Harbor Group, Isaac Kassirer buy 38-building Bronx portfolio for $140M

935-unit multifamily package is borough's largest investment sale since 2013

TRD New York /
Mar.March 01, 2016 05:05 PM

Jordan Slone’s Harbor Group International and York Equities, a group of investors led by Emerald Equity Group’s Isaac Kassirer, dished out $140 million for a 38-building multifamily portfolio in the Bronx — another sign that the long-neglected borough is gaining popularity among investors.

The deal for the 935-unit rent-stabilized apartment package, which closed Tuesday, marks the largest investment sale in the borough since 2013, when the Related Cos. and New York City pension funds paid $270 million for a portfolio there. It is also the first investment sale brokered by Atlanta-based firm Hodges Ward Elliott’s newly launched New York office, headed by Will Silverman, Daniel Parker and Paul Gillen. The seller was Jerome Associates, which owned the buildings for more than two decades, property records show.

The package also includes 24 retail spaces. The buildings are spread across Mott Haven, Hunts Point, Lower Concourse, Little Italy, Belmont, Fordham and Bedford Park. Addresses include 1192 Walton Avenue in Concourse and 769 Bryant Avenue in Hunts Point.

“The opportunity to buy a [nearly] 1,000-unit portfolio motivated many institutional investors to take their first property tour of the Bronx and the response was very positive, said Parker, who was previously at the Related Cos. “I am confident we are only on the front end of more institutional investment in the Bronx.”

The properties sold for 12 times the gross rent roll and $145,000 per apartment, sources said.

Steven Vegh of Westwood Realty Associates represented York Equities in the transaction.

At the time of closing, the buyers also secured a $105 million acquisition loan from New York Community Bank, Kassirer said. Meridian Capital Group’s Marvin Jeremias and Steven Halpert brokered the financing.

Kassirer is an active multifamily investor in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Along with Asden Properties, he was among the buyers of a 13-building Bronx multifamily portfolio sold by JPMorgan Chase and Continental Properties for $90 million last year.

The deal also marks the first Bronx multifamily purchase by Harbor Group, a Virginia-based multibillion-dollar real estate investment firm that has snapped up a number of Manhattan office and retail properties over the past years.

As The Real Deal broke down in November, the Bronx is an increasingly popular destination for bargain-hunting investors amid exploding prices in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Firms such as Related, L+M Development Partners and JPMorgan have all made major bets on the borough. Related, for example, bought 20 rental buildings there for $112.5 million in December.

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