Friday, August 5, 2011

Waterview Apartments sell for $24M

by Natalie Kostelni

"Home Properties Inc. has expanded its regional presence and bought Waterview apartments here for $24.6 million in cash, or $121,000 a unit.

Home Properties bought the 203-unit complex fronting Route 3 at Waterview Road from Fairfield Residential Inc., which bought the property in early 2006 for $25.75 million.

Home Properties paid $1.15 million less than what Fairfield did five years ago, which is a reflection of a combination of factors. At that time, investment sale activity was marching toward its peak and prices of commercial real estate, in some cases got bid up, Mattson said.

In addition, Fairfield was eager to get into the region.

“They were aggressive and really wanted it and they paid for it,” Mattson said. “At the time, it was market.”

The property garnered a lot of investor attention this time around.

“Multifamily, in my opinion, is the number one product investors are looking at today and this had a lot of attributes that they want. It’s considered a Class B building in an A location and that submarket is the strong performing submarket in the suburbs according to my research.”

Fairfield declined comment. In spite of the multifamily market thriving during the recession, challenging credit and capital markets made it hard for the San Diego apartment owner to restructure its finances, the company said in December 2009 when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Fairfield received an investment from Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and California State Teachers’ Retirement System and emerged from bankruptcy last August.

Waterview was constructed in 1968 and consists of 19, three-story apartment buildings totaling 161,860 square feet. The complex is 95.6 percent occupied and monthly rents average $1,000. The property also includes 6,000 square feet of retail space.

“The Philadelphia suburbs is one of our major regions,” said Charis Warshof, vice president of investor relations at Home Properties. “We’re constantly looking to acquire new properties in our various regions. It’s a natural fit.”

The last time Home Properties, based in Rochester, N.Y., bought in the Philadelphia suburbs in 2000 when it paid $136 million for six apartment complexes consisting of 2,113 units. It typically buys garden-style apartments that are older and need some upgrades, whether it’s landscaping, exterior or interior work. The company plans to spend $2.3 million on making capital improvements to Waterview.

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