Equity enters $250M contract for Beatrice, as apartment building prices surpass peak

Sam Zell’s Equity Residential is in contract to purchase the 301-unit Beatrice apartment complex on Sixth Avenue for nearly $250 million, according to Crain’s. The transaction will mark the latest in a series of big apartment deals struck in recent months for record-high prices.

The Beatrice, completed two years ago by J.D. Carlisle Development, is composed of 28 floors of rental units that sit above the 25-story Eventi Hotel at 835 Sixth Avenue Near West 29th Street. The deal comes on the heels of a record quarter for Manhattan apartment trades. While volume was still well off the peak, the average price per unit of Manhattan rentals was more than $490,000, 29 percent greater than the previous peal achieved during the first quarter of 2007.

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“There is way too much money chasing few assets,” Eastern Consolidated CEO Peter Hauspurg told Crain’s. He is one of several executives concerned that without significant rent increases, buyers will find it difficult to earn a return on their investment. And banking on those increases would be the same mistake that many buyers made to disastrous affects during the boom.

The next rental properties to watch are the 140-unit building at 21 West 86th Street, which Crain’s reported is in contract, and the 899-unit New York by Gehry building, which is looking for a minority partner. [Crain’s]