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WATCHUNG, NJ-Crystal Ridge Club, a 334-unit rental apartment complex in this Somerset County community, has been sold for $82.5 million, a number that factors out to just more than $247,000 per unit. The buyer was the New York City-based BlackRock Realty Advisors Inc. The seller was the Valhalla, NY-based Ginsburg Development Corp., the original developer, which had completed the gated complex in the spring of 2003.

“It’s the newest and only gated luxury rental community within a 20-mile corridor along I-78 in Somerset and Union counties,” says Jose Cruz of Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group, who co-brokered the deal for Ginsburg with C&W colleagues Andrew Merin, David Bernhaut and Gary Gabriel. Lawrence Palumbo of BlackRock was the in-house broker for the buyer.

“Additionally, this is one of Northern New Jersey highest income areas, with an average annual household income that exceeds $160,000,” Cruz says. “It also has one of the region’s best school systems, and all of these factors made it an investment opportunity that attracted a large number of bidders. The competition was heated.”

“BlackRock has added a solid asset to its multifamily portfolio,” Merin says. “The property is well-positioned for the future.”

Situated on a 25-acre site directly on US Route 22, Crystal Ridge Club’s 334 one- and two-bedroom units are spread over 15 buildings. The complex actually straddles the border of Watchung and neighboring North Plainfield, also in Somerset County, with a dozen of the buildings in Watchung and three in North Plainfield. The three buildings in the latter community are age-restricted, reserved for senior residents.

The sale also marks Ginsburg Development Co.’s exit from the New Jersey market, at least for now. Crystal Ridge Club was the sole Garden State property for the homebuilder, which is concentrated mainly in New York’s Westchester County, with additional properties in that state’s Rockland County and in Connecticut.

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