Gaia Renaissance at 394 South Harrison St. in East Orange — Courtesy: The Kislak Co. Inc.
By Joshua Burd
A real estate firm has sold two East Orange apartment buildings for a combined $18 million, in a set of transactions arranged by The Kislak Co. Inc.
The properties include Gaia Grand, a 58-unit building at 650 Park Ave., and the 61-unit Gaia Renaissance at 394 South Harrison St., Kislak said in a news release. They sold for $10 million and $7.975 million, respectively.
Senior vice presidents Barry Waisbrod and Joni Sweetwood marketed Gaia Grand on an exclusive basis, while Waisbrod marketed Gaia Renaissance on an exclusive basis, the news release said. The sellers were affiliates of Gaia Real Estate Co.
Waisbrod also represented the buyer of the properties, a New York-based private investor.
“These were the sellers’ last multifamily properties in New Jersey,” Waisbrod said. “They marketed them previously with another firm, which did not meet their pricing expectations. We generated strong demand for the properties and acceptable prices.”
Waisbrod added that the purchaser is “investing in properties in strong New Jersey markets with value-add potential,” noting that this marks their second portfolio purchase in East Orange.
Gaia Grand is a former office building that was converted in 2005, with a mix of one- and two-bedroom luxury units with high-end finishes and appliances, Kislak said. On-site amenities include a pool and fitness center.
The property is located within walking distance of the Brick Church Station, which provides direct NJ Transit train service to Manhattan, bus service and retail and commercial offerings nearby.
Gaia Renaissance was built in 2005, also including a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. Property amenities include a fitness center, laundry rooms, a resident lounge and gated parking.
The property is located on South Harrison Street across from Monte Irvin Orange Park.
“I have been selling multifamily properties in East Orange for over 20 years,” Sweetwood said. “Today’s prices are 10 times what they were then when buildings had many vacancies and tenants struggled to pay rent. Today it is the opposite with high rents, a strong tenant base with many tenants moving from New York, no vacancies and excellent tenant collections.”
Sweetwood added that East Orange “is viewed as an inexpensive alternative to the New York City boroughs. There is significant redevelopment at both East Orange train stations, which is adding to city’s desirability.”
Customers Bank provided financing for the buyer, which was represented by Richard S. Kelin of Feinstein, Raiss, Kelin & Booker LLC.