Pacific Urban Residential Expands in the Northeast

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm acquired AVA Stamford, an 18-story luxury tower in downtown Stamford, Conn., from AvalonBay Communities.

AVA Stamford. Image courtesy of JLL

AvalonBay Communities Inc. sold AVA Stamford, a Class A, 18-story, 306-unit luxury residential property in Stamford, Conn., to Pacific Urban Residential (PUR). The transaction marks the West Coast-based firm’s second East Coast purchase in the past 90 days.

PUR, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., established a New York office in late 2018 to pursue apartment investments in the New York, Northern New Jersey and Fairfield County, Conn., metro areas. The firm is currently under contract to acquire a third Northeast property. Upon closing, PUR’s investment in the three properties will total $275 million. PUR Director Patrick Freydberg, who heads up the New York investment effort with Daniel Maccabee and Matthew Lederer, said the first Northeast purchase was a New Providence, N.J., multifamily property with more than 200 units. Details were not provided on the third deal under contract.

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JLL marketed the Stamford property, located at 50 Forest St., on behalf of AvalonBay, which developed the asset originally known as Avalon at Greyrock Place. The JLL Capital Markets team representing the seller included Jose Cruz, Stephen Simonelli, Kevin O’Hearn, Andrew Scandalios, Michael Oliver, Mark Mahasky and Grace Braverman. The transaction was an HFF legacy deal marketed prior to HFF being acquired by JLL on July 1.

AVA Stamford attracted interest from multiple investors, including institutional capital and private buyers because of the strategic location of the asset and potential upside, according to a press release. The property was 95 percent occupied at closing.

The Fairfield County property offers panoramic city views in a transit-oriented, urban-infill location in the heart of downtown Stamford. It has a 94 WalkScore because of its proximity to numerous restaurants and shops as well as the Metro-North Commuter Railroad and Amtrak train stations.

Completed in 2001, the residential tower has a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units averaging more than 1,000 square feet. Rents range from $2,242 for a one-bedroom to $3,211 for a three-bed unit with an average rent of $2,512, according to Yardi Matrix data. Select units are reserved, as required by city law, for low-income housing with 38 units considered affordable. Units have washers and dryers and walk-in closets, and some residences have dens and patios or balconies. Community amenities include an outdoor heated pool, fitness center, resident clubhouse with TV lounge and kitchen, covered parking and a 1.1-acre private park with tennis courts.

AvalonBay Activities

AVA Stamford isn’t the only recent disposition made by AvalonBay. In May, the company sold the 474-unit Archstone Toscano in Houston to Alliance Residential Co. for $98 million, according to Yardi Matrix.

In June, AvalonBay began construction on a $77 million, 143-unit apartment community in Harrison, N.Y., next to the Metro-North train station. The mixed-use project will comprise three residential buildings, two parking garages and 27,300 square feet of retail space. Avalon Harrison, which took seven years to get approved, will be completed in two phases between 2021 and 2022.

As of March 31, the Arlington, Va.-based company owned or held direct or indirect ownership in 291 apartment communities containing more than 85,300 units in 12 states and the District of Columbia. That total included 19 communities under development and nine under redevelopment.

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