Charles E. Smith hopes natural setting is a hit in D.C. Arlington, Va.-based Charles E. Smith Residential Realty Inc. has opened the first phase of StoneRidge at University Center, a luxury apartment complex in Ashburn, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. The community overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains and is near the Potomac River. Twenty-six units opened in June; when complete next summer, the community will contain 630 units.

When finished, the 44-acre complex will have two, four-story "manor house" residential buildings, 15 garden-style residential buildings and a clubhouse. StoneRidge will have one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans, and rents will range from $965 per month to $1,550 per month.

Amenities will include a 25-meter lap pool, a recreational swimming pool, a fitness room and proximity to Riverside Park, a 70-acre preserve adjacent to the Potomac. Each unit will have a microwave, washer and dryer, and a terrace or balcony.

Florida is oh so good to Jupiter Realty Chicago-based Jupiter Realty Corp. has recently purchased two apartment complexes in Florida: The Vermillion Apartments, a 330-unit complex in Miami Lakes; and Lakeside South Apartments, a 200-unit complex in Orlando. Terms of the transactions were undisclosed.

Houston-based SIA Partners was the seller of The Vermillion Apartments. Jay H. Massirman and Michael A. Stein in the Miami office of Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis represented SIA Partners. Jupiter plans a $500,000 renovation of the complex, which was completed in 1987, and has hired Atlanta-based JMG Realty Inc. to be the property manager.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank, which is based in Germany, was the seller of Lakeside South. Kole Whitaker of The Apartment Group in Orlando represented Deutsche. Featuring a clubhouse, swimming pool and fitness center, the complex has 10 buildings totaling 174,280 sq. ft. Jupiter has hired Atlanta-based Brencor Inc. to be the property manager.

Malone closes big loan for Big D project Dallas-based Malone Mortgage Co. has closed a $23.3 million loan for the construction of the Reserve at Lake Town, a 179-unit apartment community in Dallas. Financing was provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) 221 (d)(4) full-insurance fast track program. The 40-year loan is fully assumable. Dallas-based Trammell Crow Residential is the developer of the project. Completion is slated for October.

The complex is the third phase of a 490-unit community that Trammell Crow is developing next to White Rock Lake. Malone Mortgage also financed phases one and two - called the Reserve at White Rock Midrise and the Reserve at White Rock Townhomes, respectively - with a $31.8 million loan.

Executive Capital completes tax-deferred exchange Big Rock, Ill.-based Executive Capital Corp. recently completed a 1031 tax-deferred exchange involving apartment communities in Michigan and Florida. The aggregate value of the transactions involved was more than $80 million. Brian McAuliffe in the Lincolnshire, Ill., office of Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis and Jay Massirman of the firm's Miami office represented Executive Capital.

Executive Capital sold the 516-unit Sutton Place in Southfield, Mich., to Atlanta-based Lend Lease Real Estate Investments Inc. The proceeds of that sale were then used by Executive Capital to purchase The Grove at Turtle Run, a new 510-unit complex in Coral Springs, Fla. Ameriton, a subsidiary of Englewood, Colo.-based Archstone Communities Trust, was the seller of The Grove.

TRI lassos construction loan for Arizona affordable housing San Francisco-based TRI Capital Corp. has arranged a $4.5 million construction loan for Rancho Perilla Apartments, an 80-unit affordable housing complex in Douglas, Ariz. The 40-year loan, insured by the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) 221(d)(3) program, was awarded to the City of Douglas Community Housing Corp., a non-profit organization. The interest rate is 6.34%.

The 4.6-acre complex will feature six buildings. One-third of the apartments will be reserved for residents who make less than 60% of the median income; also, state employees will receive rent rebates from the City of Douglas. Amenities will include a clubhouse, fitness room, swimming pool and spa.

JPI plans sweet living at Sugar Run Creek Irving, Texas-based JPI has begun construction of Jefferson at Sugar Run Creek, a 395-unit luxury apartment community in Columbus, Ohio. The first apartments will open in December, while completion of the entire 40-acre community is slated for January 2002.

Jefferson at Sugar Run Creek will have one-, two- and three-bedroom units, and the size of the apartments will range from 704 sq. ft. to 1,471 sq. ft. Rents will range from $720 per month to $1,320 per month.

The community will have a 4,500 sq. ft. clubhouse containing a fitness center. Other amenities will include a pool, in-unit washers and dryers, garden bath tubs and gas fireplaces in select units. Sugar Run Creek will also have private storage areas.

