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Deals & Dealmakers

CBRE brokers $146M workforce housing sale

The properties contain 1,035 apartments

CBRE announced the $146 million sale of the Northern/Central New Jersey Workforce Housing Apartment Portfolio, a generational collection of seven multifamily high-rise and garden properties with 1,035 total units located in East Orange, Newark, Asbury Park and Trenton, New Jersey.

The CBRE team of Jeffrey Dunne, Gene Pride and Eric Apfel, along with Nat Gambuzza, John Veniero and John McFadden represented the owner, Murnick Property Group, in the sale and also procured the buyer, an international investor, in a bidding process that attracted over 33 offers.

JEFFREY DUNNE

The properties in the portfolio include Washington Towers, Executive House, Ambassador Towers and Munn Heritage, in East Orange; Parkview Gardens, Newark; Munroe Towers, Asbury Park and; Lafayette House, Trenton.

The portfolio benefits from meticulously maintained assets with high occupancy, 4.1 percent average annual rent growth since 2014 and high resident retention.

“We are proud of the relationships we developed with our tenants as we owned, operated and maintained these buildings over the last half-century,” said Jay Murnick of seller, Murnick Property Group.

“We hope that new ownership will continue to foster those relationships and wish them well in their ongoing endeavors.”

The portfolio properties are known within their respective markets for providing quality housing at a significant discount to the cost of renting at a newer building. The excellent physical condition of the assets provides a foundation for the purchaser to focus on enhancements and upgrades to unit and common area finishes, supporting strong rent growth.

“We are pleased to have represented Murnick Property Group in the sale of these seven assets,” said CBRE’s Dunne. “Over 50 plus years, the seller assembled a portfolio of well built, transit centric, high-rise communities with an operational philosophy of maintaining the buildings to preserve their value.

“The Murnick’s timing in this sale is opportunistic, as the market demand for this type of property is as strong as we have experienced, though the purchaser will do well with the purchase as renter demand for well-maintained Class B apartments is also at historic levels and expected to continue for years ahead.”

“This is a scenario that we are seeing play out over and over in New Jersey and the greater New York suburban markets,” Dunne continued.

“Well-capitalized, experienced operators are aggressively pursuing and stretching on price to acquire Class B apartments in good, established markets. This is due to strong rent growth, natural supply constraints and value-add potential. It’s impossible to build new apartments that will be comparable in rental rate to older Class B assets, which insulates these communities from new competition, thus enabling rents to grow as more renters enter the market.”

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