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Deals & Dealmakers

Davis takes equity stake in $92M NJ multifamily portfolio

Boston-based Davis Companies has taken an equity stake in a 718-unit New Jersey apartment portfolio.

Cushman & Wakefield announced it served as the exclusive advisor to Spaxel and Atalaya Capital Management in arranging joint venture equity for the New Jersey Workforce Housing Portfolio, an 11-building multifamily portfolio in East Orange, NJ.

Spaxel -a multifamily developer and investor led by former WeWork development boss Granit Gjonbalaj and ex-Colony Northstar boss David Hamamoto – acquired the portfolio for $92 million earlier this year. They secured an $81 million acquisition loan from Arbor Commercial Mortgage.

On Wednesday, a Cushman & Wakefield team of Steven Kohn, John Alascio, Brian Whitmer, Chuck Kohaut, Jessica Ke and TJ Sullivan announced it represented Spaxel and Atalaya Capital Management in structuring the joint venture with the Davis Companies.

“The portfolio’s best-in-class sponsorship, exceptional transit-oriented location and scale were extremely appealing to investors,” said Kohn. “The Davis Companies recognized this unique workforce housing opportunity and was ultimately able to provide the most attractive terms and a seamless execution for our client.”

“The acquisition and capitalization of this portfolio establishes our partnership as one of the leading owners of NJ workforce-housing with significant economies of scale and institutional operations,” said Gjonbalaj, Managing Partner at Spaxel. “Together with our partners at the Davis Companies and Atalaya Capital Management, we are extremely excited to continue our expansion in this uniquely desirable and affordable market, less than 30 minutes from Midtown Manhattan.”

The portfolio maintains over 96% occupancy and features below-market rents, presenting a compelling value-add opportunity while ensuring rents remain affordable for residents.

“The vibrant community that already exists in East Orange along with its proximity to Manhattan makes this an attractive location for those seeking affordable housing,” said Rachel Edwards, Vice President of Investments at The Davis Companies. “This portfolio represents an opportunity to work within a high growth market while, more importantly, directly addressing the needs of our society’s workforce without creating displacement.”

Situated along South Harrison Street, Park Avenue and Glenwood Avenue in Downtown East Orange, the portfolio is a short walk from Brick Church Station offering rail and bus access to Manhattan in just 30 minutes. The portfolio is also less than 10 minutes from I-280 (Exit 11A), the Garden State Parkway (Exit 145) and I-78 (Exit 52), providing exceptional multi-directional connectivity to the Tri-State Area.

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