Big Fremont apartment complex lands buyer that sees housing strength

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FREMONT — A big apartment complex in Fremont has been bought for more than $100 million by a local real estate firm that sees strength starting to return to the economy and housing market in the Bay Area.

The Rexford Apartments in Fremont has been bought by an affiliate controlled by Essex Property Trust, according to documents filed on Nov. 16 with the Alameda County Recorder’s Office.

The Essex affiliate, Essex Rexford, paid $112.5 million for The Rexford Apartments, a complex located at 3400 Country Drive, county assessment and property records show.

The Rexford Apartments is a 204-unit community that opened in 1972, according to the Apartments.com website. The residential complex is located near the corner of Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue in Fremont’s Centerville District.

The seller in the deal was Rexford/Woodstream Apartment Homes, an affiliate that is controlled by the Bryan Rezalow and Cristina Agra-Hughes family trusts, which are based in the Los Angeles County city of Calabasas.

Essex Property Trust bought the Fremont apartment complex in an all-cash deal, the county documents show.

“Our pet-friendly community includes access amenities that include a two-story community clubhouse and lounge with workstations and entertainment areas, a fitness center with cardio and weight machines and two swimming pools with surrounding BBQ and picnic areas,” a post on The Rexford’s website states.

San Mateo-based Essex completed the Fremont apartment purchase at a time when the real estate giant sees gradually improving conditions in the company’s property markets on the West Coast, which include the Bay Area and California.

“Apartment values across our markets are up approximately 15% on average compared to pre-COVID valuations,” Michael Schall, Essex Property Trust’s chief executive officer, said on Oct. 27 during a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s third-quarter financial results.

However, the Bay Area and Northern California still remain weaker than other Essex property markets, which are primarily on the West Coast.

“Many large tech companies in our markets have delayed their office reopenings as a result of the Delta variant this fall, which we believe is the primary factor in the slow recovery of Northern California compared to other Essex markets,” Schall said during the conference call.

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