Treetop's recent Belleville

BELLEVILLE, NJ –Two weeks after an initial move into Union County with the purchase of a Plainfield apartment complex, Teaneck-based Treetop Development has made another hefty purchase in Essex County: It acquired a 404-unit multifamily property in Belleville for $39 million.

The acquisition broadens the company’s footprint in Essex County, where it already controls more than 3,000 rental units in Newark, East Orange and other communities.

“Essex County is one of the state’s traditionally strong housing markets and we’ve been fortunate to build a significant portfolio of properties in the region by capitalizing on niche markets in some of its most significant urban centers,” Adam Mermelstein, a Treetop principal, tells 

The newly acquired property includes 23 two-story buildings, housing one- and two-bedroom townhome-style apartments. It is set on 17.5 acres across from Belleville Park, one block from Hendricks Field Golf Course.

Earlier this month, Treetop had closed on a 108-unit HUD garden apartment complex in Plainfield. Mermelstein says that Treetop will continue to expand rapidly in “untapped housing markets,” with an interest in HUD-subsidized or HUD-built apartment buildings as well as market-rate rentals.

In Hudson, Bergen and Essex Counties, he said, “We’ve taken advantage of all opportunities and added twelve capital generating assets to our portfolio in a short period of time.” Mermelstein said the company strategy is to purchase distressed properties at competitive prices, bring them up to high-quality standards with capital improvements and efficient management, and reintroduce them to the market. 

At the Belleville property, which currently has 70 vacancies, the company will institute a $4 million capital improvement program, starting with upgrading the electric service, installing new roofs, replanting the grounds, and renovating the unoccupied units with new cabinetry and appliances in addition to restoring hardwood floors.