"Investors are very actively seeking top-quality multifamilyproperties throughout Elizabeth because of the community's solidworking-class tenancy, high foot traffic and unique sense of asuburban community within what is actually New Jersey's fourthlargest city," says the firm's sales associate and area specialistStephen Tragash. "Apartment building owners, many of whom have heldproperties in the area for generations, realize the time is rightto sell. This is because interest rates remain low, the willingnessof lenders to finance multifamily investments due to their provenlong-term performance and a looming change in the capital gains taxat year-end."

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Owned by the same family for 25 years, Gebroe-Hammer served asthe exclusive broker for the Westfield Avenue property, whichoffers a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. In addition torepresenting the seller, Tragash procured the buyer, a longtimeclient whose portfolio includes other buildings throughout UnionCounty. To finalize the transaction, Gebroe-Hammer also negotiatedthe modification of a ground-lease agreement with Conrail, whichowns adjacent land, for parking facilities.

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The firm also negotiated the sale of 84 additional units in twoseparate transactions within the Elmora neighborhood. JoelSchwartz, executive vice president, represented an unnamed buyer inthe $4.8 million, all-cash sale of 62 units at 516 Cherry St.Schwartz, along with Tragash, represented the seller, the heirs tothe original builder who have owned and operated the building forthe past 47 years. At 511 North Ave., Schwartz represented theseller while Tragash identified the buyer, a longtime client, whoacquired the 22-unit, mid-rise building here for $1.54 million.

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As a center of retail, transportation and employment due to itsproximity to Jersey Gardens Mall, the Port of Elizabeth, NewarkLiberty Airport and several other major industries, Elizabeth hasembraced an economic revitalization program that is transformingthe waterfront into a shopping and business development hub. "Therestoration and addition of parks, new recreation facilities andappealing neighborhoods have positioned Elizabeth for arevitalization initiative like no other," adds Tragash.

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"In Elizabeth, well-maintained, mid-sized properties such asthese are in demand among investors because they have beenvirtually unaffected in terms of occupancy and rental rates by thecurrent economic conditions," says managing director Ken Uranowitz.According to Gebroe-Hammer, average rental rates for this segmentedproperty class are $800 to $900 for one-bedroom and $950 to $1,100for two-bedroom units. Occupancy rates exceed 95%.

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