Walden, Drever Partners form historic strategic alliance The Dallas-based REIT Walden Residential Properties Inc. and Drever Partners Inc., a privately held company based in San Francisco and Houston, have reached an agreement in principle to form a strategic alliance combining the two companies. Under terms of the agreement, Drever and all of its 80 apartment communities will be acquired by Walden. The primarily tax-free transaction is valued at approximately $670 million, which consists of $380 million in common stock, preferred stock, warrants and cast, and $290 million of assumed debt.

This will be one of the largest private real estate transactions in REIT history; it will result in a total market capitalization of Walden exceeding $1.5 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in October.

Windsor nears completion of Dallas apartment community Windsor Residential Cos., the multifamily development and management organization of Dallas-based developer I.C. Deal, has nearly completed Greyson's Gate. The 272-unit luxury apartment community in north Dallas has one-, two- and three-bedroom units with rents ranging from approximately $675 to $1,250 monthly.

New Miami Beach condo project offers sale/leaseback option Setting themselves apart from the other condominium projects in Miami Beach, the developers of Sasson On the Ocean are offering purchasers the chance to lease their new properties back to the management for a two-year contract. In exchange, the buyer will receive a check each month from the management covering mortgage payments, real estate taxes and monthly maintenance fees. The new owner can use his or her new condo two months of each year.

Sasson on the Ocean will be a 36-story luxury condo tower to be built directly behind the Sasson Hotel on the Atlantic Ocean in Miami Beach. The tower has 195 residences with sales prices ranging from $220,000 to $275,000. Construction began in May with completion slated for December 1998.

Avalon unveils new unsecured credit facility Avalon Properties Inc., Witton, Conn., has completed a new unsecured credit facility for $175 million with pricing of .8% over LIBOR. The new facility replaces an old one of $165 million that was priced at 1.125% over LIBOR. Other features of the new facility include a competitive bid option for up to $75 million and an extended expiration date of March 31, 2000 with two one-year extensions. A bank group of six banks are providing the new facility, with JP Morgan, Fleet Bank and NationsBank serving as co-agents.

Reilly Mortgage Group closes $26 million in tax-exempt bonds McLean, Va.-based Reilly Mortgage Group has closed more than $26 million in tax-exempt industrial development bonds for three apartment properties in the St. Louis area. The deal was financed through Fannie Mae's DUS Credit Enhancement of "Pre 1986" Tax Exempt Industrial Development Bonds. The borrowers for each of the properties were single-asset, limited liability companies sponsored by the Lipton Group, St. Louis.

198-unit condo development opens in San Jose, Calif. Sobrato Development Cos., a commercial properties developer, and Ventana Property Services, a real estate manager and consulting firm, have opened Villa Torino, a 198-unit luxury condominium development in San Jose, Calif.

The site was originally purchased for housing development by The San Jose Redevelopment Agency as part of its downtown revitalization efforts. Sobrato purchased the site from the agency and brought in Ventana to handle leasing and on-site property management. Tenants began moving in in February, and construction was competed in April.

Assistant Editor Carrie King covers the multifamily news beat for NREI. She welcomes comments and news items via E-mail to carrieking@mindspring.com.