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642-Unit Bergen County Garden Apartment Complex Trades for $100M

Cedar Wright Gardens, 77 Mary St., Lodi, NJ Cedar Wright Gardens, 77 Mary St., Lodi, NJ

LODI, NJ—Cedar Wright Gardens, an eponymously named limited partnership that has owned a 642-unit garden apartment complex since 1952, has sold its multifamily asset for $100 million, a major transaction in the high-barrier-to-entry submarket of Bergen County. Located at 77 Mary Street in Lodi, the 31-acre community features a mix of one-bedroom units and a high concentration of two-bedroom units, which are in greatest demand throughout this extremely tight submarket.

The Gebroe-Hammer Associates brokerage team of Ken Uranowitz, president; Joseph Brecher, managing director; and Greg Pine, executive vice president, exclusively represented the seller and secured the buyer, who was not identified.

Uranowitz says the acquisition opportunity garnered tremendous interest due to the property’s location in a well-established transit-friendly neighborhood and repositioning potential associated with area development.

“Cedar Wright Gardens is a prominent garden-style complex known for its high visibility and distinguished presence within one of the wealthiest and most-densely populated counties in the United States,” says Pine. “Its strategic location in the Roosevelt/Terhune/Passaic Avenue neighborhood, adjacent to the Westmont redevelopment area, appeals to young, former urbanites who are dominating the area’s tenant pool.”

Ken Uranowitz, president, Gebroe-Hammer Associates Ken Uranowitz, president, Gebroe-Hammer Associates

The Roosevelt/Terhune/Passaic Avenue district is undergoing a renaissance associated with its proximity to the former Curtiss Wright airplane factory redevelopment site, approximately an eighth of a mile away in Wood-Ridge. The $400 million redevelopment has paved the way for a pedestrian-friendly town square with a new commuter rail station as its focal point. Opened in May 2016, Westmont Station has been the catalyst for the introduction of additional luxury residential housing units, high-end retail shops, first-class offices, dining establishments and entertainment venues to the area.

The neighborhood is currently dominated by a mix of well-established, 1940s-1969-era small-to-mid-sized apartment buildings and Victorian-style single-family residences. It is within a three-mile radius of three rail stations with connections to New York City as well as several bus lines and major highway arteries.

Cedar Wright Gardens’ one-bedroom units range in size from 500-555 square feet while the two-bedroom units are 675-725 square feet. Each apartment features an eat-in kitchen with modern appliances, hardwood flooring, a living room and private entrances. On-site laundry facilities, off-street and optional garage parking and 31 acres of landscaped courtyards with shade trees are among the community amenities.

“The buyer plans to implement capital improvements that appeal to the area’s diverse tenant base, which ranges from hard-working families to established, highly educated business executives,” says Brecher. “The introduction of newly constructed multi-family product in the area is having a positive influence on existing garden and low-, mid- and high-rise assets like Cedar Wright Gardens, bolstering market fundamentals and fueling heavy demand.”

“2016 proved to be a year in which original owner/builders and decades-long owners, who never considered selling, took advantage of extremely heated market demand for multi-family product. These industry ‘veterans’ know, from past experience, this is a cyclical business and the curtain may be coming down soon on sub-four percent interest rates,” says Uranowitz. “Bidding on existing for-sale properties is becoming even more competitive and aggressive as investors continue to seek Class B capital improvement opportunities that offer long-term rent appreciation and a greater return on investment.”

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