An Arlington-based real estate investment trust has entered the Denver market with its $76.8 million purchase of a Lakewood apartment complex.

AvalonBay Communities Inc. (NYSE: AVB) said it’s purchased the 252-unit The Lodge Denver West at 14125 Denver West Circle for $76.8 million, which is its first purchase in the Denver area.

“Denver shares many of the best characteristics of our established core markets and has become an attractive region for well-educated workers in knowledge-based industries…