Pandemic forces mom-and-pop landlord to sell out

Leonard Rosenberg owned five-property portfolio in Hudson County since the 1990s

Tri-State /
Oct.October 22, 2021 08:00 AM

111-117 Belgrove Drive (iStock)

Many multifamily landlords pursue a “buy and hold forever” strategy. But the pandemic has made that untenable for many smaller owners.

Five multifamily properties in Kearny, New Jersey, just changed hands for $10.9 million, the second sale for the town this week — and evidence that suburban demand for rentals remains robust among investors seeking post-Covid opportunities.

Property records show the seller was Leonard Rosenberg, a Hudson County owner for the past 40 years whose business was upended by the pandemic, NorthJersey.com reported.

Rosenberg had purchased the buildings at 111 and 117 Belgrove Drive, 12 Grant Avenue, 160 Stuyvesant Avenue, and 9 Maple Street throughout the 1990s. Excluding the retail space at 160 Stuyvesant Avenue, the residential properties last sold for just under $3.3 million.

As his tenants fell behind on rent throughout 2020, Rosenberg resorted to layoffs, pulled from his savings and picked up side work to stay afloat, according to NorthJersey.com. Rosenberg could not be reached for comment.

The Kislak Company, which brokered the sale, said the buyer was also New Jersey-based, with a multifamily portfolio concentrated in North Jersey. A spokesperson declined to name the firm.

The investment sale is the second this week in Kearny, a town separated from Jersey City by the Hackensack River. Robert Tagliareni, a New Jersey-based investor with a portfolio of mixed-use, multifamily, retail and office properties, just picked up a 171-unit building at 41-109 Belgrove Drive. The complex is less than a half-mile from most of the Rosenberg portfolio. Tagliareni did not respond to a request for comment.

The five-building buy is further evidence of strong demand in the suburbs, as New York City renters seeking more space have tightened New Jersey’s housing market and spilled over into multifamily.





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