Black Spruce scored $675M for American Copper Buildings buy

JPMorgan provided acquisition financing for Murray Hill apartment towers

626 First Avenue (626 American Copper, iStock)
626 First Avenue (626 American Copper, iStock)

Josh Gotlib’s Black Spruce Management is receiving help in its massive purchase of the American Copper Buildings.

JPMorgan is providing $675 million in acquisition financing to Black Spruce and Orbach Affordable Housing Solutions for the purchase of the Murray Hill luxury apartment towers at 626 First Avenue, the Commercial Observer reported.

Michael Stern’s JDS Development Group and the Baupost Group are selling the property for $837 million. Bloomberg reported in December the deal is expected to close in the first half of the year.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Gideon Gil and Zachary Kraft arranged the financing.

“Lender interest for best-in-class multifamily rental assets remains strong,” Gil told the Observer.

The buildings include roughly 600 market-rate units and 160 rent-stabilized units, connected by a bridge 300 feet in the air. Monthly rents in the buildings range from $3,700 to $17,000 and the buildings feature amenities including a rooftop infinity pool, a hot tub and a sky bar.

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80-08 and 81-10 135th Street in Briarwood Queens (Google Maps)
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Black Spruce picks up Queens multifamily portfolio

Upon closing, Black Spruce’s buy is set to be one of the biggest residential deals in the city since the onset of the pandemic. But Josh Gotlib’s firm has been keeping plenty busy in the months since its purchase was first reported.

An affiliate of Black Spruce in December bought an 80 percent interest in an 89-unit, 95,400-square-foot mixed-use building at 2660 Broadway in the Upper West Side’s Manhattan Valley. Sofia Einy sold the property for $36 million.

Gotlib’s company in January purchased a four-building portfolio in Briarwood, Queens for $87.2 million from The Musso Group. The complex, which spans 382,000 square feet and 383 units, includes 116 parking spaces and 28,000 square feet of additional development rights.

Black Spruce has acquired more than 4,000 apartments in the last dozen years. Gotlib has largely stayed under the radar since co-founding the company in 2009, but his recent rash of deals has started to stick him into the spotlight.

[CO] — Holden Walter-Warner

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