NYU acquires Gramercy Park rental from Benchmark for $88M

Soho-based real estate investment firm bought 94-unit property for $39M in 2012

320 East 22nd Street
320 East 22nd Street near Gramercy Park (inset, from left: Jordan Vogel and Aaron Feldman)

UPDATED, 5:00 p.m., March 8: Benchmark Real Estate Group continues to cash in on its portfolio of Manhattan rental properties. The real estate investment firm sold a 94-unit rental building near Gramercy Park to New York University for $87.5 million, or just over $1,300 per square foot.

The university closed on the eight-story property at 320 East 22nd Street, between First and Second avenues, last week. The building spans roughly 67,000 square feet and currently holds studios as well as one-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments.

NYU purchased the building on behalf of its NYU School of Medicine to “provide housing primarily for trainees and staff, including house staff, post-docs, and researchers,” the university said in a statement. NYU Langone Medical Center’s Tisch Hospital is located a few blocks north of the property, with other NYU medical facilities also located nearby on Manhattan’s East Side.

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Benchmark, led by Jordan Vogel and Aaron Feldman, acquired the rental building from Maurice Mann’s Mann Realty for $39 million, or just over $580 per square foot, in November 2012. All but one of the 94 apartments at the property are currently market-rate rentals. All of the units have undergone interior renovations.

Benchmark declined to comment on the deal. The Soho-based firm, which launched in 2009, recently sold two Chelsea rental buildings for $26.5 million and offloaded a West Village rental building for $30 million. It also sold a 101-unit Kips Bay rental property for more than $68 million in February 2015.

Despite the selling spree, Benchmark has also been active on the acquisition side, having bought a 12-story Brooklyn Heights rental building for $50 million last summer.

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