The Real Deal New York

Blackstone takes Harvard’s majority stake in A&E portfolio for $244M

A&E and Edge Property Advisors will own piece of 13 Manhattan, Queens properties
By Mark Maurer and Christian Bautista | January 03, 2018 02:30PM

From left: Jonathan Gray, Harvard’s Robert Ettl, Douglas Eisenberg, 344-346 Fort Washington Avenue and 34-15 Parsons Boulevard

Harvard Management Company sold its majority stake in a 13-building portfolio to Blackstone Group for $243.6 million, in one of the city’s big year-end multifamily deals amid a sluggish market.

Harvard had owned the properties, which are spread through Manhattan and Queens, in partnership with multifamily giant A&E Real Estate Holdings and investment manager Edge Principal Advisors.

Property records filed with the city Wednesday show an entity tied to Blackstone acquired Harvard’s 81.7 percent stake in the buildings on Dec. 20. A&E and Edge continue to own 7.9 and 10.4 percent of the package, respectively, according to records.

The buildings are part of two massive portfolios acquired by A&E and partners in 2013 and 2015. The packages were previously owned by the Dermot Company and Neil Rubler’s Vantage Properties, now known as Candlebrook Properties.

The addresses are 344-346, 350 and 370 Fort Washington Avenue; 1 Wadsworth Avenue; 34-15 Parsons Boulevard; 1-29 Bogardus Place; 34-64 Hillside Avenue; 121 and 222-228 Seaman Avenue, 623 and 631 West 207th Street; 735 West 172nd Street; 2-10 Ellwood Street; and 736 West 173rd Street.

Representatives for Blackstone declined to comment, and A&E and Harvard could not be immediately reached. No brokers were involved.

Harvard Management Company, which controls the university’s $37.1 billion endowment fund, struck a deal last month to spin out its real estate management to Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital. Bain has agreed to manage Harvard’s $3.4 billion in real estate investments.

It is not clear if Harvard will further dispose of its New York City assets.

Harvard is a frequent partner of A&E’s, one of New York City’s largest residential landlords. A&E, led by Douglas Eisenberg and John Arrillaga Jr., owns over 12,000 rental apartments at more than 200 buildings in the city, which sources close to A&E have estimated have a combined value north of $3 billion.

Blackstone, meanwhile, owns about 13,000 rental apartments in the city, including Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village and a 21-building Caiola portfolio.