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BELLEVILLE, NJ-Multifamily investment sales are gaining momentum in Essex County’s suburban areas as demonstrated by the recent $3.3-million sale of 43 units at 574-582 Washington Ave. here. The deal was negotiated by the Gebroe-Hammer Associates brokerage team of Joseph Brecher and David Oropeza, executive vice presidents, and Nicholas Nicolaou, sales associate, who represented the seller, Belleville Apartment Associates LLC, and procured the undisclosed buyer.

“Suburban Essex County properties are among the strongest and most in-demand for multifamily investment because they offer local access to some of the finest mass transit networks in the state, proximity to key urban centers and New York City and solid rental performance,” says Oropeza, who notes that Gebroe-Hammer also recently closed on 22 units for $1.55 million in nearby Bloomfield, another suburban stronghold.

The Washington Avenue building, which has been family-owned for the past 40 years, is located along Route 7 at the intersection of Greylock Avenue, in the heart of Belleville. The mid-rise building, which was 98% occupied at the time of sale, features a mix of six studio, 29 one-bedroom, seven two-bedroom and one three-bedroom units.

“Belleville is a strong metropolitan community and economic growth hub, which is what attracted the buyer, who is a long time Gebroe-Hammer client,” says Brecher. Gebroe-Hammer reports area occupancy rates to be 98%, while average rents range from $825 for a one-bedroom to $995 for a two-bedroom.

“Investors continue to favor properties of this size, and markets like Essex County, where apartment-rental assets consistently perform at 95% to 100% occupancy levels,” adds Ken Uranowitz, Gebroe-Hammer’s managing director. “The presence of on-site amenities and proximity to schools, shopping and mass transit further bolster marketability of buildings in this class category among buyers and tenants.”

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