The Real Deal New York

Phoenix Realty Group buys NJ rental complex for $44M

September 07, 2011 06:13PM
By David Jones

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From left: Steve Scioscia, senior vice president at Phoenix Realty Group and the Regency Club Apartments

Phoenix Realty Group said it acquired a 372-unit rental complex in Jackson Township, N.J. for $44 million through a partnership with Gaia Real Estate Holdings and Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services of Israel.

The 31-building complex, called the Regency Club Apartments, had been on the market for several months and company officials are seeing strong demand for middle-income apartments.

“Right now there’s a big shift from homeownership to rental,“ said Steve Scioscia, senior vice president at Phoenix Realty Group. “That creation of households is clearly going to outpace new development.”

The company plans to spend $2 million to upgrade the complex, including a renovation of the fitness center, parking facilities, common areas and landscaping. In addition, Phoenix Realty Group plans to renovate individual units as tenants exit existing leases over the next five to seven years.

Rents at the property range from $1,000 to $1,300 for one-bedroom units, while one-bedroom market rents in the neighborhood range from $1,200 to $1,500.

The company is also in negotiations to buy another 600 apartments in New York and 400 apartments in N.J., in both cases involving multiple acquisitions.

New York-based Phoenix Realty has bought several apartment complexes in the New York area since 2010.

In August, Phoenix Realty announced a $46.5 million deal to buy 472 apartments in central New Jersey from AIG, part of a larger deal in which Vantage and Angelo Gordon teamed up to buy a massive portfolio of NJ apartments from AIG. 

In March, the firm acquired a majority stake in a portfolio of apartments on West 49th Street in Manhattan from the Orbach Group, its first-ever purchase of a multi-family property in New York City. 

Two months prior, Phoneix Realty Group acquired Beacon Hill Gardens, a Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.-based complex, in a joint venture with White Plains, N.Y.-based Property Resources. 

Manhattan-based Gaia and Harel, one of the largest insurance firms in Israel, originally formed a partnership to buy New York real estate in October 2010, buying three New York rental buildings for $52 million.

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