Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two years after fire, O’Neill Properties looking to sell Conshohocken apartments

"O’Neill Properties Group is looking to sell the Londonbury apartment complex at its Millennium development in Conshohocken.

The King of Prussia real estate developer just this year completed the project, which has 309 high-end apartments at 203 Washington St.

The project wasn’t without its setbacks. In 2008, a spark from a welder’s torch at Londonbury’s construction site set off a massive blaze that destroyed what had already been constructed and spread to an adjacent apartment complex called Riverwalk at Millennium. No one was killed or injured. A little more than a year later, a $36.3 million settlement was reached between O’Neill and residents at Riverwalk that ended the claims stemming from the fire. At the time, the name of the Londonbury apartment complex was Stables at Millennium but the name was changed after the blaze.

O’Neill is putting the property up for sale at a time when investors have taken a liking to multifamily properties. Few new projects have come on line and investors believe apartments are a safe bet in a recovering economy. In addition, the median price of properties sold in the last year has risen 12 percent to $76,700 a unit. Sales activity among the property type is also expected to pick up.

“Low interest rates and greater availability of acquisition financing will continue to bridge the gap between buyers and sellers, leading to heavier deal flow through the remainder of this year and into 2011,” Marcus & Millichap said in its most recent report.

The complex has been available for rent since January and leased up nearly 40 units a month during the past quarter, according to a statement issued by the brokerages. The property consists of three buildings, a clubhouse and other amenities.

O’Neill Properties has struggled during the recession. It was hit with a $61 million judgment by Citizens Bank in November. Litigation from that judgment ensued and hasn’t been resolved."

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