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Why This Firm Bought In Oceanside

San Diego

The first one's always special. Take TruAmerica Multifamily's acquisition of Piazza D'Oro: 221 townhomes on 14 acres in Oceanside--the LA-based real estate investment firm's first acquisition.

Yesterday, we chatted with director of operations Greg Campbell (with wife Jeanine at a UCLA football game in Salt Lake City). Built three years ago as condos, Piazza D'Oro was operating as a rental community when TruAmerica snapped it up for $81M. Greg says the potential condo exit strategy is an attractive option down the road. While places like Seattle and NorCal already have achieved enviable rent escalation, Greg believes the San Diego area "still has a lot of growth ahead of it." The seller was an affiliate of The ConAm Group.

President Bob Hart launched TruAmerica this summer with Guardian Life Insurance. He's no newcomer to the multifamily scene, having served as president of LA-based Kennedy Wilson's multifamily arm. In September, he discussed his new company at Bisnow's SoCal Capital Markets Summit up in LA.

The community is just north of the 78, providing easy access to the golf products manufacturers in Carlsbad. (For those who want to make sure all their 9-irons are locally sourced.) In addition, it's across from Rady Children's Hospital and a mile from Tri-City Medical Center. The complex, 96% leased, draws doctors, nurses,Ã technicians, and young officers from Camp Pendleton with their families. Tenants get the feel of a for-sale property, with amenities like direct access garages.

The complex also contains 17k SF of office space, on the second and third floors of the clubhouse building. Greg tells us the City's desire for more office space was accommodated through the project's development agreement. The company plans to be aggressive in 2014; he anticipates buying multiple value-add and core-plus properties in SoCal apartment markets, including Mission Valley, Downtown, UTC, and La Jolla.