Three UWS rental buildings sell for $145.5M

By Katherine Clarke | April 13, 2012 12:30PM

[Updated at 1:55 p.m. with comment from Aaron Jungreis] The sale of three Upper West Side buildings once marketed as part of residential portfolio comprising four properties has closed for a combined price of approximately $145.5 million, according to Aaron Jungreis, founder of Rosewood Realty Group, who brokered the deal.

The first two buildings, at 165 West 91st Street and 393 West End Avenue, sold for $69.9 million and $55.6 million respectively, and were sold by Hirth Real Estate Entities, a family-owned business that’s owned the properties for decades. Hirth was not immediately available for comment. The third building, 55 West 92nd Street, was sold separately to an unknown buyer for $20 million.

The 91st Street property comprises 170,023 square feet of residential space spread across 15 stories, while the 16-story, 134,183-square-foot West End Avenue building, at the corner of 79th Street, has a total of 114 units, according to The third building, 55 West 92nd Street, was sold to a separate buyer and comprises 55,535 square feet and is a six-story elevator building with 54 apartments.

The buyer of the first two buildings is listed in public records as an LLC named A&E Real Estate Management, with an address at 1065 Sixth Avenue. The identity of the LLC was not immediately clear.

“This is extremely rare for Upper West Side buildings of these size to trade hands,” said Jungreis, who explained that the “arduous deal” took a lengthy time to close. “We worked with the sellers for many years, on and off.”

The buildings first  hit the market in 2008 and were marketed by Grubb & Ellis as a portfolio including 307 units slated to sell for over $200 million. About a third of the apartments in the portfolio were described as being open-market, while a significant portion was made up of rent-stabilized or rent-controlled units.

A contract went out for the portfolio in 2008, said Vincent Carrega, a former employee of Grubb who helped market the properties four years ago, but a turn in the market scuffled the deal. Grubb ceased marketing the portfolio in 2008.

“They got very good prices,” said Carrega, who is now with Novin Properties, a healthcare real estate investment firm. “These [two] are highly desirable pre-war buildings which will weather the storm over time because of their location.”

The significant rent-stabilized component in the building provides an upside to a purchaser, Carrega noted, and the buildings could easily be converted to condominiums.

“With a little bit of TLC to the lobbies, these could be considered prime West Side properties. I would have expected them to trade on the high end” in terms of price.