Buckhead bucks up to build three Houston properties Houston-based Buckhead Investment Partners Inc. has begun construction of three luxury apartment complexes in metropolitan Houston. The $14.2 million, 232-unit Enclave at Cornerstone will open for leasing in the fall. One-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans will be offered, and rents will range from $675 per month to $1,085 per month.

The $4.8 million, 68-unit Enclave at Quail Crossing Phase II is an addition to the existing 196-unit Enclave at Quail Crossing. Rents will range from $655 per month for one-bedroom units to $1,000 per month for three-bedroom units. Leasing has already begun at the complex.

Meanwhile, the $15.8 million, 252-unit Enclave at Copperfield will open for leasing next winter. Rents will range from $665 for one-bedroom units to $1,120 for three-bedroom units.

Three loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and underwritten by Houston-based Funding Inc. are financing the three complexes. Houst on-based Greystar Multifamily Services will oversee lease-up and manage the properties.

The Seville will attempt to make it in New York New York-based Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. has arranged a $67 million construction loan for The Seville, a 31-story, 144-unit luxury apartment tower in New York. RFR Holding LLC and Davis & Partners LLC, both of New York, are the developers of the project. Completion is slated for fourth-quarter 2001.

The facility, which will be located on the corner of Second Avenue and 77th Street, will also have more than 19,000 sq. ft. of retail space and parking spaces for 36 cars. One-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans will be available. The Seville will also offer a host of amenities such as 24-hour doorman service, a wine cellar, a business center and a 3,295 sq. ft. health club.

The Midwest may not be glamorous, but she is stable In the multifamily industry, one frequently hears reports and discussions about large markets such as Atlanta; Orlando, Fla.; Austin, Texas; and Phoenix. Smaller Midwestern cities such as Cincinnati do not often appear in conversation.

However, taken as a whole, the Midwest is a solid market for investors, says Daniel J. Hogan, director of market research for The Housing and Health Care Capital Group (H&HC Group) in Columbus, Ohio, a division of Banc One Capital Funding Corp.

"Generally, we have a very favorable view of the markets in the major Midwest metropolitan areas," he says.

Minneapolis/St. Paul and Detroit are the two strongest markets in the region, according to Hogan. The virtues of Minneapolis/St. Paul include 253,000 new jobs in the past six years and a 2% apartment vacancy rate, according to H&HC Group's Key Midwest Metropolitan Areas - Summer 2000, which Hogan wrote.

As for Detroit, the arrival of both high-tech and light-industrial companies has triggered a wave of new jobs: 16,000 were created in the Motor City last year, says the report.

Here are Hogan's takes on some of the Midwest markets that are not always on the tips of industry members' tongues.

* Cincinnati - Population growth in this city has been slow recently, and single-family housing in Cincinnati is the most affordable among Ohio's Big "C" markets, the other two being Cleveland and Columbus, says Hogan.

Still, job growth has been solid, he says. Also, "There has been no discernable supply pressure," adds Hogan. "Occupancy levels appear quite secure and rising household incomes should push rents up by 3% to 4% again this year. Investors should be pleased with total returns."

* Cleveland - Job growth is very slow in this city, and population growth has been virtually nil in recent years, says Hogan. But, the good news is that developers have not delivered a lot of new properties in recent years. Also, the Cleveland single-family market is expensive.

"This provides for good stability, promoting a continuation of reasonably positive rent trends," he says. "Cleveland is probably the weakest major market in the Midwest, but having said that, it's really on pretty solid footing."

* Indianapolis - Due to the city's successful efforts to woo new business, in particular high-tech companies, Indianapolis has experienced impressive job and population growth. In 1999, 20,300 new jobs were created, according to the Summer 2000 report.

On the down side, "Land costs are low by regional standards, and there are very few barriers to entry," says Hogan. "Consequently, the near-term occupancy and rent trends are not among the most attractive by any means. We like the direction that the Indianapolis economy is going and expect that the longer-term trends will be positive."

Hogan summarizes his research on the Midwest at the end of his Summer 2000 report. "Midwest apartment markets lack most of the qualities that excite apartment investors," he writes. "Population growth is modest, single-family housing is relatively affordable, and the barriers to further construction are few. Nevertheless, most of the top markets offer sufficient virtues to merit consideration and all deliver a large dose of overall stability, an overly maligned vice, in spades."