Denver-based Archstone-Smith has entered the New York City market with the $209 million purchase of 101 West End Ave., a two-tower, 35-story apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. New York-based Tishman Speyer Properties Inc. was the seller of the property, which was 95% leased at the time of the transaction. Archstone-Smith funded the acquisition in part through the assumption of $126 million of tax-exempt, floating-rate bonds.

The transaction is a particularly noteworthy one, since Archstone-Smith is believed to be the first apartment REIT to purchase a property in Manhattan. Meanwhile, another apartment REIT, Atlanta-based Post Properties Inc., is currently building two communities in Manhattan.

"Manhattan represents a tremendous long-term opportunity for Archstone-Smith, and we are committed to making it an important part of our national portfolio," said R. Scot Sellers, chairman and CEO of Archstone-Smith, in a statement announcing the purchase. "Although the market is difficult to penetrate, its protected locations and its stature as the world’s leading financial center offer attractive long-term growth prospects."

Completed in 2000, 101 West End Ave. features studio, one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 509 sq. ft. to 1,771 sq. ft. Monthly rents range from $2,350 to $8,590. Amenities include 24-hour concierge service and a 5,000 sq. ft. fitness center featuring an indoor basketball court.