LAFAYETTE - The Prana apartments in Lafayette, a 264-unit complex in the "SoLa," or south Lafayette area, have been sold to a California-based investment group for $36.1 million.

The apartments are off U.S. Highway 287, just north of Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Property records list the buyer as LLJ Stratford Prana LLC. Ken Kicken, principal of Milestone Development Group, which built Prana, said the purchase was the first acquisition of an apartment investors group looking to move into Colorado.

According to its registration with the Secretary of State's office, LLJ Stratford Prana is based in San Diego.

Milestone Development Group, an apartment developer, builder and manager based in Denver, opened Prana in 2010.

Milestone's strategy is to build new AAA-quality apartments, lease the units into the 94 percent to 97 percent occupancy range and then sell the complex, said Ken Kiken, Milestone's principal. The company typically tries to sell complexes three years after their construction.

"We just leased it up in about nine-and-a-half months, got it to 97 percent, and we sold it," Kicken said.

Real estate investment trusts, pension funds and insurance companies are the types of investors most eager to buy, Kiken said. Five potential buyers considered Prana.

Milestone is in the process of obtaining construction permits for the Prasana apartments, a 240-unit community that borders Prana on the east, Kiken said. The apartments are in Lafayette's SoLa development, an approximately 50-acre area that will include retail, restaurant and office space.

Doug Andrews and Jeffrey Hawks, principals of the Denver office of Apartment Realty Advisors, represented Milestone, Kiken said.