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LA investor poised to scoop up 3,000 apartment units in metro Phoenix

A Los Angeles-based real estate investor has paid $56.05 million for a 200-unit class A apartment community in Paradise Valley, with plans for thousands more.

Bryan Ezralow, CEO of The Ezralow Co., said he’s been looking at buying apartments in metro Phoenix for many years and finally pulled the trigger on the purchase of Cactus Forty-2 at 4242 E. Cactus Road in Paradise Valley.

“When we come into a new market we like to get 2,000 to 3,000 units over the next six months,” said Ezralow, who also is a philanthropist. “If we can do that, that would be great.”

Ezralow, who took over the company about 30 years ago after his father co-founded it in the 1960s, said he’s been attracted to the dynamics of the metro Phoenix market.

“We like the way jobs are being created,” he said. “It’s a great place to grow a business.”

With a portfolio of about 10,000 apartment units in California and up through Seattle, as well as in Denver, Ezralow said he also has his eye on the Nashville market.

While he said he wants to diversify outside of California, he said he won’t leave California, where he also has self-storage units mainly under the Price Self Storage name.

“We do some industrial, some office, kind of everything, but our primary business is apartments,” Ezralow said.

Sticking with traditional apartments

Ezralow bought the Cactus Forty-2 apartments from Fort Worth, Texas-based Olympus Property, with David Fogler and Steven Nicoluzakis of Cushman & Wakefield’s Multifamily Advisory Group (NYSE:CWK) representing the seller in the deal.

The apartments are near the soon-to-be renovated Paradise Valley Mall, Fogler said.

“The community has been very well maintained since first developed in 2014 and provide residents with highly attractive unit interiors combined with exceptional amenities,” he said.

On-site amenities include a resort-inspired pool and spa, outdoor kitchen, fireplace and gathering space, fitness center, clubhouse, pet park, covered parking, gated access and Phoenix mountain views.

While this isn’t Ezralow’s debut into the Phoenix market, Ezralow said he had a project in Mesa many years ago.

“We’ve been looking for a number of years and decided we want to make a much bigger presence in the Phoenix metro area,” he said.

While he’s seen a huge interest from developers, renters and investors in the build-to-rent space, where detached, single-family rental homes are built within a community with resort-like amenities, Ezralow said he plans, at least for now, to stick to traditional apartments.

“You never know,” he said.

Research from Colliers International shows 4,857 units of the build-to-rent product under construction in metro Phoenix, with another 1,602 planned.

Ezralow said he’s not concerned about losing tenants to these types of rental housing units as long as job growth remains strong in metro Phoenix.

“To me, it’s all about jobs,” he said. “As long as that keeps moving, everything will get leased.

Angela GonzalesSenior ReporterPhoenix Business Journal

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