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AvalonBay plans to continue buying apartments in Denver, South Florida

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AvalonBay plans to continue buying apartments in Denver, South Florida

AvalonBay Communities Inc. has spent or committed almost $1 billion toward expansion in Denver and Southeast Florida in the last year and a half, and it plans to continue acquiring and developing apartment properties in the two markets, executives said.

In 2017 and 2018, AvalonBay and the other leading multifamily real estate investment trust, Equity Residential, began shifting some of their investments out of New York and other Northeast markets, and into smaller markets where they believed growth prospects were stronger.

Since then, AvalonBay has purchased four completed properties and development rights to one site in Denver, with development rights for two more sites in the pipeline, putting the company on track for a portfolio of more than 2,000 units, worth more than $600 million, Chief Investment Officer Matthew Birenbaum said on an earnings conference call.

In southeastern Florida, the company acquired two new apartment properties over the period and began developing another, for a total $350 million investment in more than 1,000 apartment units in the region.

AvalonBay intends over the long term to allocate 5% of its portfolio, which comprised 291 properties containing 85,313 units as of March 31, to each of the two markets. The company plans to grow "over the next few years" through acquisitions, development and joint venture hybrid structures with developers, Birenbaum said.