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ALLENTOWN, PA-Mountainside, NJ-based Solomon Organization has acquired a five-property multifamily portfolio aggregating 656 rental units from locally based B&K Equity. B&K is the original owner and built the properties between 20 and 30 years ago. They are: 96-unit Powder Mill Apartments in Emmaus, 132-unit Oaklane Gardens in Trexlertown, and 96-unit Monocacy Village, 176-unit Freedom Estates, and 156-unit Santee Manor, all in Bethlehem. Solomon has renamed them Mill Run, Valley Ridge, Waters Edge, Meadows at Lehigh, and the Hills at Lehigh, respectively. Each of the properties is about 90% occupied.

Robert Holland, SVP at Kislak Co., based in Woodbridge, NJ, tells GlobeSt.com the selling price for the package exceeded $36 million, which represents an average of approximately $54,878 a unit. Holland secured the exclusive listing from B&K and negotiated the sale.

Marshall Rosen, a managing director of Solomon, tells GlobeSt.com his company “will probably invest about $4 million to $5 million in rehabilitating and repositioning the portfolio over the next two to five years.” Upgrades will begin with the common areas and paving the parking lots, and kitchen and bath renovations will occur as units are vacated. He says rents for one-bedroom units now average about $700 a month. “Most units are two-bedroom, two-bath and they typically rent for between $800 and $850 a month.”

This acquisition follows Solomon’s purchase earlier this month of a 12-property portfolio with an aggregate of more than 2,700 units, primarily in upstate New York, from Clifton Park, NJ-based DCG Development Co. Rosen says, “It’s unusual for us to have this much activity in such a short period of time, but the opportunities presented themselves.”

Both portfolios are assets in which Solomon can add value, “and those are the kinds of acquisitions we like,” Rosen notes. Of the Lehigh Valley portfolio, he adds, “we have owned Lehigh Crossings in Bethlehem for a couple of years, and it performs very well. We wanted to expand in this area. The locations of the properties are very, very good. New, more upscale housing construction is taking place there and other good things are happening in the Lehigh Valley.”

Kislak’s Holland also points out that the portfolio’s proximity to the newly opened Route I 78 corridor “opens the Pennsylvania market to New York and New Jersey residents who are looking for affordable housing or who work in close proximity to these sites. National home builders are buying as much land as is available in the Lehigh Valley, leaving virtually little or no land for multifamily development.”

With these acquisitions, Solomon now owns approximately 10,000 apartment units in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Kislak, headed by Jeffrey Wiener, president, specializes in investment properties for individuals, partnerships, financial institutions and REITs. It has offices in Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia and Arizona in addition to New Jersey.

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