Ashley Development, Black Bear Wrap $36M PA Deal

The sale set a record price per residential unit in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.

A collage showing Sullivan Parke, a four-building, 102-unit apartment complex in Easton, Pa. Image courtesy of Ashley Development Corp. and Black Bear Asset Management

Bethlehem, Pa.-based developer Ashley Development Corp. and New York-based real estate financial advisory and asset management firm Black Bear Asset Management have completed the $35.6 million sale of Sullivan Parke, a four-building, 102-unit luxury apartment complex in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.

While the buyer was not disclosed, Yardi Matrix data show that Laub Realty acquired part of the property in July 2022 for $25.2 million. Laub, a Scarsdale, N.Y.,-based real estate investment and management firm, lists the entire property as part of its portfolio on its website. BBAM had acquired its 50 percent common equity interest in Sullivan Parke in December 2021, with the balance owned by Ashley.

The sale of the property by BBAM and Ashley represents a record price per unit for the Lehigh Valley area, according to Bryan Manz, BBAM’s senior managing director. Located at 2250, 2265, 2280 and 2295 Lafayette Park Drive in Easton, Pa., Sullivan Parke has four garden-style Class A apartment buildings totaling 119,000 square feet over nearly 7 acres.

Black Bear Capital Partners, a subsidiary of BBAM, acted in an advisory role for the sale and helped provide debt placement for all four buildings at the property with an aggregate loan totaling $19.26 million. BBCP Senior Managing Partners Emil DePasquale and Brandon Harris arranged the financing package for the sale and debt, respectively.

Sullivan Parke

Residences feature private balconies or patios, in-unit washers and dryers and walk-in closets. The recently completed complex was 96.1 percent occupied at the time of the sale. The property offers one- and two-bedroom floorplans, ranging in size from 751 to 1,315 square feet, with an average of 1,098 square feet. Rents range from $1,730 to $2,397, with an average of $2,133, according to Yardi Matrix data.

Amenities in each building include a fitness center, third-floor lounge with balcony, storage, elevator access to each floor and ample parking. The property has extensive privacy-style landscaping, outdoor grilling areas and bench seating, as well as a dog walking area. Sullivan Parke is located less than 10 minutes from downtown Easton and 5 miles from Lafayette College.

Joint venture continues

Ashley and BBAM have a history of partnering on property investments. Ashley is an experienced player in the region. In 2022, the companies’ joint venture closed on a $13 million capitalization for Polk on Third, an office-to-mixed-use conversion in Bethlehem with 52 residential units and more than 15,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. BBCP helped place long-term, fixed-rate debt at $10.35 million for the partnership.

The companies expect to break ground on a mixed-use development at 404 Mechanic St., next to Polk on Third, in Bethlehem next year. That two-story project will have a total capitalization of $20 million and feature 80 residential units and  approximately 7,695 square feet of commercial space and is slated for completion in the third quarter of 2025.

Despite challenging market conditions this year, BBAM and BBCP have closed numerous complex refinancing packages valued at more than $1 billion. The firm, which also has offices in New Jersey and Chicago, recently added Boca Raton and Tampa, Fla., locations as it expands its national platform and market penetration.

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