 2,669 apartments from JH Real Estate Partners Inc. of Newport Beach.
The apartment communities are mostly 1980s-vintage Class B complexes in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Among them are the 158-unit Canyon Crest complex in Santa Clarita, the 60-unit Bayridge Apartments in San Pedro and the 384-unit Towne Center Apartment Homes in Lakewood.
The properties fit into TruAmerica's business strategy to acquire mid-tier apartment complexes in Western markets and upgrade them into higher quality but still affordable housing for working families, Chief Executive Robert Hart said.
"Class B rents are expected to rise at least 5% across most Southern California market sectors this year," he said. "While we intend to benefit from the expected rise in rental demand, it is TruAmerica and its partners' mission to create affordable, well-amenitized housing for the American workforce."
TruAmerica will spend $40 million on such improvements as enhanced pool areas and new fitness centers and landscaping. Renovated units will get new countertops, appliances, cabinets, flooring and light fixtures.
TruAmerica has been "extremely active" in the multifamily market since its founding in 2013, acquiring some 4,444 apartment units in the West, said real estate broker Jim Fisher of Lee & Associates, who represented JH Real Estate Partners in the recent deal.
Most recently TruAmerica bought the new 464-unit Vermont high-rise apartment complex in the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles for $283 million in partnership with Capri Capital Partners.