The volume of New York City multi-family transactions was up 29 percent year-over-year in April, but dollar volume fell by 18 percent in the same period, according to a report released today by Ariel Property Advisors. There were 44 multi-family transactions totaling $376.83 million in gross consideration in April, compared to 34 transactions totaling $462.29 million in gross consideration in April 2011. [more]
Posts Tagged ‘urban american’
A stalled Williamsburg condominium that was reincarnated through a loan-to-own deal last year is back on track for completion and preparing to hit the market this summer. Unlike many of its back-from-the-dead peers, 170 North 5th Street is not going rental.
Instead, its new owners have decided to stick with the original developers’ plans, tapping the Corcoran Group’s Lior Barak and Christine Blackburn, of the high-grossing Barak/Blackburn Group, to sell off the 16 units as condos.
Sales are slated to launch in late June or early July, Blackburn said, and the building should be ready for occupancy by October.
The 17,000-square-foot building, two blocks from the L train’s Bedford Avenue stop and designed by RKT&B Architecture and Urban Design, was built — mostly — by Lucky Boy Development, which purchased the site for $2.6 million in 2005. … [more]
During the real estate boom, buyers such as Vantage Properties and Urban American snapped up large multi-family portfolios, and real estate moguls like Harry Macklowe made eye-popping office building acquisitions.
With the downturn, that activity largely stopped as overall sales declined and financing large deals became even more difficult.
Yet in recent weeks, two significant portfolios have been brought to market, signaling a shift in expectations, brokers said, but bringing risks as well.
“There is a real belief that pricing has returned in many instances,” David Schechtman, senior director at Eastern Consolidated, said in the latest edition of Insights from The Real Deal (see video above).
The larger portfolio, asking $276 million, is a package of 26 mostly residential properties owned by landlord Steven Croman, which is being marketed by Massey Knakal Realty Services. The other is a smaller collection of six mixed-use properties and a parking lot on the Upper East Side owned by the estate of Arthur Brown, listed by Schechtman for $26 million. The six walk-up buildings have 45 apartments and seven retail locations along First and Second avenues.
The 26-building Croman portfolio is being offered as a single package or in 16 smaller groupings. As a package, it is believed to be the most expensive portfolio put on the market since the downturn began in 2008, several brokers said.
“These are mature assets that are turnkey and probably have, give or take, 20 to 25 percent more upside,” Croman said. “We have done a lot of work on these, we have done the heavy lifting.” He said he would use proceeds from individual sales or a bulk sale to buy new properties, in what is referred to as a 1031 exchange.
Croman, who said he owns approximately 100 buildings in New York City, is considered by brokers to be an aggressive landlord who maximizes the value of his properties before returning them to the market, meaning it was unlikely a buyer could expect to improve rental income substantially from what he has achieved.
The Croman portfolio is concentrated on the East Side in neighborhoods such as Kips Bay, Gramercy Park and the East Village.
Schechtman said there were risks with bringing such a large portfolio to market today, as real estate sales activity remains soft.
“I think the two greatest risks are one, finding financing and two, the amount of equity you are going to put up,” he said.
Others were skeptical Croman would be able to achieve the $276 million asked.
Timour Shafran, an investment sales broker at Capin & Associates, speculated that European investors anticipating a decline in the euro might pay such a relatively high amount, as an investment strategy. But he did not think local investors would pay anywhere near that much.
“Short of that, I don’t see anyone stepping up to the plate to pay this number,” he said.
From left: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Representative Carolyn Maloney, City Council member Jessica Lappin, and State Assembly member Micah Kellner
Major multi-family owner Urban American is suing the state Public Service Commission over electric billing in thousands of units of mostly rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan.
The New Jersey-based company filed a lawsuit Jan. 15 in State Supreme Court in Albany to overturn a ruling by the commission that blocked the company from individually billing tenants in four Manhattan apartment complexes for electric usage, known as submetering. Currently the electrical charges are folded into the rent bill based generally on the apartment size, not on actual usage.
The case is being closely followed by elected officials including Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who urged the state to block the submetering until certain conditions were fulfilled…. [more]