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Deals & Dealmakers

SELLING POINTS: Developer sells historic BK movie theater for $53M; Solomon Organization adds S.C. apt complex to its portfolio

Developer sells historic movie theater for $53M

TerraCRG has announced the sale of 1501 Pitkin Avenue, a 100 percent NN leased building that occupies a full city block in Brooklyn. Ofer Cohen, Dan Marks, Matt Cosentino, Fred Bijou, and Eric Satanovsky, along with their sales teams, brokered the deal at $53,000,000.

“1501 Pitkin Avenue is a true Brooklyn comeback story,” said Matt Cosentino, Vice President, Investment Sales at TerraCRG. “After many years of vacancy and neglect, the seller, POKO partners, brought life back to this majestic property by building an incredible education facility that serves almost 1,000 public school students.”

The approximately 165,000 SF former historic movie theater, known as The Pitkin, underwent a full interior restoration project and was transformed into a mixed-use, retail and education facility. Currently, the building is occupied by three national tenants on the ground floor – Pizza Hut, Subway and Dollar Tree – and one of the most established charter schools in New York City, Ascend Charter School, located throughout the remainder of the building. The three retail spaces combine for approximately 12,371 SF, with the remaining approximately 152,404 SF dedicated to the charter school.

Built in 1929, the highly visible property still maintains its incredible exterior design. In its heyday, The Pitkin had an almost 3,000-person capacity and some of the great performers of the day such as Milton Berle, Humphrey Bogart and Jackie Gleason appeared there.

DSF Group picks up CT apartment complex for $50M

CBRE Group, Inc. announced that Jeffrey Dunne and Gene Pride along with colleagues Simon Butler and Biria St. John of CBRE New England represented the Seller, Avalon Bay Communities, in the sale of a 246-apartment home community located in Milford, Connecticut to an affiliate of the DSF Group, for $50.5 million.

Built in 2004, the community has 246 apartments with open floorplans, gas heat and cooking, walk-in closets, full size in-home washer/dyers and 10’ or vaulted ceilings on the third floor.

Mr. Dunne commented: “The property offers a terrific value add opportunity given its 2004 construction.” The interest in this offering was extremely strong, we received double digit offers to purchase the property, demonstrating the significant capital in the market seeking to acquire well located, institutional quality apartment communities.”

Mr. Butler added, “DSF should do very well with this asset as they implement their signature Halstead brand. DSF plans to renovate the common area amenity spaces and to rebrand the asset as Halstead Milford. The demand for luxury apartments in this part of Connecticut remains very high as the location is convenient to major employers in New Haven, Norwalk and Stamford while also near amenities such as retailers along the Post Rd. and recreation on Long Island Sound.”

“We are excited to expand our portfolio to the Connecticut market” stated Josh Solomon, President of the DSF Group. “This acquisition aligns perfectly with our strategy of purchasing well located multifamily assets that we can add value to with our amenity renovation and rebranding program”, added Solomon.

● GDC Properties
Management Group closes on $105M community buy

GDC Properties closed on a $105.9 million deal earlier this week for an apartment community in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Represented by the in-house team of Kali Valenzuela, William Ingraham, Christine McWalters and Michael Orlandi, the Westchester County firm acquired the 235-unit development at 597 Westport Avenue from Hunt Investment Management an affiliate of Texas-based Hunt Companies, which was represented by Jeff Dunne, Gene Pride and Eric Apfel of CBRE.

GDC obtained the AA apartment community through a 1031 exchange using first and mezzanine financing packages put together by CBRE’s Debt and Structured Finance team.

Founded in 1994, GDC Properties is a developer and property manager that specializes in luxury housing, shopping centers and office buildings. The Connecticut apartments add to a portfolio that includes property in New York, Delaware, Colorado, Georgia and Florida.

Joint venture acquires VA apartments for $111 million

The Donaldson Group (“TDG”) of Rockville, MD, and New York-based Angelo, Gordon & Co. (“Angelo, Gordon”), the $28 billion alternative investment firm focused on credit and real estate investing, have acquired Cityside at Huntington Metro (“Cityside”), a 569-unit apartment community in Alexandria, VA, for approximately $111 million in cash.

Cityside is conveniently located right outside of Old Town Alexandria, within walking distance to the Huntington Metro Station, just off I-495 (the Beltway), offering residents accessibility to a large variety of nearby dining and entertainment options.

Cityside is comprised of four high-rise buildings built in 1968 and 1974. The apartments include a mix of spacious and well-appointed studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Amenities include a rooftop fitness center, rooftop lounge, outdoor pool and sundeck, recently renovated outdoor patio and grilling areas, playgrounds, and a dog park.

TDG and Angelo, Gordon’s renovation plans include a reconfiguration and modernization of the leasing center and lobby, enhanced signage, new windows, common area and entryway improvements, exterior façade renovations and balcony railing replacements, enhanced landscaping, upgrades to mechanical systems, and interior unit renovations (including new cabinets, stainless steel appliances, luxury countertops, upgraded flooring, and new bathrooms).

