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JERSEY CITY-Dixon Mills, a 467-unit apartment complex, has been acquired by a joint venture of GoldenTree InSite Partners and Robert Martin Co. The reported $78.5-million sale price factors out to just more than $168,000 per apartment unit. Barclays Capital provided the acquisition financing.

The deal was brokered for the sellers by Jeffrey Dunne, Patrick Bisceglia and Jeffrey Oram of CB Richard Ellis’ New York Tri-State Investment Team. The brokers identified the sellers as Dixon Mills Associates I-III and Wayne Dixon Venture, entities controlled by the Morris Cos.

“Jersey City is experiencing phenomenal growth, and Dixon Mills is situated to offer high-value units to this expanding population,” says Tim Jones, managing director of the Robert Martin Co. “Jersey City has a large concentration of young, affluent professionals looking for less expensive and more appealing lifestyle alternatives to Manhattan.”

Tom Shapiro, president of GoldenTree InSite, a New York City-based firm that was formed in 2005 as a joint venture between Shapiro, Joshua Pristaw, Robert Vahradian, Patrick Goulding and GoldenTree Asset Management, says, “We believe Dixon Mills offers an attractive alternative to the waterfront high-rise towers.”

Dixon Mills, situated on seven acres along this city’s Christopher Columbus Drive, is the former headquarters and manufacturing site for the Joseph Dixon Crucible Co., famous for its ubiquitous yellow Ticonderoga pencils. The complex was converted to residential use when the pencil manufacturer moved out of town in the 1980s.

The complex’s site is actually more than 60 city lots, and rather than being a single structure it is a series of 34 individual buildings constructed between 1847, when Joseph Dixon founded the company, and 1932. The site’s Ticonderoga building, the company’s former executive headquarters, is considered a prime example of Romanesque Revival architecture, and the entire property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property’s twin Dixon smokestacks, which rise more than 150 feet, are a local landmark.

Dixon Mills also has 325 parking spaces in a parking-constrained neighborhood, as well as 4,233 sf of retail space. Its apartment units feature high ceilings, exposed brick and terraces, as well as a number of duplex and triplex layouts.

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