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HARTSDALE , NY-A New York City investment firm has increased its condominium apartment portfolio in Westchester with the acquisition of 260 units in prime markets in the lower part of the county. The Cheshire Group, based in New York City, purchased the two cooperative portfolios in separate transactions. The identity of the sellers was not disclosed. Mark Zborovsky was the broker for the sellers.

“There’s a large segment of the market that is being priced out of Westchester, particularly in the lower part of the county where the median price for a single family home is in the mid-$400,000s, says Susan Hewitt, president of the Cheshire Group. “Cooperatives offer them an ideal opportunity to acquire home ownership and all of the advantages that come with it.”While no purchase price was disclosed, a source close to the deal says the sellout value of the units purchased totals approximately $21 million. With the deal, Cheshire now owns more than 1,000 apartments in Westchester County. A significant portion of the units acquired is located at 111-119 East Hartsdale Ave., in Hartsdale and 505 Central Ave., in White Plains. The remaining units are located in Scarsdale, East Hartsdale, Yonkers and Port Chester.

Hewitt says that 60% of the units purchased are free market rentals, while 40% are rent-regulated apartments. “We have opened a sales office and we are actively marketing our free market rental units once they turn over,” she adds.

The Cheshire Group has hired On-Site Sales & Marketing as the exclusive leasing agent. Hewitt notes that with the high prices of homes in Westchester, the cooperative market should be very attractive to both empty nesters and first-time homebuyers. She adds that although there are a host of major rental apartment projects either under construction or in development in Westchester, those properties will be renting at luxury prices and should not dampen the keen demand for cooperative units in Westchester County.

Back in September 1997, the Cheshire Group closed on the acquisition of 326 cooperative units in Southern Westchester and Rockland counties. Prior to the deal reported today, the firm had closed on acquisitions of cooperative apartments at properties located in: Mamaroneck and the Fleetwood section of Yonkers, as well as in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx and the Holliswood and Richmond Hill sections of Queens. With the latest deal, the Cheshire Group maintains a portfolio of more than 1,500 apartments in the New York metro area.

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