“We are very excited about Cityside and to add this Northern Virginia property to our portfolio. It is a well-built asset in an outstanding location with terrific upside,” said TDG President Carlton Einsel. “There was significant interest in the property and with our long-time partner, Angelo, Gordon, we were able to make an all-cash offer in conjunction with an accelerated due diligence and settlement period, thereby meeting the seller’s aggressive closing timeframe.”

“Cityside has substantial growth opportunities. We have developed an intelligent, well-designed and cost-effective renovation, coupled with an engaged management team, dedicated to building relationships with our residents and providing them with superior customer service,” said TDG Senior Vice President John Majeski.

“We truly believe in this growing market and plan to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities.”

“Cityside highlights Angelo, Gordon’s continued commitment to investing in and developing high-quality apartment complexes across the U.S.,” said Christina Lyndon, Managing Director, Angelo, Gordon. “We are pleased to be continuing our strong partnership with best-in-class operator TDG.”

The seller, an affiliate of The Carlyle Group, was represented by Bill Roohan, Bob Dean, Jonathan Greenberg, Tom Leachman, and Yalda Ghamarian of CBRE Capital Markets. TDG and Angelo, Gordon are working with David Webb and Maxi Thiels Leachman of CBRE Debt & Structured Finance Group to obtain financing that it expects to put in place shortly after closing on the acquisition.

● Solomon Organization
Firm adds South Carolina complex to its portfolio

The Solomon Organization, owner and manager of more than 14,000 multi-family units, expanded its Southeast Portfolio with the acquisition of the 240-Unit Gregorie Ferry Landing at 1240 Winnowing Way in the Charleston suburb of Mount Pleasant, S.C.

The Solomon Organization, which has strong regional portfolios in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Michigan, made a strategic commitment to the Southeast in 2015, when it purchased the first properties in what has become a portfolio of 3,000 units in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

“We built our holdings over the last 20 years based on studying regional markets for their growth potential and underlying economic characteristics,” says Zach Solomon, Managing Director of the Solomon Organization. “In the Southeast, we have identified markets that are now a primary acquisition focus of the company.”

Solomon, which has a history of purchasing in premier locations and repositioning properties to lead their markets, has re-branded 1240 Winnowing Way as The Sage at 1240. They are planning upgrades to the exteriors, on-site amenities and in-home accommodations including granite countertops and hard wood-like flooring.

“We’re giving the community a more modern feel with a new name, colors and finishes to attract the workforce that is relocating here from all over the country,” says Mr. Solomon. “Charleston is a vibrant metro-area with a culture that mixes fun and arts and offers diverse employment opportunities. The economic base has been strengthened by leading industries in aerospace, automotive, and tech. Boeing, Volvo and Google have made long term commitments to the region, and with a comparatively low cost of living, Charleston is drawing population growth from the Northeast and Midwest.”

The Sage at 1240 consists of 4 four-story elevator apartment buildings with a fitness center, billiards room, garages and extra storage units. The community, built in 2012, also offers 100% smoke-free living, an on-site dog park, swimming pool with outdoor lounge and fire pit and car care area.

Solomon purchased the property from Charlotte-based The Berry Companies in a deal brokered by Kevin Kempf and Phil Brosseau of CBRE.

“This was an incredible opportunity to enter one of the most desirable submarkets in Mount Pleasant which has a lot of consumer demand for housing products but not a lot of inventory due to very high barriers of entry,” continued Mr. Solomon. “The Sage at 1240’s occupancy rate is 96 percent and we anticipate that between the improvements we make and the expected growth of the region, we will be welcoming waves of new residents.”

Joint venture picks up Bronx complex for $25.6 million

The Long Island City office of CBRE with Manhattan-based Pantheon Properties, LLC arranged the $25.6-million sale of 1300 Viele Avenue and 1301 Ryawa Avenue in the Bronx to a joint venture between MRP Realty and AEW Capital Management. John Reinertsen, a senior vice president with CBRE, along with Matt Corpuel and Gary Capetta of Pantheon Properties, represented the seller, TCW Leasing Company, in the marketing of the assets and negotiated the sale transaction.

Built in 1959, 1300 Viele Avenue and 1301 Ryawa Avenue is a two-building complex totaling 120,000 square feet of warehouse and distribution space in the heart of Hunts Point. The new ownership has already begun a significant, $5.0 million capital improvement campaign at the complex. Due to its close proximity to the Hunts Point Food co-op (over 80% of all produce, meat and fish enter New York City via Hunts Point) would be ideal for a variety of food distributors as well as other distribution and industrial uses. In addition, the property’s easy access to Manhattan – via the Willis Avenue, Third Avenue and RFK bridges – provides ample opportunity for alternative uses.

“Given the rebirth of the Hunts Point area over the past few years, both distribution space users, as well as investors saw the benefits and opportunities of owning such a well-located property and MRP and AEW was able to execute a deal quickly with the seller,” noted Mr. Reinertsen.

“We see a lot of potential in the complex by food corporations and just-in-time distributors as well as movie and television production companies,” added Mr. Capetta.

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