Coltown Properties expands apartment holdings with $31M Washington Heights portfolio

Manhattan multi-family investors Israel Weinberger and Steven Neuman’s Coltown Properties closed on their second major acquisition in three months with the $31 million purchase of five Washington Heights rental buildings comprised of 217 apartments and 12 stores, several people familiar with the deal said.

Coltown and its financial partner Phoenix Capital closed on the purchase from long-time owners, sisters Elise and Mary Rodino, on Nov. 29, according to Timour Shafran, managing partner at Citicore and a broker on the sale.

The portfolio of elevator buildings was comprised of 75 Fort Washington Avenue, with 57 units; 3880 Broadway, with 35 units; 3820 Broadway, with 38 units; 545 West 162nd Street, with 43 units; and 540 West 157th Street, with 44 apartments.

The properties had more large apartments than is typical, Shafran said. Of the 217 units which sold for an average of about $143,000 per unit, 167 were two-, three-, four-, five- and six-bedroom apartments. In addition, The Broadway properties have a total of 12 stores. The sale has not yet appeared in public records.

There was only $61 million in elevator apartment building sales in the first three quarters of 2011 in Northern Manhattan, the most recent data from Massey Knakal Realty Services shows.

Last October, Coltown, based on the Lower East Side, purchased the Lionel Hampton Houses in Harlem from Rubin Schron’s Cammeby’s International Group for $32.5 million.

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Shafran and Gem Algan, also a managing partner at Citicore, picked up the assignment to be the exclusive seller’s broker last spring, and Coltown signed the purchase contract in the summer, Shafran said. Shafran and Algan were formerly with brokerage Capin & Associates.

Mary and Elisa Rodino first put the properties on the market in 2008, and were offered, according to Shafran, $40 million for the buildings, but passed on the deal expecting higher offers later.

Shafran said there was a potential for making the properties far more profitable.

“The apartments are huge and they have never been ‘worked,’” he said, referring to owners trying to get the maximum rents possible. “The assets are untouched. The landlord was just maintaining the properties,” he said.