Bergen County apartments trade for $22M in 1031 exchange

Developer Hornrock Properties sold the new 62-unit building in Bergenfield to a mystery buyer

15 West Johnson Avenue in Bergenfield (Kislak Company)
15 West Johnson Avenue in Bergenfield (Kislak Company)

A real estate tax break on the Biden administration’s chopping block is at the center of a $23 million multifamily deal in New Jersey.

Bergen County-based Hornrock Properties sold a 62-unit luxury apartment building at 15 West Johnson Avenue in Bergenfield for $22.5 million, the commercial brokerage Kislak Realty announced Thursday.

Kislak’s Andrew Scheinerman and Robert Squires

Kislak’s Andrew Scheinerman and Robert Squires

Kislak declined to name the buyer, identified only as A. Hackensack LLC, but confirmed that the seller was Hornrock, which developed the building. Kislak’s Andrew Scheinerman and Robert Squires brought in Hornrock and the buyer, respectively.

Known as the Bella at Bergenfield, the property was completed in 2020 and includes 57 one-bedroom apartments and five two-bedrooms, with asking rents starting at $2,250, according to Apartments.com.

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The average unit size is 869 square feet, according to Kislak, and the building’s amenities include covered parking, a fitness center, a rooftop terrace, a lounge and a work-from-home lobby.

The buyer was able to purchase the building in part because of a 1031 exchange, which allows real estate investors to defer capital gains taxes on the sale of an investment property if the proceeds are soon used to make a similar real estate purchase.

In this case, Squires said in a statement, the buyer sold an older, garden-style apartment complex in Hackensack, and the purchase of the Bergenfield building completed the exchange.

During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden proposed eliminating 1031 exchanges, also known as like-kind exchanges, for investors with annual incomes exceeding $400,000, and again called for their partial elimination after taking office.

The real estate industry strongly disagrees with that idea.

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