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Playa Vista Apartment Complex Sold

Essex adds to holdings in the Marina del Rey area. It will pay Playa Capital $124.5 million.

March 04, 2004|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

Real estate investment trust Essex Property Trust Inc. has purchased a 705-unit apartment complex in Playa Vista for $124.5 million from the developer of the master-planned community near Marina del Rey.

The Fountain Park Apartments, which opened in 2000 at Lincoln and Jefferson boulevards, was the first development at Playa Vista to be completed by Playa Capital Co. of Los Angeles.

When complete, Playa Vista is expected to be home to 13,000 people and also will include office and retail projects.

Most of the planned 5,848 units will be for-sale housing. About 2,000 people live there now, owners said.

The sale was part of Playa Capital's plan to develop and sell property or to sell land to other developers "who have nationwide reputations," President Steve Soboroff said.

"Essex fits right into that," he added.

The decision by Essex to buy Fountain Park "demonstrates confidence in the prospects for Playa Vista and the demand they see there," said Craig Silvers, a real estate analyst with Bricks & Mortar Capital.

The purchase expands Essex's apartment holdings in the Marina del Rey market, where the REIT owns Marina City Club and Mirabella Apartment Homes.

Shares of Palo Alto-based Essex rose 6 cents to $63.96 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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