Developers spend $77M to return Bronx building to complete affordability

Camber Property Group and Belveron Partners are buying the building from Stellar Management
By Eddie Small | June 26, 2019 03:00PM

From left: Belveron Partners' founder Paul Odland, 1133 Ogden Avenue in the Bronx, and Camber Property Group Rick Gropper (Credit: Google Maps)

From left: Belveron Partners’ founder Paul Odland, 1133 Ogden Avenue in the Bronx, and Camber Property Group Rick Gropper (Credit: Google Maps)

A Bronx building that has seen significant rent increases in recent years will become entirely affordable again in the wake of a $77 million deal.

Camber Property Group and Belveron Partners have purchased the 400-unit residential property known as Highbridge House at 1133 Ogden Avenue from Stellar Management for $77 million, the companies announced on Wednesday. The sale comes on the heels of a sweeping rent reform in Albany, which drastically limited landlords’ ability to increase rents on stabilized apartments.

The property originally opened in 1972 as completely affordable under the Mitchell-Lama program, and a partnership between Camber, Belveron and the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development will return the deregulated units to affordability and keep them that way for 40 more years.

Camber and Belveron also plan to invest $3 million in the building for elevator and other upgrades.

“Nobody likes to be in contract during a regulatory sea change like we just saw from Albany,” Belveron partner Louis Harrison said in a statement, “but this is a team of doers, and we all followed through as intended.”

Affordability restrictions at the building were terminated in 2006, and roughly one third of the units were then deregulated or saw rents go up dramatically, according to the buyers.

Aaron Jungreis from Rosewood Realty brokered the deal for both sides, and New York Community Bank provided financing for it with a $57 million loan.

Camber, Belveron and HPD partnered on a similar deal earlier this year, when they spent $75 million on an 11-building, 343-unit building portfolio in West Farms. Under the deal, 100 market-rate apartments were set to be converted back into affordable units, while the remaining units would stay affordable for 40 more years.

The two firms also bought three northern Manhattan buildings in 2018 for $60 million, where they agreed to extend their affordability for 40 years as well.