TODAY’S DEALS: CB Richard Ellis Brokers Sale of $112.5M Apartment Community

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CB Richard Ellis sells 415-unit New Brunswick, N.J. apartment complex; Essex Realty Group brokers sale of $4.4 million vintage Chicago apartment; and Helios Capital completes non-performing loan transaction.

Highlands at Plaza Square

New Brunswick, N.J.—CB Richard Ellis’ New York Institutional Group represented the seller and procured the buyer of The Highlands at Plaza Square, a 415-unit Class A mid-rise apartment community in downtown New Brunswick, N.J. The owner, MRA Plaza Apartments I Urban Renewal LLC, an entity controlled by Prudential Real Estate Investors, Roseland Property Company, Applied Development Company and Matrix Development Group, sold the property to Highlands Urban Renewal LLC, an entity controlled by Manulife Financial Corporation.

The Highlands at Plaza Square was developed in 2004 as the trophy apartment community in the City of New Brunswick. The property is located along Route 18 and has access to a nearby train/bus station.

“Manulife is poised to benefit from the ongoing transformation of downtown New Brunswick into a ‘24/7’ location with burgeoning tenant appeal,” says Jeffery Dunne, vice chairman at CB Richard Ellis. “This is a strong first entry for Manulife into the New Jersey Class A apartment market.”

Essex Realty sells 74-unit Chicago apartment

Chicago—Essex Realty Group Inc. has sold a vintage 74-unit apartment building in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, just a block from Lake Michigan. The property, 7765 N. Sheridan Road, has 13 studios, 48 one-bedrooms, and 13 two-bedroom units.

The sale, brokered by Doug Imber, was approximately $4.4M.

Helios completes $4.08M non-performing loan transaction

New York–Helios Capital L.L.C. completed a non-performing loan sale transaction with an unpaid balance totaling $4,086,462.14 for three multifamily properties.

The properties total 47,641-square-feet and are located in Harlem and Upper Manhattan in New York. Helios Capital advised the local private investor, and the lender was a regional bank in the New York area.

“In this off-market transaction, the three non-performing loans were secured by three multi-family assets, which are all owned by the same borrower, a private local investor in the New York area. The loans were sold at a slight discount off their principal balances but at a very competitive price per unit basis,” comments Josh Malka, managing director at Helios Capital. “Our relationship with both the lender and borrower involved in this transaction allowed us to quickly source and successfully trade this loan. The borrower was able to utilize their local knowledge of the Harlem and Upper Manhattan submarkets to capitalize on this unique investment opportunity.”

Situated in Harlem and Upper Manhattan, two of New York City’s most attractive and active residential submarkets, the properties consist of a 9,185-square-foot building that includes 15 residential units, an 18,500-square-foot property that includes 25 residential units and a 19,956-square-foot mixed-use building that consists of 28 residential units and two commercial units.

One of the attractive aspects of the deal was that the portfolio was only 72 percent occupied, which is significantly below market occupancy, adding a tremendous amount of value to the deal for the investor.

Launched in May 2009, Helios Capital focuses on the small-balance, non-performing commercial loan market, advising its clients in the acquisition and disposition of small-balance non- performing commercial real estate loans secured by properties located through-out N.Y. and N.J. with loan balances of $1 million to $25 million.

“As we move forward into the first quarter of 2011, Helios continues to gain momentum in the marketplace with more than $10 million in successfully traded loans within the first 19 days of January,” says Jonathan Horn, senior managing director at Helios Capital.

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