NEW YORK CITY—Closing on the sale of a 3,962-unit apartment portfolio in Manhattan that went under contract in August, Brookfield Property Partners has paid $1 billion for the six-buildling asset to Urban American and City Investment Fund. Urban American—which maintains its operating status for the portfolio—also retained an equity interest.
Industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that Brookfield actually put up between $1 billion and $1.1 billion, making the trade one of the year’s largest multifamily deals nationwide. Further, industry members say Urban American’s remaining equity in the deal is less than 50%.
The portfolio consists of three million square feet of residential and commercial space and 861 parking spaces across six Manhattan buildings. They are: the Heritage, featuring 600 residential units at 110th street and Fifth avenue; Roosevelt Landings, 1,003 units, Roosevelt Island (which is in the jurisdiction of Manhattan); River Crossing, 761 units, 102nd street and First avenue; 3333 Broadway, 1,193 units, located at Broadway and 133-135th streets, the Miles and the Parker, 405 units, located on Lexington Avenue at 117th and 121st streets.
Since buying the properties in 2007, Urban American and City Investment Fund were engaged in a significant upgrade program of both the buildings and their units. Brookfield reportedly is going to continue that program but has no plans to convert the apartments into high-end units and then retenant the building.
The acquisition bolsters Brookfield’s already stellar performance in the multifamily sector, which the company reveals in the recent reporting of its third quarter earnings.
“Our multifamily and hotel operations posted company FFO of $15 million for the three months ended September 30, 2014, compared with $9 million for the same period in 2013,” Brookfield says. “Occupancy of our multi-family operations at quarter-end was 94.1%, consistent with the prior year. In-place rents increased approximately 10% in the first nine months of 2014 due to strong market conditions and rent step-ups on newly renovated units.”
The company goes on to allude to this specific transaction. “Subsequent to quarter-end, we closed on the acquisition of a 4,000-unit multi-family portfolio located in Manhattan for $1 billion with an equity investment of $330 million ($110 million of equity at Brookfield Properties’ share).”
Adds Savills Studley—which advised the sellers on the deal—the acquisition reduces leverage while funding planned capital improvements and ongoing unit renovations of the properties. The real estate services firm’s executive managing director Jeffrey Baker led the transaction, capitalizing on the strength of the New York residential market and global demand for Manhattan real estate investments.
“We had strong interest from around the globe, demonstrating the amount of interest there is in New York and the eagerness of foreign capital to move into Manhattan,” he tells GlobeSt.com. A 25-year industry veteran, Baker is the leader of Savills Studley’s multifamily practice.