Transwestern brokered the sale of The Canyons, a 629-unit apartment community at 19940 N. 23rd Ave. in Phoenix.

An entity formed by Alliance Residential Co. purchased the property for $50M, or approximately $80,000 per unit. It was sold by Denver-based Continental Realty Advisors, which purchased the property in 2010 for $45.5M and infused $1.3M of capital into The Canyons, while boosting its occupancy rate from 64% in 2010 to 94% at the time of the transaction’s closing.

“Continental purchased The Canyons at a very difficult time in the Phoenix multifamily market,” said Transwestern Vice President Jack Hannum, who along with Vice President Bret Zinn and Financial Analyst John Drowns negotiated the transaction. “They made a great number of improvements in the community and management, and it showed in the occupancy increase.”

“We enjoyed our period of ownership at The Canyons and are excited to finalize our sale with Alliance Residential,” said Continental Realty Advisors President and Chairman of the Board, David W. Snyder. “They are a great community operator, and we feel that we are leaving our client residents in good hands.”

“The life and health of the Phoenix multifamily business has definitely changed as we come out of the Great Recession,” Zinn said. “At the time we closed The Canyons deal, two other apartment projects in the Valley sold for a total of approximately $40 million, and we believe that more is in the works.”

Published reports indicate that while Alliance Residential has developed and sold multi-family complexes in the area for some time, this was its first purchase of an existing project in nearly 6 years. It has also been reported that the privately held Alliance is currently developing 793 units among three communities in the Phoenix area and is seeking land on which to build additional multifamily properties.

The Canyons was built in two phases in 2004 and 2005 and features studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units ranging in size from 458 SF to 1,166 SF.

Located near the interchange of I-17 the Loop 101, The Canyons meets residential demand created from more than 7 MSF of office space and the employers that reside there such as PetSmart, Honeywell, John C. Lincoln Hospitals, Discover Card and American Express.

“This sale marks a truly positive transition in the fortunes of The Canyons,” Drowns said. “It had been purchased in 2006 for more than $80 million, transferred back to the lending agency where Continental purchased it and ultimately brought it back to health. The latest sale is good news for the asset, but also a recurring example of strong performance and solid opportunities in multifamily investment throughout the Valley.”