(To read more on the multifamily market, click here.)

PHILADELPHIA-St. Ives Partners of New York City has acquired St. Ives Apartments, a 38-building, 516-unit garden-style multifamily complex, for in excess of $34 million. The price factors out to approximately $65,892 per unit. The seller was locally based Investment Equities.

The complex, which is located at 3300 Woodhaven Rd., was built between 1973 and 1974 and totally renovated in 1988. At the time of the sale it was 95% occupied. Joel Schwartz, EVP; Joseph Brecher, SVP, and Eli Rosen, sales representative of the Livingston, NJ-based Gebroe-Hammer Associates, represented the seller and procured the buyer. Lawyer Sheldon Weisbaum, with offices here and in Ledgewood, NJ, represented the seller, and Richard Kelin of the West Orange, NJ-based Feinstein, Raiss, Kelin & Booker, represented the buyer.

The transaction took place within 10 days from the time Gebroe-Hammer received authorization to sell, Kenneth Uranowitz, Gebroe-Hammer’s managing director, tells GlobeSt.com. The sale was financed with all cash above a new mortgage. “The seller took advantage of positive market conditions.”

The property contains 167 one-bedroom, 293 two-bedroom and 56 four-bedroom townhouse units. “It’s 15 minutes from Center City, near Franklin Mills Shopping Mall and the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-95,” Uranowitz adds. The current rental rates begin in the range of $635 and $685 a month for one-bedroom units and $1,200 a month for a four-bedroom unit.

The 2006 forecast from the local office of Marcus & Millichap predicted the Philadelphia multifamily vacancy rate would fall to 4.1% this year, while asking rent rates would rise 4%. It put the median selling price for multifamily assets at $57,000 a unit at year-end 2005, up 9% from the previous year. “Philadelphia’s stable economy, attractive renter demographics and relatively inexpensive investment properties will continue to attract investors looking for less pricey alternatives to the Northeast markets, such as Manhattan and Washington, DC,” says Jeffrey Algatt, regional manager of the Marcus & Millichap office here.

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