Pacific Urban Expands in Northeast With $98M Buy

The California-based apartment investment company acquired a 217-unit property next located in Morristown, N.J.
Highlands at Morristown Station. Image courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

Pacific Urban Residential has expanded its Northeast presence with the purchase of The Highlands at Morristown Station. The company bought the property for $97.9 million from PGIM Real Estate with the help of a $49 million Fannie Mae loan that was provided by Lincoln Financial Group, according to Yardi Matrix data.

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Located at 10 Lafayette Ave., the 217-unit multifamily property is across the street from NJ Transit’s Morristown station. The six-story property was constructed in 2010 and also includes 7,500 square feet of ground-floor retail that is currently leased to Cambridge Wines and The Godfather Pizzeria.

According to Yardi Matrix data, The Highlands is currently 96.3 percent occupied. The property offers one- and two-bed units with an average rent of $2,683.

Cushman & Wakefield’s team of Brian Whitmer, Andrew Merin, David Bernhaut, Gary Gabriel, Adam Spies, Kevin Donner, Kyle Schmidt, Ryan Dowd and Mark Phillips represented the seller and procured the buyer. Whitmer said in a prepared statement that The Highlands was an opportunity to reposition the property to match the area’s demand for apartments with higher-end unit finishes and modern amenities. He added that the new owners will be conducting renovations of the unit interiors and common area amenities.

Since opening a Northeast office last year, Pacific Urban has scored three acquisitions including The Highlands. In July, the investment company specializing in apartments also scooped up AVA Stamford, a 306-unit luxury property in Stamford, Conn. from Avalon Bay Communities. Prior to that, Pacific Urban said they purchased a more than 200-unit multifamily property in New Providence, N.J.

Morristown Makeover

The Highlands is already situated in a downtown that has restaurants, shopping and historical sites. But the property will also be next to the Spring Street Redevelopment Plan, an effort to revitalize more than eight acres of space between the train station and the nearby park called Morristown Green.

The redevelopment plans aim to better utilize the land by building properties with different uses, including a parking garage, a residential-only property, mixed-use residential and retail, a mixed-use that includes hotel, residential, retail and office uses. Interspersed between the buildings, the redevelopment calls for public spaces and a traffic roundabout design for the intersection of Spring and Morris Streets. While the plan was adopted in 2008, it has not seen much momentum until recently and is now moving through the approvals process.