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NEW YORK CITY-Fort Lee, NJ-based the Orbach Group, has made the move into Manhattan with the purchase of 13 rental apartment buildings containing 254 units. The five-story walk-ups are located on the south side of West 49th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, directly across the street from World Wide Plaza, were acquired for $70 million.

Meridian Capital Group financed the purchase. According to CEO Meyer Orbach, the firm intends to become a much larger player in the Manhattan rental market. An Orbach source tells GlobeSt.com that they are looking into more multifamily properties in the New York City area, and have some specific properties on its radar screen, but they could not detail anything further at this time.

“This is just the first of what we anticipate will be a number of strategic acquisitions for the Orbach Group,” notes Orbach. “Contrary to popular belief, there is financing available for companies with solid financial credentials, a track record of success and smart, achievable business goals.”

Orbach continues that now is a great time to buy in the Manhattan. His firm is currently in the market for “quality Manhattan rental properties,” and is looking to make several purchases in the near future.

“Market turbulence hasn’t made it any easier to secure acquisition financing,” says Ralph Herzka, president and CEO of Meridian Capital Group, in a prepared release. “Given the challenges that exist in today’s market, we are proud to have arranged this complex deal for the Orbach Group.”

According to GlobeSt.com research, the seller of the property is 8th Avenue at 49th Street Partners LLC, but Orbach sources could not confirm. Sources tell GlobeSt.com that the specific addresses of the buildings include: 308, 310, 318, 320, 322, 324, 326, 328, 330, 332, 336, 338, and 340 W. 49th St.

Although the Orbach Group has holdings in several commercial buildings in Midtown, this is their first acquisition of multifamily buildings in Manhattan. The 254 rental units in the Clinton buildings consist of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom duplexes, boasting 98% occupancy. In addition to the residential units, there are six fully occupied retail spaces.

The firm plans to gut renovate apartments as they turn over. New stainless steel appliances, marble countertops and oak cabinets will be added in the kitchens. Together, the buildings have 325 feet of frontage on West 49th Street, comprising of 40% of the land mass of the entire block. Aaron Jungreis of the Rosewood Realty Group represented The Orbach Group in the transaction.

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