FREEHOLD, NJ-The Solomon Organization, which owns and manages 10,000 rental units in what it calls the “affordable luxury” niche, has returned to the New Jersey market for the first time in nearly a decade, acquiring a garden apartment complex in Freehold built in the 1980s from the original developer.

Chesterfield Gardens, a 172-unit community at 210 Harding Road, was not offered on the open market. Solomon seized on it before that could happen.

“This trade presented an opportunity we hadn’t had in New Jersey for a long time,” Marshall Rosen, Solomon’s CEO, tells “Even though our company really became established in the state, and we still have our offices here, 2003 was the last time we acquired a property in New Jersey.”

Solomon began building its portfolio with developments in New Jersey more than 35 years ago, focusing on residents seeking an affordable alternative to New York.  In the 1990s, as New Jersey real estate became increasingly expensive, the company expanded into central Pennsylvania in addition to its long-time presence in Bucks County and Lehigh Valley. 

In the past seven years, the firm moved into Connecticut and New York state, where it operates more than 7,500 units in the Capital Region, Ithaca and the Hudson Valley/Westchester market. 

“Our overall strategy has remained the same: We buy and improve well-located properties and rent them at reasonable rates,” says Mr. Rosen. The Freehold property fits into that modus operandi perfectly, he says, and as more longtime owners are bringing properties to market lately, perhaps additional acquisitions will be in the offing.

Solomon plans a $3 million renovation program to the building it has renamed Chesterfield at Freehold Township. That includes installing new kitchens, bathrooms, and double-hung thermally insulated windows in all apartments as they turn over, as well as improvements to landscaping and common areas. 

“Chesterfield at Freehold Township is surrounded by rolling horse country, a short drive from beautiful beaches, and near great local shopping and dining, said Evan Rosen, a managing director of Solomon who will be overseeing the community. 

The complex is close to commuter rail and bus lines to Manhattan, and also near Route 18 and the Garden State Parkway.