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LIVINGSTON, NJ-The largest trade was the $12.5 million sale of 150 units at 317-343 Fairmount and 62 Kensington avenues in Jersey City. Sales associate Benjamin Greenstein and vice president Alan Lieberman represented the seller and procured the buyer, both of whom are long-time private investment clients. The five mid-rise buildings are located in close proximity to Journal Square and Saint Peter’s College. Each features an all-brick façade and a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units. The buildings were approximately 80% occupied at the time of sale.

“To take advantage of the hot investment climate in Jersey City, the buyer is planning comprehensive renovations, including a state-of-the-art security system, that will add short and long-term value to the buildings,” Greenstein says, noting also that area occupancy rates are approximately 95%. According to Gebroe-Hammer, area rental rates are $825 for one-bedroom and $975 for two-bedroom units.

Favored by commuters traveling to Manhattan–as well as western parts of New Jersey–Jersey City offers a variety of convenient transportation options, including bus lines, rapid transit, ferries, tunnels and rail lines.

Legal counsel was provided by Harold Ritvo, PC, of Hackensack, and Jonathan Mehl, Esq., of Rutherford, on behalf of the seller and buyer, respectively.

Two additional deals exceeding $3.35 million also were closed in nearby Newark. Executive vice presidents David Jarvis and David Oropeza orchestrated the two separate sales for 260-262 and 254 Mt. Prospect Ave., located in the Forest Hills neighborhood. Jarvis also negotiated the sale of 119 South Orange Ave.–a commercial building in South Orange–for $780,000, while Oropeza and sales associate Elliott Schechter orchestrated the $3.24-million disposition of 391 Union Ave., a 65-unit building in Irvington.

Legal representation for the sellers and buyers in the Hudson and Essex County deals was provided by Daniel J. Roy of Maplewood and Richard Kelin of Feinstein Raiss Kelin & Booker of West Orange for 260-262 and 254 Mt. Prospect avenues; Wolf Block of Roseland and Daniel J. Roy for 119 S. Orange Ave.; and Irving Tobin of Hillside and Robert A. Schandler of Cliffside Park for 391 Union Ave. Rounding out the transactions, sales associate Stephen Tragash negotiated the $835,000 sale of the Unionville Rd., a 10-unit building in Sussex.

According to Marcus & Millichap, while apartment performance topped all commercial sectors in 2008, rising job losses will push vacancy up more dramatically this year. According to its recent Apartment Outlook report, in most metro areas, class B and C properties will be the least affected by the economic downturn, as many households will continue to be forced to seek more affordable housing options. Meanwhile, fundamentals in the class A segment have been disproportionately impacted by eroding household credit quality, which has made it difficult for many renters to qualify for high-end units.

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