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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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REIT buys Haven apartment complex in Fredericksburg

The Haven at Celebrate Virginia apartment complex in Fredericksburg has a new name and owner.

The 232-unit complex was sold Thursday to MAA, a real estate investment trust based in Memphis, Tenn. MAA has renamed the community River’s Walk at Celebrate Virginia. The REIT bought it from South Carolina-based Johnson Development Associates.

MAA will manage the property itself, thus replacing Atlanta-based First Communities, which runs all of Johnson Development’s apartments. Residents were sent a letter late last week about the change.

MAA announced the acquisition publicly this morning. The company mentioned the complex’s upscale amenities as well as its proximity to good schools, high-end retail, entertainment venues, large employers, Virginia Railway Express and Interstate 95.

MAA also announced today that it has acquired the Palisades at Chenal Valley, a 248-unit apartment community in Little Rock, Ark. MAA paid $67.5 million for the two purchases but didn’t announce how much it spent on each individually. MAA owns all or part of nearly 50,000 apartment units in the U.S. It has communities in Hampton and Richmond.

Johnson Development finished the Haven complex this summer and had leased 96 percent of the units by the time of sale. The company recently bought about 14 acres right next to the complex for a second phase; construction is expected to start early next year.

It’s unclear whether Johnson Development may someday decide to sell the second phase, or whether MAA would be the buyer if so. Johnson Development typically hasn’t sold the apartments it develops, but a red-hot market led the company to put the first phase of the Haven up for sale a few months ago.

Johnson Development has also started work on a Haven apartment community next to the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

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