CBRE completes $146M sale of 7-property housing portfolio in N.J.

CBRE announced Tuesday the $146 million sale of a seven-property portfolio located in East Orange, Newark, Asbury Park and Trenton.

The Northern/Central New Jersey Workforce Housing Apartment Portfolio, CBRE said, is a collection of high-rise and garden properties with 1,035 total units.

Jeffrey Dunne, Gene Pride, Eric Apfel, Nat Gambuzza, John Veniero and John McFadden of CBRE represented the owner, Murnick Property Group, in the sale and also procured the buyer, an undisclosed international investor.

The properties in the portfolio include:

  • Washington Towers, East Orange – 197 units, 14 stories, constructed in 1964;
  • Executive House, East Orange – 228 units, 23 stories, constructed in 1965;
  • Ambassador Towers, East Orange – 161 units, 9 stories, constructed in 1958;
  • Munn Heritage, East Orange – 75 units, 7 stories, constructed in 1913;
  • Parkview Gardens, Newark – 24 units, 4 stories, constructed in 1947;
  • Munroe Towers, Asbury Park – 261 units, 15 stories, constructed in 1965;
  • Lafayette House, Trenton – 89 units, 12 stories, constructed in 1966.

The portfolio, CBRE said, has maintained a 4.1% average annual rent growth since 2014 and has 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,” Jay Murnick of Murnick Property Group said. “We hope that new ownership will continue to foster those relationships and wish them well in their ongoing endeavors.”

The buyer is expected to enhance and upgrade units and common areas at the properties, CBRE said.

“We are pleased to have represented Murnick Property Group in the sale of these seven assets,” Dunne said. “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 said. “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.”