Benchmark asking $65M for East Village rental

Value-add investor has sold $200M-plus in RE assets in roughly a year
By Rich Bockmann | April 07, 2016 05:45PM

Benchmark Real Estate Group is once again looking to cash out on one of its Manhattan multifamily properties.

The Soho-based investment firm led by Jordan Vogel and Aaron Feldman is asking $65 million for the 54-unit residential component of 55 Third Avenue, a mixed-use building it bought a little more than two years ago and proceeded to overhaul.

Vogel and Feldman, who couldn’t be reached for comment, bought the property in late 2013 for $57 million and then sold off the retail portion as a condo.

As part of a gut renovation of the residential portion, the company constructed a three-story building on an adjacent vacant lot that now serves as a lobby and amenity space including a fitness center, yoga/meditation room and massage room. The overhaul included an upgrade to the exterior façade and windows and the addition of condo-like features to the apartments.

The building, which sits between East 10th and 11th streets, has more than 53,000 square feet of residential space, not counting the 4,000-square-foot addition.

Rents for the 37 one-bedroom apartments average $5,600 a month, while the nine two-bedrooms and eight studios average $7,500 and $3,600 per month, respectively.

Mark DeLillo and Jeffrey Bastow at BlueGate Partners have been retained to market the exclusive.

Benchmark, founded in 2009, launched a fund in 2014 aimed at buying value-add mixed-use and multifamily buildings. Recently, though, the company has been on a selling spree, selling off $213 million worth of real estate in a little over a year.

Last March, the company sold a 94-unit Gramercy Park building to New York University for $88 million, and in November cashed out on pair of Chelsea rentals to the tune of $27 million.

Last year, the firm sold a West Village building for $30 million and one in Kips Bay for $68 million.