Another Colorado Springs apartment complex gets new owners

By Rich Laden Published: December 5, 2013 | 5:50 pm 0

An investment group led by Colorado Springs real estate firm Griffis/Blessing Inc. has paid $30.3 million for the 240-unit Ridgepointe at Gleneagle Apartments.

The sale of Ridgepointe, northeast of Interstate 25 and North Gate Boulevard in unincorporated Gleneagle, is the latest in a flurry of recent apartment deals in the Pikes Peak region - a sign that investors are bullish on the Springs and its multi-family market, real estate officials say.

Griffis/Blessing, the city's largest locally based apartment manager, with 4,000 to 5,000 units, liked the property's location on the fast-growing north side, company officials say. The complex is near the new Bass Pro Shops and Copper at Ridge at Northgate retail complex and has good visibility, they say.

Built in 2001, the complex's amenities include a clubhouse, swimming pool, spa, fitness center, playground, business center and theater.

The company plans to paint building exteriors, install new roofs, add fire pits and cabanas around the pool, enhance the clubhouse and upgrade kitchen and bathroom fixtures in some apartments, said Gary Winegar, Griffis/Blessing's chief investment officer.

The purchase comes at a time when supply is short and demand high for apartments, which drives up rents. Area rents averaged a record-high of $840 a month during the third quarter, while roughly 95 percent of local apartments are occupied, based on a Colorado Division of Housing report.

Lifestyle choices are driving demand, Winegar said. Many people, especially younger people, want to be don't want to be tied down with a house and mortgage.

"We're seeing more and more people who are renters by choice," Winegar said.

Investors, meanwhile, see opportunities in the multi-family market, he said. Borrowing costs are low and investors stand a chance for a quicker and greater return on their investment over mutual funds and other traditional investment vehicles, Winegar said.

Colorado apartment communities typically carry lower price tags than those on the East and West Coasts, which also adds to the interest in Springs properties, he said.

"There's a lot of wind at our back," Winegar said of the local market.

As an operating company, Griffis/Blessing pulls together investors to purchase properties, which are owned by limited liability companies, Winegar said. Griffis/Blessing itself doesn't own any properties, although its partners join with investors on the purchases, he said.

The seller of the Ridgepointe property was a Denver-based limited liability company.

The announcement of the purchase comes a few days after a California company paid $54 million for the 332-unit Alexan at Briargate complex on the Springs' far northeast side.

Two other deals also were completed recently:

- Fowler Property Acquisitions Multifamily, a San Francisco-based real estate investment firm, paid $9.1 million for the 216-unit Central Ridge Apartments, 4255 Airport Road. Kevin McKenna and Ken Greene of the Denver office of Atlanta-based headquartered ARA Real Estate Investment Services, represented the property's seller, Resource Real Estate of Philadelphia.

- Lincoln Springs Apartments LP, a limited partnership based in suburban Chicago, paid $7.1 million for the 180-unit Lincoln Springs Apartments at 1102 S. Chelton Road. Steve Rahe and Tom Wanberg, senior vice presidents in the Denver office of real estate firm Transwestern, represented the property's seller, Arapahoe Partners/Rubyhill Ltd., in the deal.

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Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

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