TruAmerica Multifamily and Berkshire Group Acquire a 254-Unit Class a Phoenix Apartment Community For $35.4 Million

Los Angeles and Boston | Thursday, July 17, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA, and BOSTON, MA – July 17, 2014 –TruAmerica Multifamily and an affiliate of Berkshire Group today announced the acquisition of Avenue 25 Apartments in Phoenix in a joint venture for $35.4 million. TruAmerica Multifamily is the investment firm formed by industry veteran Robert E. Hart and The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Berkshire Group is a real estate investment management company recognized for its vertically-integrated business platform and experience in the multifamily sector. The off market transaction was completed with pre-stabilization debt financing provided by Capital One Commercial Bank.

Avenue 25 is TruAmerica’s first Arizona purchase and the investment firm’s twelfth acquisition in its inaugural year, which includes new acquisitions valued at over $612 million across Arizona, California, Colorado and Washington. Avenue 25 is Berkshire’s second Arizona acquisition and marks the evolution of its presence in the Phoenix market.

“As TruAmerica Multifamily celebrates its first anniversary this month, we are excited to add a number of pre-sale properties to our portfolio, starting with the recently completed Avenue 25 Apartments in Phoenix,” says Greg Campbell, Director of Acquisitions at TruAmerica. “We recognize that new developments can present a tremendous investment opportunity, and as we continue to grow we are committed to capitalizing on opportunities to invest in high-quality assets early in the development process. Avenue 25 Apartments is a particularly attractive investment opportunity given its location at the center of a prime job corridor and execution of modern finishes.”

“We are pleased to add Avenue 25 Apartments to our portfolio and acquire an attractive asset alongside a high-quality partner,” said Eric Draeger, Senior Vice President, Head of Equity & Debt Transactions of Berkshire. “We are excited about prospects for the Phoenix market given the turnaround in its fundamentals. We will continue to seek opportunities in the region, which is an area of focus for our investment funds.”

The 254-unit apartment community consists of a mix of newly built one- to three-bedroom floor plans, which include top-of-the-line amenities. Avenue 25 Apartments is comprised of 19 buildings on nearly nine acres of professionally landscaped grounds. Amenity offerings include an electric car charging station, recreation center fitness center, pool area, dog park, and business center. In addition, individual units include designer kitchens, faux plank flooring, private outdoor spaces and full-size in-unit washers and dryers.

Phoenix is experiencing shifts in its economic conditions that present an attractive investment environment. The apartment vacancy rate in the submarket is currently 4.4%, and among assets under five years old, including properties like Avenue 25 Apartments which was built in 2014, drops to 2.6%. Strong, diverse employment growth is also trending up at a quick pace. Unlike previous economic cycles, almost all sectors are contributing to more balanced job gains rather than a concentration in the construction industry.

Avenue 25 Apartments benefits from high visibility along primary traffic corridor Interstate 17 highway and is convenient to the U.S. 101/Interstate 17 interchange, which is a major regional transportation hub. The submarket houses several large corporate headquarters in a range of industries from American Express to PetSmart and Safeway. TruAmerica plans to capitalize on this concentration of large employment centers by marketing to the workforce throughout the region.

Alon Shnitzer and Rue Bax of Abi Multifamily represented the seller, NextGen Apartments, on the Avenue 25 Apartments transaction.

About TruAmerica Multifamily
TruAmerica Multifamily, founded by industry veteran Robert E. Hart and The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in July 2013, is an investment firm focused on acquiring, managing and rehabilitating Class B or better multifamily housing in the Western part of the United States. In June 2014, the firm launched a new investment platform with Allstate Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). The firm’s management portfolio includes approximately 12,000 units across prime locations throughout Northern and Southern California, Colorado, Arizona and Washington. For more information on TruAmerica Multifamily, visit www.truamerica.com or call (818) 290-5770.

About Guardian
A mutual insurer founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) and its subsidiaries are committed to protecting individuals, business owners and their employees with life, disability income and dental insurance products, and offer funding vehicles for 401(k) plans, annuities and other financial products. Guardian operates one of the largest dental networks in the United States, and protects more than eight million employees and their families at over 115,000 companies. The company has approximately 5,000 employees in the United States and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide. For more information about Guardian, please visit www.GuardianLife.com.

About Berkshire Group
Based in Boston, Berkshire Group is a real estate investment management company recognized for its vertically integrated platform and experience in the multifamily sector. Over more than four decades, Berkshire’s team of industry leaders has gained a reputation for being able to identify opportunities and effectively manage through various economic environments, establishing a long-term track record of solid performance based on thoughtful, leading edge strategies, and operational experience. The Company has experience across the multifamily realestate spectrum in disciplines including acquisitions, asset and property management, debt, development and redevelopment. Berkshire, a registered investment advisor, has approximately $5.5 billion in assets under management, and offices in Boston, Atlanta, New York, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco. For more information on Berkshire, please visit www.berkshire-group.com.