Phoenix Realty acquires Spencer Equity’s Bronx Section 8 complex for $91M

Joel Gluck’s Spencer cashes out five years after purchasing 469-unit Academy Gardens for $67M

New York /
Sep.September 28, 2021 02:39 PM
Phoenix Realty acquires Spencer Equity’s Bronx Section 8 complex for $91M

Founder and CEO of Phoenix Realty Group J. Michael Fried, and Academy Gardens on Commonwealth Avenue and Rosedale Avenue in the Bronx (Google Maps, PhoenixRG)

Joel Gluck’s Spencer Equity has sold a South Bronx affordable housing complex for $91 million.

The buyer was Phoenix Realty Group, a New York-based multifamily developer and investor, sources told The Real Deal.

The 469-unit Academy Gardens is an eight-building Section 8 complex occupying a full block between Rosedale and Commonwealth Avenues and Randall and Lacombe Avenues in Clason Point.

Brooklyn-based Spencer Equity acquired the property for $66.6 million in 2016, public records show. The sale price was 18.5 percent above the property’s book value, according to Israeli newspaper Calcalist, which first reported the news but did not identify the buyer.

The sale brings a handsome return to Spencer Equity: a positive cash flow of $41 million after repaying the $50 million mortgage the firm took out in 2019.

Ariel Property Advisors’ Victor Sozio and Daniel Mahfar represented the seller for the transaction. Sozio and Mahfar declined to comment. Spencer Equity and Phoenix Realty Group did not return email and phone messages seeking comment.

The properties’ addresses are 501-513, 521-523, 539-541 and 549-567 Commonwealth Avenue and 500-512, 520-522, 540-542 and 550-552 Rosedale Avenue.

After New York’s rent laws changed in 2019, multifamily properties lost their allure for investors while federally subsidized affordable housing became more attractive. The pandemic further raised the profile of Section 8 housing thanks to their dependable cash flows. One such example was Related Companies’ $435 million purchase of a pair of Section 8 buildings at 265-275 Cherry Street on the Lower East Side late last year.





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