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BROOKLINE, MA-A block of apartments owned by the same entity for a half-century has changed hands here, as the Hamilton Co. paid $18.1 million for 53-63 Parkman St. and 110 Babcock St. The sale equates to more than $300,000 per unit for the 60 apartments acquired by Hamilton, a Boston-based residential powerhouse controlled by developer Harold Brown.

The two apartment buildings are just outside Brookline’s Coolidge Corner, one of the town’s major commercial districts. Besides close proximity to Boston University, the properties are within a short walk of two major subway lines into downtown Boston, itself barely a mile to the east. According to broker Robert Tito of NAI Hunneman Commercial Co., the prime location helped result in per-unit prices near record levels for the community. The figure is especially impressive given the age of the units, which date to the 1950s, notes Tito.

The sellers, 53-63 Parkman Realty LLC, retained NAI Hunneman to market the buildings. A principal of NAI Hunneman and director of its investment group, Tito handled the assignment with associate Gina Barroso and financial analyst Dan McGee. The team also procured the buyer, and did so using a program known as “indicative bid” that requires potential purchasers to make initial offers based just on the executive summary and controlled drive-by assessments.

“Our unique selling strategy on this and other projects has been extremely successful,” says Tito. The approach helps winnow out uncompetitive prospects, he explains, and is appreciated by owners because there are fewer disruptions to building management or residents. The diversion from traditional marketing efforts has worked successfully on other deals handled by NAI Hunneman, says Tito, who reports that more than 20 investors made bids on 53-63 Parkman St. and 110 Babcock St.

Interest in Boston multifamily opportunities has been strong for most of the decade, but a flat condominium market during the past year has curbed the number of buyers seeking apartments for conversion purposes. Given that climate shift, the per-unit price paid for the Brookline buildings is encouraging, says Tito, as was the number of bidders involved. Those prospects were said to include some of the region’s savviest residential investors, while Brown’s legacy in the multifamily sector dates back to 1954. After surviving several down cycles, including one that threw his company into bankruptcy in 1991, Brown has again rebuilt his residential portfolio to nearly 5,000 units owned and managed in Massachusetts, while the Hamilton Co. reported revenues last year of $119 million.

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