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Celebrate's 'Haven' is now 'River's Walk'
Haven at Celebrate Virginia apartment complex sold

Date published: 12/13/2011

BY BILL FREEHLING

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 trust 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 yesterday morning. The company mentioned the complex's 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 yesterday 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 United States. 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 the 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 might 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 Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com