106 South Harrison St. in East Orange — Courtesy: Cushman & Wakefield
By Joshua Burd
The owner of a 718-unit, 11-building multifamily portfolio in East Orange has secured new partners, in a transaction arranged by Cushman & Wakefield.
Brokers with the firm represented two companies, Spaxel and Atalaya Capital Management, in arranging joint venture equity with the Davis Cos. In announcing the deal, C&W noted that the portfolio is more than 96 percent occupied, comprising buildings along South Harrison Street, Park Avenue and Glenwood Avenue in the city’s downtown.
Terms were not disclosed.
“The portfolio’s best-in-class sponsorship, exceptional transit-oriented location and scale were extremely appealing to investors,” C&W’s Steven Kohn said. “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.”
Kohn brokered the transaction alongside John Alascio, Brian Whitmer, Chuck Kohaut, Jessica Ke and TJ Sullivan. They said the portfolio has below-market rents, presenting a value-add opportunity while ensuring rents remain affordable for residents.
“The acquisition and capitalization of this portfolio establishes our partnership as one of the leading owners of New Jersey workforce-housing with significant economies of scale and institutional operations,” said Granit 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.”
Atalaya’s Young Kwon added:
“Now more than ever, residents of the New York Metro desire workforce housing that is both accommodating and accessible,” said Kwon, the firm’s head of real estate. “Partnering with best-in-class sponsors to achieve this is great for East Orange and great for Atalaya’s real estate business.”
In a news release, C&W said the portfolio is a short walk from NJ Transit’s Brick Church Station, offering rail and bus access to Manhattan in just 30 minutes. The portfolio is also less than 10 minutes from Interstate 280, the Garden State Parkway (Exit 145) and I-78 (Exit 52), providing exceptional multi-directional connectivity to the Tri-State Area.
“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 Cos. “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.”