A&E, Benedict buy 10-building Queens portfolio for $133M

Mesa West, NY Community Bank provided the financing

From left: 93-35 Lamont Avenue, Daniel Benedict, Douglas Eisenberg and 43-43 91st Place
From left: 93-35 Lamont Avenue, Daniel Benedict, Douglas Eisenberg and 43-43 91st Place

UPDATED, Dec. 9, 12:45 p.m.: A&E Real Estate Holdings and Benedict Realty Group picked up a portfolio of 10 rent-stabilized buildings across Queens from Ares Management for $133 million, or $322 per square foot, sources told The Real Deal.

The package includes 531 rental apartments and spans 403,800 square feet. The properties are largely concentrated in the working-class neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Woodside, Jackson Heights and Sunnyside. One building, the 34-unit property at 38-05 Crescent Street, is in Long Island City.

The other addresses are 93-35 Lamont Avenue, 32-15 and 32-25 93rd Street, 38-05 Crescent Street, 143-45 Sanford Avenue, 41-46 50th Street, 39-25 65th Street, 39-89 50th Street and 41-45 52nd Street.

The deal closed Thursday for about $245,000 per unit.

The buyers are planning a long-term hold of the properties. They also secured a $75 million acquisition loan Thursday, with Mesa West Capital financing part of the package and New York Community Bank financing the rest, sources said.

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Rosewood Realty Group’s Aaron Jungreis, who brokered the deal, declined to comment, as did A&E.

AREA Property Partners and Vantage Properties, two large private-equity shops that went on a rent-regulated shopping spree in the mid-2000s, bought the 10 buildings as part of a 47-building, $300 million portfolio in 2008. In 2011, AREA bought Vantage out of its stake in their total of 80 Queens buildings, which were then valued at $540 million. In 2013, Los Angeles-based Ares Management acquired AREA Property Partners.

A&E has already taken a bite out of Ares’ Queens holdings in the past. In late 2013, A&E paid north of $300 million for 29 buildings.

Funds managed by Ares, a publicly-traded global alternative asset manager, still makes acquisitions in the city these days. In July, the firm partnered with Normandy Real Estate Partners to buy a Greenwich Village office building at 797-799 Broadway for $101 million.

The Queens deal is the first time A&E and Daniel Benedict’s Great Neck-based Benedict Realty Group have partnered. Benedict picked up two Kew Gardens rental buildings for $53.5 million earlier this year.

In addition to the Queens portfolio, A&E, led by Douglas Eisenberg and John Arrillaga Jr., is looking to add another 1,000-plus apartments to its holdings. The Midtown-based investment firm is in contract to buy five Brooklyn buildings for $89 million and is in talks for the late landlord Harry Silverstein’s more than 800-unit portfolio for $275 million. Since forming in 2011, A&E has acquired more than 100 buildings and more than 8,800 apartments.