Azi Mandel (l) and Adam Mermelstein of The Aspen Companies

NEWARK, NJ—The Aspen Companies has acquired a 50-unit HUD supported apartment building in downtown Newark, NJ for $3 million and says it will make ‘aggressive’ capital improvements to the property.

The three-story rental building created in a converted factory is located at 75 Lock Street next to the New Jersey Institute of Technology and just blocks from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  The red brick mid-rise building – which is 100% occupied — consists of a mix of one-, two- and three bedroom apartment homes.

“Newark is rallying and we believe the rebirth will only get stronger in the years to come,” says Azi Mandel, a principal of The Aspen Companies.  “Panasonic has opened the first new commercial building in the downtown district in more than 20 years.  The long awaited Teacher’s Village, which features retail, housing and charter schools, was unveiled last fall on Broad and Market Street minutes from the 75 Lock building.”

Teaneck-based Aspen Companies is planning aggressive capital improvements to the property, including upgrading common areas, hallways and exterior, improving building systems and renovating apartments.

“We’ve long been active in the City ensuring that affordable housing keeps pace with the gentrifying neighborhood,” says Mandel.  We purchased this unique HUD building and plan to modernize the homes and property to fit into the changing landscape.  By completing key improvements and aggressively managing the property, it will become an over performing asset that benefits the entire community-at-large.”

“We focus on distressed properties in urban middle-class neighborhoods where there’s a strong demand for quality housing that’s also affordable,” says Adam Mermelstein, another Aspen Companies principal.  “These apartment communities are exactly the type of value-added acquisition we seek. While they have been underperforming, the locations make them prime candidates to be repositioned into positive cash flow holdings. We will renovate and reintroduce them as modern apartment communities complete with all the necessary social programs and amenities that are still within the budgets of working families.  By providing clean, quality housing, we expect these properties to achieve high occupancy levels.”